Michigan Technological University ~ Educators’ Science and Mathematics Institute Series


Ecology of the Great Lakes ~ July 13-18, 2003  

ED 5601: Special Topics in Education (3 credits – Summer 2003); ED 5602:  Special Applications in Education (1 credit – Fall 2003)




Coordinating Instructor

Joan Schumaker  Chadde

Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education

Michigan Technological University 

1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI  49931-1295

Tel:  906-487-3341                 Fax:  906-487-1620

Email:  jchadde@mtu.edu            Website:  http://wupcenter.mtu.edu 


Lead Faculty 

Matt Julius, Assistant Professor

Dept. of Biological Sciences

225 Mathematics & Science Center

St. Cloud State University

720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN  56301-4498

Tel:  320-529-6684                 Fax:  320-4166

Email:  mjulius@stcloudstate.edu          



Course Description

This course is designed to teach educators about the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Participants will learn about Great Lakes ecology from the deck of Michigan Tech University’s research vessel, Agassiz, as well as through field trips to many Lake Superior aquatic habitats. Instructors include university faculty scientists, resource managers, and teachers. Mathematics, physical sciences, language arts, and social sciences concepts will be woven into the experience. The course will enhance understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem and inspire effective teaching ideas that participants can incorporate into their classrooms.  This intensive interactive week-long course is designed to provide elementary, middle, and high school teachers with standards-based professional development and time to plan, discuss, create, renew, and reflect on their teaching.


Rationale and Goals

In an effort to help teachers align their teaching units with the Michigan Curriculum Framework, this institute focuses on standards and benchmarks that address science and mathematics. The institute also integrates sessions on critical reading skills, writing across the curriculum, and other supporting information from the humanities and social sciences. Institute participants will work cooperatively in groups sharing their teaching experience and ideas with other educators.  They will have the opportunity to focus on science and math benchmarks, and adapt new content knowledge and skills to their specific educational level and situation. ESMIS provides teachers with the opportunity for real-world inquiry-based experiences and time to share best teaching ideas with their peers. This institute is designed specifically to help K-12 teachers incorporate Great Lakes science into their curriculum through both field and laboratory sessions.


Based on Michigan Tech’s campus in Houghton, this course will prepare K-12 teachers to help students understand how parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; explain how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; investigate how communities of living things change over time; describe characteristics of ecosystems and the processes that created them; describe how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact with regard to resources, human adaptation, and environmental impact. The course will focus on methods that help students think critically, ask questions that help them learn about the real world, formulate hypotheses, gather data, and use evidence to make decisions. The knowledge and experience gained throughout the week will be the basis for a teaching unit that teachers develop and implement in during Fall semester.  (Science Content Strand I, II, III Standard 5, and V 1-4.  Social Studies Content Strand II, Standard 2, 4.)


The content of the institute will draw on three main resources:

·        Expertise and innovative approaches of presenters coupled with the firsthand experience by participants;

·        Teaching experience and insight of each participant who brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to share with each other developing a sense of community and peer-support which is essential for the success of this institute;

·        Educational resources, reference materials, and samples of award-winning teaching units that meet the Michigan standards and prepare students for higher achievement in science and math while enjoying and learning essential information.


Course Credit

This institute has a summer component and a fall practicum component that together equal four semester hours of graduate credit in the MTU Department of Education.  Both components are required. Participants earn three semester hours of graduate credit for completing the requirements of the institute during Summer Semester 2003 and one semester hour of graduate credit for successful implementation and evaluation of a teaching unit during Fall Semester 2003.


