Teaching Great Lakes Science

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Resource Types: 
Web Site

The Teaching Great Lakes Science website features a suite of lessons, activities and data sets all focused on various scientific aspects of the Great Lakes. Throughout the website, you will find usable data sets, an overview of teaching methods, and ready-to-go lessons and activities. Any of these resources may be easily incorporated into formal and informal educational settings and many are multidisciplinary. All the lessons, activities, teacher tools and data sets are free.

Throughout the site, content is organized into easy-to-navigate modules that allow you to work through a complete module or mix and match based on your needs. Educators can browse by type or resource (i.e., lesson vs. data set), broad-concept topic (i.e., earth science) or by specific topic (i.e., climate change). Grade levels are highlighted after the title of each lesson.

Three Main Components

1. Lessons and Activities
Fully developed and ready-to-use lessons and activities make it easier to teach not just Great Lakes science but also broader concepts like earth and life sciences. The lessons include:

  • Clearly identified learning objectives.
  • Background information on expansive concepts like water density and specific information on Great Lakes science such as seasonal turnover.
  • Complete hands-on learning activities to carry out in the classroom or outside.
  • 2. Data Sets
    We know that when students use real data, they show an increased interest and are more engaged in learning. However, scientific data is often available in a format that only those with specialized knowledge can access. The data sets found here have been optimized for use in the classroom. The data sets are:

  • Collected from buoys, satellites and other monitoring devices.
  • Customized for use in the classroom with fewer data and decimal points.
  • Compiled into a usable spreadsheet format with user guides and background information.
  • 3. Guided Inquiry
    This suite of lessons and data sets also includes guided inquiry methods to assist 4-12th grade teachers in targeting higher-level thinking and science process skills in their students. The resources found here provide a step-by-step explanation of guided inquiry and the tools needed to implement these methods in a classroom.

    This website is part of a research and education effort supported by Michigan Sea Grant (University of Michigan and Michigan State University), the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), Eastern Michigan University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence-Great Lakes and the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

    For more information visit http://www.greatlakeslessons.com

    Michigan Sea Grant
    Education and Communications Services Team
    Email: msgpubs@umich.edu
    Phone: 734-763-1437

    Michigan Sea Grant
    Topic Areas: 
    Environmental Sciences
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Outside Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    Michigan Sea Grant
    Education and Communications Services Team
    Email: msgpubs@umich.edu
    Phone: 734-763-1437

    WWW Link: (Add http://):