Curriculum

What is the Great Lakes Triangle?

Former aviator Jay Gourley has written a book called The Great Lakes Triangle (1977), which claims that the Great Lakes account for more unexplained disappearances per unit area than the Bermuda Triangle. This is no small comparison, considering that the Bermuda Triangle is 16 times larger than the Great Lakes area.
When you have completed this activity you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an ability to perceive patterns in a set of data.
  • Explain how scientific habits of mind should include the seeking of logical explanations for “mysterious” happenings.

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Where Should I Relocate in the Great Lakes Region?

This activity will allow students to describe the Great Lakes region using a map and identify some of the resources the region has to offer. Also, by using maps and graphs students can demonstrate how they can provide information for decision making. Students will describe a decision making process by which people can evaluate a geographic area as a possible home site.

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Ojibway—Early Immigrants to the Great Lakes Region

Most history books say Europeans “discovered” North America as if it had no history before then. As a result, students know little about the American Indians who settled here long before the Europeans came. This activity introduces students to one tribe of early Great Lakes settlers, the Ojibway (Chippewa), who began to migrate from what would later become New Brunswick and Maine in 900 A.D. This activity will be most effective if paired with Activity 14 or a classroom unit on European immigration to the Midwest.

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Where Do All the Toxins Go? (Internal View)

When students have completed this activity, they will be able to demonstrate how chemicals accumulate in fish fat, the biopathways of the toxins in the fish’s body, and ways to prepare fish to avoid consuming the toxins.

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Beach Mysteries

Students learn about bacteria as an indicator of beach water quality for swimming. In groups they solve hypothetical problems associated with beaches. Then students write persuasive essays on the issue.
Activities:
  • Discuss the effect of harmful bacteria on swimming conditions at beaches.
  • Diagram three reasons for beach contamination.
  • Explain solutions for beach health problems.
  • Write a persuasive essay about beach health

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Hydropoly – A Decision Making Game

Students play a board game to hone their decision-making skills. Through the various choices posed in the game, they are asked to consider both economic and environmental well being in making decisions.
Objectives:
  • Discuss land-use practices that affect Great Lakes wetlands
  • Make decisions and recognize personal priorities with regard to wetlands
  • Describe some of the economic factors that often drive land use

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Trees on the Move

This activity set helps students examine the climate niches of the sugar maple Acer saccharum and the Ohio buckeye Aesculus glabra, and see how some global climate models predict those niches are likely to change. We will observe examples of how plants migrate, and predict some possible impacts on the North American economy and culture as maple and buckeye ranges shift. Finally, examination of research on tree seed germination offers insight on one way temperature affects trees.

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