Education Summit
Brainstorming about curriculum 
Brainstorming about curriculum, educators list best practices, limits and strategies for sustaining and institutionalizing GL teaching materials
Great Lakes Education Summit participants outside Maumee Bay State Park Lodge]]For two golden days at Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, a group of research scientists and educators from five years of COSEE Great Lakes (GL) programs gathered for a Great Lakes Education Summit. Planned into the original COSEE GL proposal as a culminating event, the Summit was designed to celebrate the successes of our Center and document best practices on which to build.

 Great Lakes Education Summit participants outside Maumee Bay State Park Lodge
Great Lakes Education Summit participants outside Maumee Bay State Park Lodge
Following staff and Advisory Committee meetings on September 23, leaders were joined by research scientists and formal and informal educators selected for their exemplary role in GL programs. Advisors reported to the gathering on their recommendations for building on COSEE beginnings, and evaluator Howard Walters reviewed results of innovative measures of conceptual growth among educators participating in professional development programs.

Panel discussions comprised of selected educators and scientists revealed perceptions of participant involvement in COSEE GL and the personal and professional benefits of their interactions. Scientists expressed appreciation for the opportunities to enhance their capability to engage in educational outreach to achieve broader impact, and educators described how their learning alongside researchers in workshops had resulted in changes in their curriculum, enhanced leadership opportunities, and plans for sharing their learning with others.

The evening was spent in a reception to celebrate COSEE and recognize key program partners, including the EPA scientists, who led hypothesis-based workshops aboard the R/V Lake Guardian each summer, as well as key educators making a difference with their GL/ocean experiences.

Lundie Spence from COSEE South East, our partner in teacher exchanges and in growing our program, provided the national COSEE perspective to start our morning’s work on September 24. Her enthusiasm encouraged the work to come in documenting GL contributions to those national efforts. The remainder of our day was spent in development of white papers on five topics that have been the focus of GL efforts: professional development for scientists and educators, collaborative engagement among those groups, curriculum, informal education, and uses of technology in outreach. Drafts of those papers are in progress, with an eye toward publication of some and production of a program monograph later in 2010.

In all, the GL Education Summit brought participants an excellent, upbeat experience to culminate their COSEE involvement. The work of Great Lakes and ocean education in the region has momentum and confidence to move forward into new arenas!

COSEE GL staff in a celebratory mood 
COSEE GL staff in a celebratory mood! From left, back row: Jim Lubner [WI],
Steve Stewart [MI], Bruce Munson [MN], Howard Walters [OH]; front row: Lyndsey Manzo [OH], Rosanne Fortner [OH], Cindy Hagley [MN], Terri Hallesy [IL-IN],
Marti Martz [PA], Robin Goettel [IL-IN], Helen Domske [NY]