GLSI convention provides chance to explore STEM learning

ALPENA – Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative members and community partners explored science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities through place-based watershed exploration during a convention at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Tuesday.

“There was an energy in the room that reflected an excitement and readiness to collaborate on upcoming projects to engage students in locally relevant stewardship opportunities,” program coordinator Daniel Moffatt said. “This annual gathering is really a launching pad for many projects and partnerships that will continue in the spring.’

Over 50 educators and community partners representing more than 24 community organizations came together to focus on STEM learning connections through place-based education, and looked back on the accomplishments of NE MI GLSI in 2013.

Over the last year, the network served over 30 schools, supported 118 educaters and engaged 6,010 youth in stewardship education experiences, several of which were recently highlighted in a video documenary that can be seen on NE MI GLSI’s website. These education strategies offered opportunities to enhance school and student learning academically through hands-on learning in the context of the community.

“Hands-on education gives students the experience of applying science, math, english and history to real-world projects that connect them to their community, while also giving them a window into how they can become better citizens and stewards of their environment,” Jacob DeWitt said, Huron Pines AmeriCorps member and Education Coordinator with NE MI GLSI.

Community partners helped to grow stewardship opportunities along with teachers who shared ideas on how the projects their students were involved in helped to form curriculum connections.

“When students participate in community-based projects, it instills in them an appreciation for the uniqueness of their environments, both natural and built,” Moffatt said. “It also exposes them to the array of career and volunteer opportunities that exist within their community.”

For more information on NE MI GLSI, visit the website at, or contact program coordinator Daniel Moffatt at 356-8805 ex. 41.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.