Lake Michigan Day 5

July 10, 2010

Today was a full day on Lake Michigan for the teacher team. Some gained a much needed full night’s rest while others got up with the dawn for an early station.

The early start was worth it to taste lake water taken from what is called the “Deep Hole.”

Matt Katzer said of the experience, “What a tremendous time toasting the Great Lake Michigan with water from 700 feet down this morning. Now that’s what I call a teachable moment!”

Mary explained the event, “This morning at 6 A.M. the rosette equipment was lowered to 700 feet. The water was 3.5 degrees Celsius. Those who were up for the sampling drank Lake Michigan water and toasted the lake. We discussed that the water could be from 100-1000 years old. Jim assured us that deep water is safe. We need to watch out for the stuff that comes from land. That’s the stuff that can make human’s sick.”

While the rosette was sent down to gather the morning sample, a bag was attached carrying styrofoam cups that the team had decorated last night. When the rosette returned to the surface the cups had been compressed by the pressure of the water above. They will serve well as a lesson in water pressure for our students.

The morning sampling team also tested an experiment using M&Ms to help understand water’s absorption of light energy.

Later, and periodically throughout the day, the team had time to work on their projects. Everyone kept busy working on flags, experiments, and concept maps.

Even the crew had plenty to do throughout the day.

We took a break from our projects to focus on the final round of teacher presentations on the O2 deck. We were introduced to lessons about measuring the dead zone of Lake Erie, making model wetlands, water rites of the Great Lakes, and invasive species.

In the afternoon, Helen gave an overview of creatures of the Great Lakes along with facts about Lake Michigan that we all are glad to add to our tool belts such as: Lake Michigan has a retention time of 99 years, and the word Michigan comes from the Algonkian Indians word for large body of water, Michigami.
Throughout the day samples were taken at several stations and everyone continued to work on projects.

Dr. Hook was the last speaker of the day. He explained to the group what dead zones are and how they form. Aneal commented, “Tonight’s talk on hypoxia in Lake Erie was great! It is another important issue impacting the Great Lakes. I cannot wait to implement this topic into my lessons.”
Greg also enjoyed Dr. Hook’s dialogue, “I liked Dr. Hook’s analogy of Lake Erie to the Three Bears: the central zone is just right.”

After Dr. Hook’s presentation the sun set on another day on the waters of Lake Michigan and the team made plans for tomorrow then bunked down for the night in preparation for another day fill of activities and learning that tomorrow will surely bring.

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