New York Sea Grant announced Great Lakes literacy specialist Nate Drag and teachers from the North Tonawanda, Palmyra-Macedon and Horseheads school districts who participated in the shipboard science workshop aboard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Research Vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian on Lake Ontario in 2023 will speak at the Nov. 3-6 Science Teachers Association of New York State Conference in Syracuse.
A press release stated, “The Shipboard Science Workshop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 15 teachers from across the Great Lakes states to join with federal and academic researchers for one week aboard an EPA R/V on one of the five Great Lakes.”
While aboard ship and in-post-trip meetings, Drag worked with the following teachers to transfer their shipboard experiences into classroom curriculum, lesson plans, and activities that they will demonstrate at the November science teachers conference:
•Melissa Elliott, who teaches biology in an Integrated Co-Teaching classroom and through a program for at-risk high school students in the North Tonawanda School District;
•Joseph Perry of the Palmyra-Macedon School District and the 2023 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher for New York State designated by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers; and
•Christy Pratt, who teaches a full range of science from astronomy, earth and general science to historical geology, forensic science, and North American wildlife to students in grades 9 through 12 in the Horseheads Central School District.
"The 2023 Shipboard Science Workshop teachers' cohort for Lake Ontario was an exceptionally motivated group, readily and easily joining in all the hands-on on-deck and laboratory learning activities,” Drag said. “This Science Teachers Association of New York State conference is a welcome opportunity for three of the teachers participating in the 2023 workshop to share their experiences to spark interest in their colleagues to apply for a future shipboard workshop.”
The shipboard science workshop rotates to each Great Lake on a five-year schedule. Fifteen teachers are selected for the workshop each year through a juried application process. Teachers from New York are eligible to apply in any year.
New York Sea Grant (www.nyseagrant.org), a cooperative program of Cornell University, the State University of New York, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program, leads the Lake Ontario Shipboard Science Workshop in cooperation with the Center for Great Lakes Literacy (www.cgll.org). The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, through an interagency agreement by the U.S. EPA, NOAA and the National Sea Grant Office, provided funding for the 2023 shipboard science workshop. Learn more at https://www.cgll.org/education/professional-learning/r-v-lake-guardian/
The press release stated, “The Science Teachers Association of New York State is New York's oldest and most respected professional organization of science educators with members teaching from pre-K to university and informal science programs.” Learn more at stanys.org.
North Tonawanda teacher Melissa Elliott (Photo courtesy of Melissa Elliott)