New Website Provides Educators with Great Lakes Teaching Tools | Ohio Sea Grant

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New Website Provides Educators with Great Lakes Teaching Tools

12:00 pm, Tue February 1, 2011 –

A new online tool created by Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes delivers resources to help educators from around the region better integrate Great Lakes science into their classrooms. Launched this past fall, the Great Lakes Literacy Principles website at http://:“”: links teaching resources with each of the eight newly created Great Lakes Literacy Principles.

"The website pulls together important resources for educators and scientists who are using and teaching these principles," explains Dr. Rosanne Fortner, director of COSEE Great Lakes and former associate director of Ohio Sea Grant’s Stone Laboratory. "A scientist can find out how his or her research fits into curriculum for outreach purposes and a teacher can find out where the education standards match the literacy principles."

COSEE Great Lakes created the Great Lakes Literacy Principles using the Ocean Literacy Principles as its framework and with the assistance from Lake Erie Partnership, a partnership among four Ohio agencies, which had started to develop the Lake Erie Literacy Principles. COSEE California, a key organization fostering Ocean Literacy, provided support.

"We attempted to include the Great Lakes in the Ocean Literacy Principles, but it seemed like that would trivialize the lakes," Fortner says. "Rather than downplay the lakes, we decided to go the route of taking each Ocean Literacy Principle and translating it to a Great Lakes context."

With the eight principles finalized last summer, COSEE Great Lakes created supplemental educational materials, such as lesson plans, online presentations, and actual lake data, to help teachers incorporate the Great Lakes into their lesson plans.

"Scientists use the principles to demonstrate how their research is key to the public’s understanding of the Great Lakes," Fortner says. "And teachers have the principles as a reminder that they can teach the topics that are already in the curriculum in a Great Lakes context."

Started in 2005 and funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, COSEE Great Lakes with its network of Great Lakes educators has been successful in fostering scientist-educator collaboration to place the Great Lakes in schools’ curricula. COSEE Great Lakes also has hosted workshops based on land and on a research vessel to allow educators to work alongside scientists and participate in Great Lakes research first-hand. For more information about COSEE Great Lakes, visit

To download a brochure about the literacy principles or view resources related to the principles, go to . During February, the Great Lakes Information Network is featuring the website as its site of the month.

To learn more about the formation of the Great Lakes Literacy Principles, visit “”:../../_documents/twineline/v32i3.pdf%20 .


Rosanne Fortner, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Great Lakes, Director:
910-278-6754, .

ARTICLE TITLE: New Website Provides Educators with Great Lakes Teaching Tools PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Tue February 1, 2011 | MODIFIED: 1:12 pm, Tue April 28, 2015
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Matthew Forte
Authored By: Matthew Forte
Associate Editor, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Matthew Forte is a lifelong fan of U.S. history. When he isn’t renovating his house or playing with his two infant sons, he is reading history books or substitute teaching.