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Great Lakes Article:

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 lifelong stewardship."

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 embrace.

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 credit.
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.

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