The Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center and Portage Lake District Library hosted a special evening program for all ages on Monday, June 29, focused on the Great Lakes and what lives here. Participants began the program at the library where several activity stations were set up indoors and outside. Participants had the option to participate in a scientific excursion aboard the Agassiz research vessel, traveling from the library to the Great Lakes Research Center where they visited a laboratory to use microscopes in order to peer at the tiny organisms and examine a variety of fish.
Station 1: What Lives in a Stream? (all ages) – Children explore the diverse and sci-fi looking macroinvertebrate organisms that live in the stream and tell us if it’s a healthy stream. Outside at picnic table
Station 2: Fishing: Is it big enough to catch & keep? (all ages) – Did you know there are limits on the size of fish that you can catch and keep? Fish for trout, sturgeon, pike and other Great Lakes fish species—then identify them and check to be sure they’re “keepers”! Community Room
Station 3: Scientific Excursion on Agassiz (7 years & up, youth & adults) Board at dock west of the Library
Station 4: Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center Lab – Compare fish mouth adaptations, view cool plankton under microscopes, and put together a Lake Trout food chain.
Station 5: What Lives in the Great Lakes Watershed? – Use sidewalk chalk and draw life-size Great Lakes creatures that live in the lakes. Outside on sidewalk
Station 6: Sandy Beaches—Are They All the Same – Make a sand ID card and compare the color, texture, and size of the sand particles from different beaches on the Keweenaw Peninsula, around Michigan, and beyond! Bring in a sand sample from your favorite beach for comparison. Community Room
Station 7: Read a story about the Great Lakes – join a local author to read some special Great Lakes stories. Children’s Reading Corner
Station 8: Could a Fish or Frog Live in This Water? – Measure the pH (acidity) of different liquids and determine whether a fish or frog could survive. Community Room
Chris Alquist, librarian, observed, “Thanks so much for another great event! Every activity was interesting, and the kids were engaged and learning!”
More than 80 attended, there were four full Agassiz scientific cruises with 18 participants each.
Here are a few of the parents’ comments:
It was exciting to ride the Agassiz and we learned a lot (about plankton)! It was interesting for all of us! (2)
I like that there were many activities. I like the college students involved.
It gave my daughter a good feeling of going into a college lab.
Amazing creatures all around!
Great time! Everyone was helpful!!
Your programs are always extremely educational & fun!
Both my children had activities that suited them well—plankton, pH levels.
For more information, contact: Joan Chadde at 487-3341 at the Great Lakes Research Center or Chris Alquist at 482-4570 at the Portage Lake District Library. This program is funded by General Motors and the Portage Lake District Library.