Education and Outreach

Environmental Education Lab

Location: GLRC 104
Contact: Joan Chadde

Don’t just admire the panoramic view of the lake through the windows; discover the mysteries and science of the Great Lakes at the Environmental Education Lab—the Great Lakes Research Center’s primary outreach facility. Each year, the lab hosts a variety of educational programs for K–12 students, teachers, and community members. Students are introduced to the complex science behind the Great Lakes in grade-appropriate lessons, while teachers learn how to best teach their students about the waters.

Recent programs include:

  • Water Festival” for 1,100 students in grades 4–8 from local schools, which used the entire Great Lakes Research Center’s educational resources
  • Two eight-week sessions of After-School Science Class taught one day per week for grades 1–3 and 4–6 with topics including rocks and minerals, and water and engineering
  • The five-day Great Lakes Watershed Investigations Teacher Institutes
  • Four three-day sessions of Summer Science Camp classes
  • Communicating Science (a Michigan Tech course for science education students)
  • The Tenth Biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium for 240 students and teachers from three states and Ontario, Canada

Important Equipment

Two educational murals

A map of the Great Lakes watershed and a Great Lakes depth profile are painted right on the walls of the lab.

Furniture

Five tables with six chairs, allowing dynamic seating for 30 students.


Limnology Lab

Location: GLRC 102
Contact: Martin Auer and Noel Urban

Playing a vital role in the Center’s outreach and education efforts, the Limnology Lab houses many tools vital to the study of lakes. The lab also serves as the primary complementary lab for the RV Agassiz, where students and researchers analyze samples once back on shore.

In this hands-on lab, students learn about concepts ranging from lake chemistry, biology, and physics to the factors necessary to sustain aquatic life. K–12 students learn about Lake Superior food webs first-hand by dissecting lake-trout stomachs and operate a high-powered microscope to analyze some of the lake’s smallest residents. Michigan Tech environmental engineering students explore the scientific principles behind life in the lake in greater depth.

Courses that have laboratory components in the Limnology Lab include:

  • Experiences in Environmental Engineering (ENVE 1501)
  • Environmental Engineering Fundamentals (ENVE 3501)
  • Environmental Monitoring and Measurement Analysis (ENVE 3502)
  • Environmental Engineering (ENVE 3503)
  • Surface Water Quality Engineering (ENVE 4505)

Important Equipment

Zeiss Axioskop II

A high-powered microscope for use with both K–12 outreach programs and in conjunction with Michigan Tech course work

Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth Sensor System

A suite of analytical tools that can be lowered into the water to measure different variables at varying depths