Grant will fund water workshops
$265,000 from DTE Energy Foundation
By Vanessa McCray
Traverse City Record-Eagle
Published February 2nd, 2005
TRAVERSE CITY - This spring, science teacher Kim Clark
will march her students out of the classroom to collect
and test water samples.
Along the way, the Bellaire middle and high school teacher
suspects her students will pick up some real-life experience
about protecting water and the environment as well.
"The kids are ripe for the picking right now,"
Clark said. "At this age, they love to get involved
in world issues ... , hopefully, it will transfer into
It's also just the sort of teaching method the Great Lakes
Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College
hopes other teachers who attend its water workshops will
The Water Studies Institute received a five-year $265,000
grant from the DTE Energy Foundation to continue and expand
its Freshwater Institute for Teachers. The teaching institute
began last year, and Clark was among the first participants.
Now, with new grant funding, the Water Studies Institute
plans to offer two four-day workshops for teachers this
summer in Petoskey and Traverse City.
The institute wants to expand the program in 2006 to locations
throughout Michigan. The aim is to bring teachers, students
and local natural resource professionals together to learn
from one another, said Becky Cooper of the institute.
Teachers then bring back what they learn from the workshop
to the classroom.
"The bottom line is we want to inspire stewardship
for fresh water," Cooper said.
Teachers who enroll in the workshops can earn graduate
The grant also will fund a resource center with science
education materials for teachers, students and nonprofits
and will help support the Great Lakes Coastal Observing
System. The system monitors and collects data on wind,
water temperature and other factors for waters in the
Grand Traverse region. The information will be used for
scientific studies and the National Weather Service.