The Great Lakes Education Program focuses on fourth-grade students discovering the wonders of the Great Lakes. This is a field-based educational opportunity backed by university research and is offered through Wayne County MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant.
On Monday, May 20, 2013, fourth-grade students from Mrs. Irma Kabakciyan’s class at Vernor Elementary set sail on a science school-ship from Elizabeth Park Marina in Trenton, Michigan.They had been eagerly anticipating this trip for some time. Students spent the morning aboard the school-ship participating in numerous hands-on activities and experiments at each station.Their looks of astonishment said it all, especially when they got to see plankton being pulled up in a net and then observing and identifying the zoo and animal plankton on a magnified screen; or seeing how the water temperature changed as the underwater camera immersed deep into the river’s bottom and watching underwater currents change the direction of the vegetation.
What students learned in text came to life in front of their eyes. Students and parents enjoyed a picnic lunch at the marina and then were off to the afternoon session at the nature park.
There, students were introduced to different animals native to the Michigan area and their purposes.
The GLEP is a wonderful hands-on, multi-disciplinary science program, not only enjoyed by students but also the parents. Parents stated that this was by far the best educational trip they had ever been on.