What is the Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network?

Despite living on the shores of a Great Lake, too many people have no emotional nor intellectual connection to Lake Erie. The Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network aims to ensure the long-term health of Lake Erie by broadening access to reliable mechanisms to measure key water quality parameters. The foundation of the strategy is to leverage low-cost monitoring devices and an online data platform to allow citizen scientists of all ages to contribute valuable data to a common database. These data will provide important insights into the nutrient status and long-term health of Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes.

Water quality and habitat analysis are based upon fundamental concepts from the disciplines of biology, geology, chemistry, physics, algebra, computer science, mechanical engineering, social science, and others. The units described below will explore these concepts through the lens of a high school standards-based curriculum that addresses local and regional environmental challenges.

Climate change and haBs

Patrick Creamer, Edward Town HS (NY)

Collen Sliwinski, Fairview HS (OH)

Mike Lovullo, Buffalo Public Schools (NY)

Jim Bader, Case Western Reserve University (OH)

The Climate Change and Harmful Algal Bloom module uncovers the root causes of climate change and harmful algal blooms, investigates the connections and interactions between the two phenomena, and explores potential solutions by citizen scientists.

Ecosystem assessment

Pamela Patterson, Holland HS (NY)

Ashlynn Schindler-Kota, Coder Z (OH)

Kevin Heller, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (AK)

Assessing the health of ecosystems big and small, our relationship to them and what we portray is important. The Ecosystem Assessment module touches on students' environmental identities, the science of environmental protocols, and the art of modifying media to tell a story.

Digital fabrication

Mary Brown, CMSD (OH)

Purnima Cheruvu, CMSD(OH)

Danny Smith, CMSD (OH)

Jacob May, University of Akron (OH)

The Digital Fabrication module exposes students to the idea of computers operating machines that were once manually operated to successfully produce a product. This consists of students learning about the machines and strategies used, their associated safety standards, and the scientific process of solving a real world problem .