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Target Inquiry Teachers at AWRI for Summer 2013

Target Inquiry (TI) is a NSF-funded 2½-year program designed to meet the professional development needs of middle and high school science teachers for developing an inquiry-based science classroom. Chemistry faculty member Deborah Herrington is the principal investigator overseeing the implementation of the TI program at GVSU.  The TI program is designed to 1) provide teacher participants with an authentic science laboratory research experience, and 2) facilitate the integration of their research experience into their classroom through the design, implementation, and evaluation of inquiry-based curriculum.

Four TI teachers from West Michigan worked with the Annis Water Resources Institute this summer as part of their research experience:

Joe Lutz is a Physics teacher at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven Area Public Schools.  His project with Rick Rediske involves working on the development of a cost effective biosand filter prototype, which can be built from locally sourced parts in developing countries.  Biosand filters combat the leading cause of death and disease in the developing world by reducing parasites, bacteria and viruses found in contaminated water. Joe will be collecting data and monitoring the efficacy of the prototype in reducing E. coli concentrations in contaminated waters.   

Ashley Meyer is a Middle School Science teacher from South Haven Public Schools.   Her TI project with Bopi Biddanda involves preparing a literature review on climate change over annual to millennial scales; conducting research on using time-series data from the Muskegon Lake Observatory to understand lake dynamics; and developing a lesson plan about what time-series environmental data can tell us about climate change and lake ecosystems.

Kevin Sylvester is an 8th grade Science teacher at Lakeshore Middle School in Grand Haven Area Public Schools. His project with Ryan Thum involves testing the feasibility of using environmental DNA from water samples for early identification of invasive aquatic plants.

Jennifer Woods teaches Environmental and Veterinary Sciences to 11th and 12th graders at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center.  Her project is studying the downstream drift of benthic macroinvertebrates in streams.  Ultimately, her work is aimed at testing the predications of a mathematical model with field data.  Her project is a collaboration with other students (Jennifer Waller, an AWRI summer intern), faculty (both Carl Ruetz and Jim McNair) and postdoc (Dave Janetski).

**Article and photo courtesy of the Annis Water Resources Institute.


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