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For Immediate Release

For More Information:
Joan Chadde 487-3341

Joan Chadde and Anne Collins with 2005 Youth Award from the Lake Superior Binational Forum

Curriculum units on Ecosystems & Biodiversity, Water Quality, and Energy Resources

After-School Science Program where classes are conducted by MTU students

Center’s forest field trip program, offering 36 different field trip programs

Earth Day Kids CAN Make a Difference

Ecology of the Great Lakes aboard the EPA’s and MTU’s research vessels.

Involves MTU students in conducting Family Science Nights

PRESS RELEASE

Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education Receives 2005 Youth Award from Lake Superior Binational Forum

Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education, a partnership of Michigan Technological University (MTU) and the Copper Country and Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School Districts, has received the 2005 Youth Award from the Lake Superior Binational Forum for their outstanding contributions to protecting and restoring Lake Superior basin natural resources! The award recognizes the Center’s K-12 educational outreach programs delivered to students, teachers, and communities from 2002-04.

The Lake Superior Binational Program initiated this basin-wide awards program to honor the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups that are protecting and restoring the natural environment of the Lake Superior basin. There are five categories of awards: (1) youth or school group; (2) Individual adult; (3) business; (4) industry; and (5) community group, municipality, or First Nation/Tribe. The award pays tribute to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through leadership in their respective categories. The Lake Superior Binational Program hopes to encourage all residents in the basin to implement similar successful actions and further enhance the basin’s overall quality of life.

The Western U.P. Center's programs, serving students and teachers in 20 school districts and communities in the five counties of the western U.P. as well as throughout the upper Great Lakes basin, represent the most expansive and diverse K-12 environmental education programming in the Lake Superior watershed:
• Since 2001, the Center has conducted an Earth Day Kids CAN Make a Difference program that has inspired more than two dozen student/youth projects reaching more than 1100 students each year.
• The Center conducted three Ecology of the Great Lakes week-long summer institutes in 2002, 2003, and 2004 for teachers aboard the EPA’s and MTU’s research vessels.
• Since 2001, the Center’s forest field trip program, offering 36 different field trip programs for students in K-8 during fall, winter, and spring, has reached 2,200 students per year.
• The Center worked with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to create a network of Upper Peninsula environmental educators and established a website to share information about Upper Peninsula environmental education resources and programs.
• The Center coordinates an After-School Science Program in 17 elementary schools where classes are conducted by MTU students on many science and math topics including biology, ecology, chemistry, engineering, physical science, and microbiology.
• The Center published a middle school curriculum titled Looks Count: Community Planning, Natural Resource Protection, and the Visual Landscape, as well as a guidebook Design Guidelines to Enhance Community Appearance and Protect Natural Resources to help prepare youth and citizens to become more engaged in decision-making affecting their local environment and communities.

• Involves MTU students in conducting Family Science Nights at twenty elementary schools reaching 2,200 elementary students and their parents each year.
• The Center is writing three middle school environmental education curriculum units on Ecosystems & Biodiversity, Water Quality, and Energy Resources that will be disseminated statewide beginning in January 2006.

"We feel very honored to receive this special award. We appreciate being recognized for our efforts to engage youth in developing a greater understanding and sense of stewardship towards Lake Superior and its watershed," said Joan Schumaker-Chadde, education program coordinator for the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education. "I would like to thank all of the K-12 teachers and students, Michigan Tech faculty, many government agencies, foundations, and community organizations who have helped us to carry out all of these programs, as well as, help with funding, especially the Wege Foundation, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. EPA. I hope all of these people will share in the satisfaction of receiving this special award."

For more information, contact Lissa Radke, US Coordinator, Lake Superior Binational Forum, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute ~ Northland College, Ashland, WI 54806. Phone (715) 682-1489, or visit their website at http://www.superiorforum.info. The Lake Superior Binational Forum is a citizen stakeholder group of Americans and Canadians working to ensure the protection of the Lake Superior basin and educate basin residents.

"Water is life, and the quality of water determines the quality of life."
--Lake Superior Binational Forum vision statement



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