Course Requirements

ED 5601: Special Topics in Education (3 credits - Summer 2003)

·        Brief summary of proposed idea - Participants are provided a reference list and are expected to begin formulating an idea for a possible teaching unit prior to the institute.  Teachers must prepare a one-page written summary of their idea to share it with the other participants in the opening session of the institute. Submit one copy to the coordinating instructor. (5%)



·        Best teaching idea - All participants are required to present a session during the institute on one of their best teaching ideas.  This must be a pre-planned, 10-minute presentation delivered to the other Institute participants in an informal setting. Handouts should be provided for all of the participants (please bring 20 copies) that include a description of the lesson with clear objectives, procedure, and an assessment plan. (10%)


·         Overview of proposed teaching unit – On the last day of the Institute, participants must submit a one-page summary of their proposed teaching unit to the instructor that incorporates their Institute experience (10 %)


·        5-Day Teaching Unit – After the Institute, teachers must design a teaching unit that contains five days of activities appropriate for their teaching level on a topic of interest related to the Institute, and that meets the guidelines of the Michigan Curriculum Framework Standards. A teaching unit outline and rubric will be provided. The teaching unit must be submitted by August 31, 2003 to receive credit for the course.   (50%)


ED 5602: Special Applications in Education  (1 credit - Fall 2003)

·        Implementation and evaluation of teaching unit - Participants are required to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching unit and submit a written summary of their experience. The teaching unit should be described in a manuscript between 1,500 and 2,000 words following the publication guidelines for one of the following:

i)        National Science Teachers Association’s Science and Children (elementary), Science Scope,

      or The Science Teacher (secondary)  http://www.nsta.org;

ii)      Green Teacher   http://www.greenteacher.com/guidelin.html ;

iii)      Eisenhower National Clearinghouse  http://www.enc.org/features/focus/  

iv)     National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ The Math Teacher http://www.nctm.org/publications/write.htm


Manuscripts should be written clearly and concisely, stressing original, innovative classroom application, with indication of the standards addressed, and complete citations of resources used. As part of the teaching unit implementation, participants are required to evaluate their students’ learning by an assessment strategy that is described in the final paper. The written summary must be received by November 30, 2003.  These teaching units will be posted on the ESMIS website so that they will be available to colleagues. (75%)


·        Participants will be required to attend a follow-up meeting in November where they will present their teaching unit implementation and an evaluation of its effectiveness. (25%)


Grading Criteria:


·         Organization - demonstrates logical flow of ideas and clarity of expression

·         Content - demonstrates basic understanding of concepts; relevant information

·         Scholarship - demonstrates analysis and evaluation of ideas; accurate information

·         Style - conforms to appropriate grammatical, structure, and referencing style



·         Organization - demonstrates logical thinking; coherent, clear, focused

·         Content - demonstrates comprehensive synthesis of ideas; original and creative

·         Scholarship - demonstrates knowledge, mastery, critical thinking of select topics

·         Style - engages the listener, stimulates questions and discussion, respects others


Grading scale is based on oral and written performance during the week of the institute, preparation of the teaching unit, preparation of the manuscript, and presentation of their unit implementation and evaluation.

Course References 

            *Bennett, Thomas R. 1995. Shoreline Processes of the Great Lakes. Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality – Land & Water Management Division – Shoreline Management Unit (Land & Water Management Technical Report 95-1)


            Durbin, William. 2000. My Name Is America: The Journal of Otto Peltonen A Finnish Immigrant, Hibbing, MN, 1905.  Scholastic.


*Graham, Loren. 1995. A Face in the Rock. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angelos, CA.


*Great Lakes Aquarium. 1998. Lake Effects: The Lake Superior Curriculum Guide for Grades K-8. Lake Superior Center, Duluth, MN.


Huber, N. King.  1975.  The Geologic Story of Isle Royale National Park.  Geological Survey Bulletin 1309. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.


            LaBerge, Gene L. 1994. Geology of the Lake Superior Region. Geoscience Press, Inc. Tuscon, AZ.


            *Monson, Bruce A.  2000. A Primer on Limnology 2nd Edition. (Public Report Series #6). University of Minnesota Extension Service, Room 173  McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN  55108


            *National Science Teacher Association’s The Science Teacher, Science Scope, and Science and Children Writing Guidelines (www.nsta.org )


*Shaw, Byron, Christine Mechenich and Lowell Klessig. 2002. Understanding Lake Data. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension.


