By Joan Chadde, Tel: 906-487-3341 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty teachers from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio explored the historical, economical and environmental aspects of Great Lakes shipping in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin, from June 20-24, 2011. Participants heard about the challenges of managing the Port of Green Bay from Port Director Chuck Larscheid, visited a NOAA weather station to learn about marine weather forecasting, and toured the Sturgeon Bay shipyard. Visits to lighthouses, the Wisconsin and Door County Maritime Museums and a variety of speakers and hands-on maritime activities rounded out the week’s schedule.
Mariner Rick Brown, an instructor at The Maritime Academy of Toledo, described the diverse job opportunities available in the maritime field. The teachers enjoyed meeting the “coasties” at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Sturgeon Bay as they shared their passion for ensuring human safety and environmental protection on the Great Lakes. The variety of presenters, from maritime architects and engineers to maritime historians and educators, provided a broad view of the many related career opportunities.
Teachers found, “The variety of information presented, the field trips, and hands-on learning opportunities, enthusiasm of all the presenters, and relevance of the topics presented and their applicability to any subject area,” the best parts of the course. “The Bay Shipbuilding tour was awesome, “ commented one teacher.
This was the sixth Great Lakes Maritime Teachers’ Summer Institute held, with past institutes in Duluth, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Toledo, Ohio.
Eleven teachers from Michigan, Maryland, and Illinois spent a week at Michigan Technological University (MTU) from June 27-July 1 developing their navigational skills so they could take it back to their students. Now in its second year, the Teaching Math Through Navigation Teacher Institute is taught by mariner and MTU math professor emeritus, Stephen Roblee. Teachers spend the morning in the classroom learning nearshore marine navigation, including finding position, DED reckoning, chart-reading, using a compass, and making speed, time, and distance calculations. Afternoons are spent aboard the R/V Agassiz on the Keweenaw Waterway where classroom learning is put into practice. Students even tried their hand at nighttime navigation!
The math teachers greatly valued, “Being able to apply what we learned in class out on the boat.”
“The actual navigation is very exciting!” observed one participant.
Both courses are coordinated by Joan Chadde, education program coordinator for the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.
These summer teacher institutes are funded with grants from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (www.glmri.org) at University of Wisconsin-Superior and University of Minnesota Duluth, and from CFIRE at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.wistrans.org/cfire/ ).