July 20, 2013

Great Lakes Education Workshop

FT Stone Laboratory, Gibralter Island, Lake Erie, Ohio State University

July 21-27, 2013

A Week of Life Long Learning at the Lake!


An island paradise- photo credit:

Science and Education Log:  An island paradise to many of us conjures images of white sandy beaches, salty ocean waves, the smell of coconut tanning butter, and Jimmy Buffett crooning of boat drinks amidst the sounds of the steel drum and laughing sunbathers.  However, to a science educator, the island of choice is nestled in the western basin of Lake Erie in the great state of Ohio.  Gibralter Island, home of Stone Laboratory, will serve as our paradise and biological field station for the next seven days.  Our mission is to discover the wealth of science education the Great Lakes has to offer.


Stone Laboratory Photo Credit:

The members of our group come from a variety of educational settings.  We are comprised of informal and formal educators, and have participants representing the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  The following blog posts are a cooperative effort among group members to capture the lessons gleaned from our experiences during this workshop.  The blog will also provide participants with a written record to attach to our personal web pages highlighting our professional development experience.

During the upcoming week, we have the opportunity to learn from one of the “greats” at Stone Laboratory.  Dr. Rosanne Fortner has been called “The Teacher of Teachers”, and has received high honors in the field of environmental education. Dr. Fortner’s co-instructor, extraordinary classroom teacher Lyndsey Manzo, will also be leading our class.


Dr Rosanne Fortner- photo credit:

Personal Log:   I recall my first time coming to Stone Lab for a class.  I had no idea what to expect from a one-week professional development experience on an island in the middle of a large lake with Mayflies sharing every inch of my personal space.   I was unaccustomed to fieldwork, and I was shocked by island life!

Recalling these early memories encourages me to reach out to first time “Gib Islanders”.  If this is your first visit to our beloved field station, please know that you will quickly fall in love with Stone Lab and all the faces you will meet.  You will work harder than you have all summer, and by the end of the day, you will drop over from brain exhaustion.  You will learn more than you have ever learned from a professional development experience in your career, and you will make professional connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.

So when you discover that every piece of paper you own is retaining water, the front door of your dorm is covered in jumping spiders, and occasionally a Lake Erie water snake hatchling makes its way up your shower drain, just relax and take comfort in knowing that you are experiencing the best science training Ohio has to offer. Welcome to Great Lakes Education Workshop and welcome to Stone Laboratory! Angela Greene

lake erie watersnake

Lake Erie Water Snake- photo credit: Department of Natural Resources