*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Government of Canada. 1995. The Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book


Wetzel, Robert G., 1994. Limnology: Lake and River Ecosystems. 2001. Academic Press.



*These books will be provided to participants during the institute.


Additional readings will be suggested during the institute.



Web Sites


Great Lakes Information Network                       http://www.great-lakes.net/  


Great Lakes Environmental Atlas and Resource Book            www.cciw.ca/glimr/data/great-lakes-atlas/intro.html


EPA Great Lakes National Program Office            www.epa.gov/glnpo


Great Lakes Science Center                          www.glsc.nbs.gov 


Michigan Sea Grant                                          


T.E.A.C.H. Great Lakes                                         


Lake Superior Fish                                           


Bell LIVE UMD Education                     http://www1.umn.edu/bellmuse/mnideals/greatlakes/whatbelllive.html


Center for Great Lakes Environmental Education            http://www.greatlakesed.org/directory.html


Michigan DEQ Environmental Education           


            Michigan Department of Education.  2000.              http://cdp.mde.state.mi.us/science/#Benchmarks

            Michigan Curriculum Framework: Interactive Links to Content Strands, Standards, and Benchmarks. 


Understanding Lake Data (a PDF guide)                   http://www1.uwex.edu/ces/pubs/pdf/G3582.PDF


Water on the Web (University of Minnesota)            http://wow.nrri.umn.edu/wow/overview.html

Contains pdf version of Primer on Limnology and access to real-time data on Minnesota lakes using robotics





Great Lakes Aquarium at the Lake Superior Center in Duluth, MN



Keweenaw Interdisciplinary Transport Experiment in Superior (KITES)

Project Coordinator:  Sarah Green, Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department,

Michigan Technological University        



Historical and current maps of Lake Superior are under "other images"



1993-98 comparison of Lake Superior surface temperatures



Index of satellite images for Lake Superior and other Great Lakes




Michigan Technological University Educators’ Science and Mathematics Institute Series


Teaching Unit Plan Requirements

Due:  August 31, 2003


Grading Scale  (40 points maximum)

A =    36-40 points                     BC = 30-31 points                                                D = 24-25 points

AB = 34-35 points                                C =   28-29 points                                                F = less than 24 points

B =    32-33 points                                 CD = 26-27 points                                               



GRADUATE CREDIT ASSIGNMENT:  Participants are required to develop a 5-day teaching unit that they can implement in the classroom during Fall 2003.  Teaching units should include the following components. 


Target Grade identify the grade and subject where the unit will be implemented.  (2 points)                     


Unit Overview – provide a brief description of the teaching and learning goal for your unit and the topics to be addressed in the unit. Show how this unit connects to a unit(s) that you already teach and relates to topics presented at the institute.  (2 points)


Books/Sources Consulted – three or more references are listed with proper citation including title, author, pages, publisher & date  (3 points)


Objectives – three or more objectives are clearly stated that identify the knowledge and skills that students will gain after completing this unit. List measurable outcomes for your students for each objective. “At the end of this unit, students will be able to:…. “  (4 points)


Michigan Content Standards Addressed three or more content standards listed properly, including content standards from two or more subject areas.  (4 points)


Describe five-days of classroom or field activities – for each day describe the topics to be discussed and the activities or labs that will be done to effectively accomplish the learning objectives of the unit and provide interdisciplinary connections. Please include a copy of all activities to be used in your unit and the source of each activity. Describe the activities clearly so that another teacher could implement them in their classroom.   (10 points)


Overall Unit Assessment – provide an explanation of how you will assess students’ accomplishments of the objectives listed.  This explanation should include a variety of assessment tools and a copy of each assessment tool used, such as journal reflections, assignments, tests, quizzes, lab reports, etc.  The assessment should be described clearly enough that another teacher could implement it in their classroom.  (10 points)


Overall Neatness and Clarity: The unit is type written, organized, complete, and contains no grammatical and spelling errors.  (5 points)