How can you pick a favorite day of the Lake Michigan Exploration Workshop when each day is filled with such wonderful things?! Exploring Shedd Aquarium, fishing for gobies, listening to passionate speakers, and spending time with an impressive group of educators and team members is Day 6’s example of a day in the week of a COSEE workshop. It just doesn’t get any better! Today participants boarded the bus for a trip to visit one of Chicago’s finest attractions: Shedd Aquarium.
They were treated to a back-of-operations tour of the invasive species display,
as well as a bit of free time to explore other exhibits. Prior to these opportunities, Kristin TePas from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant provided an introduction on aquatic invasive species. Dr. Nadine Folino-Rorem from Wheaton College followed.
She shared her research on the Cordylophora caspia, an exotic zooplankton that is found in all of the Great Lakes. Following Dr. Folino-Rorem’s lecture, educators were given “lab time” to make wet mounts of Cordylophora and look at samples using microscopes and hand lenses.
The excitement didn’t end there. Afterwards, everyone grabbed a pole and went fishing for gobies! Several were caught, along with rock bass, small mouth bass, and even another invasive species, the rusty crayfish.
It was a fun and interesting activity that demonstrated the abundance of some of the invasive species living in Lake Michigan. In addition to learning a lot of science today, educators were able to learn about the history and culture of the American Potawatomi Indian tribe from John N. Low, Executive Director of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian.
John presented information on customs and fundamental beliefs of the Potawatomi people. Their connection to the earth and its water was shared. Other features of today’s events included continued group work on concept mapping, focusing on connecting the Ocean Literacy Principles to what has been learned this week; more resources, including a CD of Great Lakes songs to use with students; and time to work with grade level groups on lesson preparation for Friday’s presentations. It was a very busy but beneficial day! The night concluded with more delicious food and a social/wrap-up gathering to start winding down the week. Cindy Hagley helped participants clear up any “fuzzy” information with a fun game of Science Jeopardy, and Richard Tripp shared his observations on the similarities and differences between Lake Michigan and the Atlantic Ocean. Richard is an exchange teacher who traveled from Georgia to experience a COSEE Great Lakes workshop. After Richard’s presentation, Zelda the Zebra Mussel and Helga the Hydrilla joined Barbara Waters for an interview.
Before heading off to bed, group members watched a “home video” of personal reflections on the week and played a lively round of “Write That Caption” for several pictures from the week. It was another incredible day on the shores of Lake Michigan!
The day was filled with many memorable extras….
Cindy Hagley, member of the name tag police, forgot to wear hers today!
Dr. Folino-Rorem: “I LOVE this critter and I keep asking when am I going to get tired of this animal….and it hasn’t happened yet!”
When Richard asked Dr. Folino-Rorem if he should let her know if he find Cordylophora in Georgia, she quickly ran over to him with her business card and said, “I would LOVE to know that!”
Cindi Wallendall found the “Bret Farve” of Cordylophora for her wet mount!
When someone asked Steve Stewart if the first fish caught was a goby, he responded: “No man; that’s lunch!” It was a tiny bass.
Lita, from the urban fishing program commented: “I’m a science teacher too, so I love things that are gross and yucky!”
Jeff offered some fashion advice to Kelli when he suggested she catch a second rusty crayfish because “they make a great pair of earrings”.
Barb gave Anne-Marie a warning while fishing today: “Don’t look down at the water too closely. It brings it all back!” (Barb and Anne-Marie were very seasick on the Neeskay earlier in the week.)
John Low commented: “If you come to the [Mitchell] museum, I promise we’ll smudge you.”
Shara Fata’s memorable moment of the day is, “I caught a fish.”
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Stephanie Crook shared this reflection with us: “Today Howard helped me download CMAP. He helped Barb and me get started on using it and we were off to the races! What an amazing program! It makes concept mapping user friendly! Without a doubt I will bring CMAP to my school. But, what was so bloggable about the process was the set up phase. We had so many questions and ideas as the three of us searched the site and tried out applications new even to Howard. What was best was that I think all three of us were learning and contributing to something each will use and spread to cross curricular applications.”