STEM Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

Research Vessel Agassiz at White CitySeptember is a busy month for the Ride the Waves (RTW) program – seven UP schools (Chassell Gr. 7 & 8; Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School Gr. 8, Watersmeet High School Gr. 10, Jeffers Middle School Gr. 8,  Menominee Catholic School Gr. 7 & 8, Sacred Heart School Gr. 5 & 7, and LL Wright Middle School Gr. 8 (Ironwood) will participate in a variety of programs aboard the Agassiz research vessel.

Now in its 7th year, the Ride the Waves program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is supported by a grant from General Motors. RTW’s primary focus is to engage youth in grades 4-12 in learning how scientists investigate the Great Lakes. Programs are fun, free and educational.  Scientific excursions, each 3-4 hours in length, take place on Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. The program reaches ~600 students and community residents each year.

Lake Linden Hubbell students at JacobsvilleThere are 4 programs to choose from:

  • How Do Scientists Assess the Health of the Great Lakes (1.5 hours GLRC lab; 1.5 hours Agassiz)

Investigate water quality and collect samples of organisms to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” For Grades 4-12.

  • Mine Waste Remediation & Torch Lake Restoration  (2 hours land; 2 hours Agassiz)

The history of the “Copper Country” is explored ‘by land and water.’ Students visit the Ahmeek stamp mill—‘the last mill standing’ to experience an historic copper milling site, assess the effectiveness of the Torch Lake Superfund remediation using EPA protocols, and sample the sediments and organisms in Torch Lake to evaluate ecological recovery. For Grades 6-12 students.

  • Navigation Exploration: Math in Action  

Students use chart dividers and compasses to determine the Agassiz’s position on a navigational chart and then navigate the Agassiz to a new location. Students use algebra to determine the accuracy of their navigation. For Grades 8-12 students.

  • Jacobsville Geoheritage

Explore the history and geology of historic Jacobsville where sandstone quarries were active from 1883 to 1896, when the sandstone was used to construct many buildings in Michigan, Wisconsin, and all over the eastern U.S.  Students will visit the sandstone cliffs, old quarry docks and South Entry data buoy to pull up live data. For Grades 4-12 students.

 

For more Information, contact: Joan Chadde, Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach   Phone: 906-487-3341 or jchadde@mtu.edu


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