Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center
Lake Portal Program
Innovative S.T.E.M. Educational Experience Onboard a Research Vessel
Lakes and ponds are a part of our landscape - we are used to seeing their surface and the shores around them, but what lies beneath? What is happening down in Jacques Cousteau's "Silent World?" Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center is excited to offer the Lake Portal program to help answer that question for 4th grade - College students, civic groups, and others.
Students assume the role of scientists in this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) based program.
Using a boat specifically outfitted and equipped for science, we will explore Allison Lake. Using a variety of sampling methods the goal of our new program is to open a window in the surface of the many lakes and ponds in our area to explore this world in a way usually reserved for large ocean-going vessels in a coastal setting. Now, at Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, we will open up that opportunity to students and others whose location inland and economics often puts that experience out of reach.
In this program, students will experience two parts: 1) onboard the boat students will learn about the lake, thermocline, watershed, and aquatic life. Using Mr. Limpitt, our underwater camera, students have an opportunity to see what is on the bottom of the lake....fish, turtles, plant life, etc. 2) on the island, using handouts , for reference students look through debris brought up from the lake edge and view microinverebrates and other items found. Microscopes are available for looking a little closer.
In this floating classroom, aquatic science instructors guide participants in the use of sampling equipment and instruments to compile water quality data from Allison Lake. Also, water quality testing is also conducted for pH, nitrates, nitrites, dissolved oxygen, and phosphates.
The maximum number of students onboard the boat is 15 at a time.
Various options can be offered for larger groups.