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Lake Erie Field Station
The Kelleys Island School, home of the Lake Erie Field Station at Kelleys Island, has seen its second successful June academic season as a STEM Bridge Program. This year’s Jr-Sr High curriculum was as popular as last years, adding Limnology (Study of In-Land Water Systems) and Forensics to the very popular Entomology (Bugs) course. Each course was one week long, immersing its students in field course work morning, noon and night. And all the courses were subject to Ohio’s transferable Flex Credit Program. The subject matter experts were Ohio State PHD’s and PHD candidates, the program was managed by Columbus’ PAST Foundation (Partnering Anthropology with Science and Technology) and was designed and sponsored by the Kelleys Island School Board.
Each course was full, averaging 18 pupils per class and each had a wait list. Of the 60 available seats, 25 were filled by children of Island families; double the number of 2012 Island seats. For these families, it’s a free experience. For all others, it’s a very reasonable fee-based educational island adventure.
The number of participating schools has also doubled since last year, including the following: North Olmstead, Danbury, Lorain County Early College High School, Metro School Early College High School, New Albany, Lakota, Granville, Gesa of Toledo, Gahanna, and Hampton High in Pittsburgh. For a complete list of the involved schools, as well as which programs each attended, click the diagram, below. On Monday morning, very few of these students knew one another; by “lights out” Monday night, they knew each other’s personal histories; by Tuesday morning, they were teammates; and by Saturday morning, they were signing each other’s T-Shirts, gathering cell-phone numbers and even shedding a few tears at the departure ferry.
Besides the student experience, Thursday nights offered a 60 to 90 minute Adult Lecture Series on the week’s subject matter presented by the week’s Course Director. The presentations were open to the K.I. Community and general public, free of charge. And finally, on Saturday morning, the final program component was the Presentation of Learning where students showcased their learning in hands-on exhibits or informative expositions. These were family appropriate activities and, again, the Community and the general public were welcome, free of charge.
What’s made the program much more effective and comfortable was the addition of six showers and two dormitories to the school building, allowing for a much more concentrated and well planned program. These 2013 enhancements, along with take-out dinners from participating island restaurants, made for improved efficiencies, especially for the evening sessions. Thanks to the following Island restaurants for helping to make this happen: The Village Pump, Captain’s Corner, Bag the Moon, Caddy Shack and the Casino. And double thanks to the Casino for its help in transporting the students around the island to their various field study locations. The Field Station is no longer just a School District program, it’s rapidly becoming a Village Program.
In 2014, efficient island transportation will no longer be a challenge. Columbus State Community College gifted five excellent Golf Carts, a $30,000 gift. The village’s Tom McNeal offered to pick them up at the college, as well as to make them “road ready.” Thanks to CSCC for their generous gift. Besides the Field Station’s logo, each of the carts will sport a brass CSCC appreciation plaque. And, of course, thanks to Tom for his time and expertise.
Thanks also to the PAST Foundation whose generous scholarships have kept the fee structure reasonable and accessible to a variety of mainland school districts. PAST’s help and cooperation in the development, presentation and management has been indispensable. 2014 Field Station Registration for the June 2014 Program will be available in November 2013 through the Kelleys Island School web site, http://www.kelleys.k12.oh.us.
Pete Legere-President, Kelleys Island School Board, on behalf of the Board: Kim McNeal, Kim Watson, Fred Walcot and Charlie Burns.
Saturday Morning Student Presentations
Thursday Evening Adult Lecture Series
Click to enlarge
528 Division Street Kelleys Island, OH 43438 (419) 746-2730