Champion students collecting data on Great Lakes

CHAMPION — More than 57 Champion students participated in a hands-on science learning experience, spending four days this spring traveling to three of the five Great Lakes.

David Murduck, fifth-grade science teacher at Champion Middle School, said students collected data at Old Woman Creek National Estuary on Lake Erie and Sleeping Bears National Seashore on Lake Michigan.

Students also collected data as scientists aboard the research schooners R/V Inland Seas and R/V Manitou on Lake Michigan.

Murduck said the group also visited the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, stopped at Lake Huron, toured the state of Michigan Platte River Fish Hatchery and observed birding week at Maumee State Park near Toledo.

“For most, the highlights of the trip were sailing on the large research schooners and climbing the largest moving sand dunes in the United States at Sleeping Bear National Seashore,” he said.

Students shared their experiences with the Champion Board of Education noting they spent several hours aboard boats on the Great Lakes collecting data and looking for quagga and zebra mussels.

“We were able to see some beautiful areas and many bird species. It was an amazing trip,” Murduck said.

Chris Plott, eighth grade, said, “I gained a lot more knowledge than I already knew about the Great Lakes and the wildlife there. That was the first time we were on a boat to collect samples,” he said,

Eighth-grader Evan Knepper said he learned about zebra mussels and how they are an invasive species to this area.

Carissa Murduck, eighth grade from Grand Valley, said, “We were able to experience things in the outdoors that we have not the opportunity in the past to do. I learned so much “

She said she liked looking for data and species and also walking on the sand dunes.