Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Detroit River/Lake Erie Trip
We started our day using microscopes looking at tiny creatures who live in the marshlands.  

Found!  A scud!  Totally cool to see these creatures under the microscope! 
What's in a MARSH!?

This is a LOTUS FLOWER LEAF.  Amazing.

Lotus Flower SEED POD.  Whoa.  

The MUSKY is quite the fish.  He eats just about anything he wants.

The mink.  Rarely seen, but all over the marshlands.

Facing our fears!  Bravo!  

Paul, who has worked at Lake Erie Metropark for nearly 25 years, guides us through the amazing wonders of the FRESHWATER COASTAL MARSHLANDS.  Do you know the difference between a SWAMP and a MARSH?  Swamps have hard wood trees growing in the water, whereas marshes have soft wood that grows.  Totally cool.  They learned about the animals who live in the marshes and were able to pet a fox snake.  Please ask them questions about what they learned from Paul! 

We had a bit of bad news after we ate lunch.  Sadly, the winds were so high that we were unable to go out on the boat.  We were still able to board the boat and do experiments as well. They learned about oxygen levels in the water, how long plastics take to decompose (400 years!), and what animals call the area home. 
Water Tour

What a wonderful day!  Yay!  We had SO.  MUCH.  FUN.  We also learned a lot, which makes the day even better.  First stop:  Loch Alpine.  This is a small community located on the Huron River that serves 500 homes.  The sewage waste plant is totally cool.  They use plastic honeycomb shapes to help filter their water. 
Second stop:  Baselake sewage treatment plant.  This is a community farther west that serves around 1,200 homes.  They use a lagoon system to clean the water.  It’s quite amazing.  With sand, lagoons, and time, the water is cleaned and ready to use again in 100 days.  Truly cool. 
LUNCH!  We ate lunch at the Dexter Huron Metropark.  If you haven’t visited the area metroparks lately, you should.  Next up:  Barton Dam.  This is one of my favorite parts of our trip.  It’s such a gorgeous part of our city and using the power of water to create electricity is totally cool. 

Thanks for coming!

Hi Dave!

Last stop:  Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant!  As it turns out, we have one of the most amazing water treatment plants EVER.  Kids learned about the process of how their water is filtered and how complex of a process it really is.  This field trip is a gem.  The only thing better than the field trip is our guide Dave Szczygiel.  Dave is an absolute treasure.  He is THAT guy, you know, the one you go to when you have a question about ANYTHING.  He’s an amazing educator and has a fabulous rapport with the kids.  They love him.  The bus becomes part of our classroom on this trip and Dave teaches them about such a wide variety things during our day.  Thanks Dave!

Learning from Dave Szczygiel at every moment of our trip!