The Great Lakes Education Program (GLEP) began in 1991 through the collaborative efforts of Macomb MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant and the support of a GLEP Task Force.
| The Task Force includes 4th to 7th grade teachers, MISD consultants, the Metro Beach Nature Center, the Clinton River Watershed Council and Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes. Four GLEP Task Force teachers agreed to pilot the program. Since the pilot, we have reached over 40,000 students from 4th grade through college.
The Great Lakes Education Program was designed to provide students (targeting 4th grade) with both classroom and field experiences focusing on the Clinton River, Lake St. Clair and the Great Lakes. Classroom activities include both pre- and post activities that enhance students field experience on the water.
The pre-trip activities are designed to review and/or introduce such topics as the water cycle, direct water uses, wetlands, food chains, Great Lakes geography and groundwater. The field portion of the program is a shipboard experience providing multi-disciplinary, hands-on activities that explore the physical, chemical, cultural and biological aspects of these water resources. The eight learning stations, led by MSU staff, Cruise Leader volunteers, teachers and parent chaperones, include: marlinspike, navigation, marine terminology, plankton studies, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, weather, water temperature, pH, turbidity and bottom sampling. Samples of aquatic plants and organisms are sent back to the classroom for post trip discussion and study. The post trip activities are designed to review the pre-trip activities and reinforce the field experiences.
A significant factor in the success of this program is the commitment and talent of our Cruise Leader volunteers. Our volunteers, ranging in age from teens to retired seniors, give thousands of hours each season working with students onboard the boat. Each volunteer receives 18-24 hours of training before being certified as a "cruise leader." They also receive a training manual and videotapes of each activity to assist in their knowledge about the program and shipboard activities. As they continue their volunteer service, they can move up to "Mariner" and "Master Mariner" by attending additional educational programs sponsored by MSU Extension during the year.
For more information about the Great Lakes Education Program or becoming a Cruise Leader volunteer, contact Justin Selden at 586-469-7139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MSU Extension has several different tours that go on throughout the spring, summer and fall. Call 586-469-7139 for more information.
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