Ride the Waves

WavesArtBT2013Ride the Waves is an experiential science outreach program funded by the General Motors Corporation. Through hands on science excursions aboard Michigan Techs research vessel the Agassiz and in the Great Lakes Research Centers labs, students and teachers learn about the Great Lakes, STEM careers, environmental awareness and education.


Saturday July 7th, 1-6 pm

The public is invited to sign up for a FREE 30-minute scientific excursion aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz  on July 7th, by calling the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at 906-487-3341, coming to the Chassell Marina dock on Saturday from 12:30 to 5 pm, or signing up HERE to get on the list. 

On each scientific excursion, Dr. Cory MacDonald, a scientist in the Michigan Tech Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering will demonstrate the use of sampling equipment to collect data on:  water clarity, temperature, and turbidity that tells us about the health of the lake– and Chassell Bay. Dr. MacDonald will explain the link between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

            Space is limited to 18 persons per excursion (children must be at least 7 years of age and be accompanied by an adult). Life jackets are available for all passengers. Please wear closed toe shoes.

            Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations will also be conducted from the Chassell Marina dock by Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center researchers throughout the afternoon.


Register your class or group Here!

Groups of 5 or more students will be given preference in scheduling, so get with your friends and form a group!

Ride the Waves with GM invites Copper Country youth in Grades 4-12 to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the exploration of Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. There are 4 programs to choose from—each ~4 hours in length—that will accommodate up to    18 youth and chaperones.

¨  Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigation (1.5 hours lab; 1.5 hours Agassiz)

Investigate water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” All ages.

 ¨  Mine Waste Remediation & Torch Lake Restoration  (2 hrs land; 2 hrs Agassiz)

The history of the “Copper Country” is explored ‘by land and water’ as students visit historic copper milling sites, reclaimed mine waste sites, and the bottom of Torch Lake. Ideal for Grades 6-8 students.

 ¨  Navigation Exploration (2 hours classroom; 2 hours Agassiz)

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 will use algebra to determine the accuracy of their navigation. Ideal for Grades 8-12 students.

¨  Jacobsville Geoheritage (1.5 hours land; 1.5 hours Agassiz)

Explore the fantastic history and geology of Jacobsville. Students will visit the sandstone cliffs, old quarry docks and South Entry data buoy to pull up live data. On land, they will explore the history of White City. We will have lunch together at White City Park.  Meeting point: White City Park by breakwater. Ideal for Grades 4-12 students.

¨  Lake Superior’s Ring of Fire  (4 hours Agassiz)

Explore an area in Lake Superior where the shrimplike organism Diporeia is up to 20 times more abundant than in any other part of Lake Superior! Why does it prefer this habitat? How does this affect the Lake Superior food web?  Ideal for Grades 9-12 students.


In Addition to single day learning experiences Ride the Waves also offers several multi-day immersive programs for High School students and teachers. General Motors  has funded Summer Teacher Institutes for teachers from the Grand Rapids and Flint areas as well as a week long exploration for Flint area students.

For a glimpse of what students might do on a Ride the Waves trip browse the videos below from Kyle who was part of our 2017 Flint Student Experience: