Boyne City Public Schools students work with the Watershed Academy to learn about the environment.
Five Local Schools Participating in the Watershed Academy
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is excited to announce the second semester of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Academy, our water resources educational program for local high school students.
This semester, the Watershed Academy includes members from five schools.
The Watershed Academy engages students to become experts in their local watersheds.
“The program gives students the opportunity to collect data that will be incorporated into the Watershed Council’s Volunteer Stream Monitoring program’s long-term data set” say Maria Affhalter, Watershed Science Education Specialist from Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.
Participating students work in stream teams, according to their school’s location, and include Team McPhee Creek (Alanson High school), Team Boyne River (Boyne City High School), Team Jordan River (East Jordan High School), Team Five Mile Creek (Harbor Springs High School), and Team Maple River (Pellston High School).
“Throughout the semester, members are tasked to do research about a topic of their choosing, as well as collect and interpret data they collected in the field,” according to Affhalter.
They are then challenged to present all of this information in an interesting and creative way at the Watershed Academy Summit on November 7th at North Central Michigan College.
During the fall semester, Watershed Academy teams will have three sessions.
Sessions include lessons on point- and non-point source pollution, water chemistry, and macroinvertebrate identification.
The students will then apply what they learn in the classroom to the field during a day-long outdoor session.
In addition to collecting field data, Little Traverse Conservancy will guide an afternoon navigation activity that connects land use with water quality protection.
Future plans for the Watershed Academy included expanding the program to include 7 more schools throughout Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s service area.
The Watershed Academy is funded by the Great Lake Fishery Trust, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Frey Foundation, Oleson Foundation, Little Traverse Conservancy and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.
Photos of the rest of the participating schools are below. During their first session, students gathered around a watershed model to learn about their local watershed and the negative impacts of polluted stormwater runoff. During the second session, students learned about water chemistry and picked through trays containing macroinvertebrates they will likely find during their upcoming stream-side field day.