Cranbrook Institute of Science Watershed Education Programs

This is a post about Watershed Education-Learn about Water Quality and the Great Lakes! Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS) is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and dedicated to the continuing process of scientific research. At CIS, the “rules” of scientific inquiry are a constant, but the science changes every day. Science changes as researchers explore theories with new knowledge and technology. So here, we’ll review the Cranbrook Institute of Science Watershed Education Programs.

Science changes as scholars make important discoveries. Currently CIS supports on-going scientific research in disciplines including paleontology, geology, and anthropology.

CIS researchers communicate their discoveries to their peers through academic presentations and publications. They will also share them with you through volunteer experiences, exhibits, and programs.

Watershed Education Outreach Programs

Water on the Go! Programs, developed around the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectation Benchmarks for Science and Social Studies, are a part of the Institute’s Water on the Go! educational outreach program.

Water on the Go! programs come to your school to engage students in a fun presentation and hands-on learning. Programs are designed for 5th, 6th, & 7th Grades. Volunteers that are also involved in adult education programs were also actively engaged in developing the programs that use the Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) curriculum developed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

How Are We Using Water

This is a one-hour, hands-on lesson that engages students in learning about the water cycle and water conservation. Through interactive demonstrations and games, students learn about the Great Lakes as a unique, global freshwater system. They will share ways they can help conserve water in their own lives to help keep the Great Lakes GREAT!

The presentation will:

  • Review the hydrologic cycle.
  • Determine the availability and distribution of freshwater as well as saltwater on Earth.
  • Stimulate students to think about their own water use and understand in what way water is crucial to Michigan’s economy and environment that’s threatened, of course, by the ongoing oil business in Michigan.

Living in a Watershed

This is a one-hour, hands-on lesson that engages students in learning about their local watershed. Working together in groups, students build their own watershed models to understand the impact of pollution on water quality. They will learn about the best water management practices to prevent stormwater pollution.

The presentation will:

  • Model the impact of non-point source pollution in a watershed.
  • Use maps to better understand local watersheds and their connection to the environment.
  • Show how individual actions can affect the health of the Great Lakes.

Groundwater Pollution

This is a one-hour presentation using the Envision Groundwater Simulator to demonstrate groundwater flow, soil permeability, and groundwater contamination. Hands-on demonstrations and experiments engage students with the model. Teachers will be happy that students learn about habits and actions they can do to improve local water quality and protect groundwater.

The presentation will:

  • Describe how groundwater is connected to surface water.
  • Explain how groundwater is used in Michigan.
  • Demonstrate in what way different activities on the land may contaminate our groundwater or reduce the availability of groundwater.

Comcast Museum Without Walls

In coordination with a grant from the Comcast Foundation, the Institute of Science created a new and engaging museum experience. Southeast Michigan innovation industries were also involved in developing the used technology.  The Comcast Museum Without Walls initiative uses new digital content and associated resources that can be accessed online and over the Institute’s building-wide high-speed wireless network using smartphones, pad devices, and laptops.

Digital content supports each visitor’s unique on-site experience and provides them with digital resources for use after they depart in an effort to reinforce learning and extend their museum experience. Digital content and associated resources include:

  • Building maps, detailed exhibition guides, topical curriculum resources and State of Michigan learning benchmarks (sorted by exhibit topic) for teachers;
  • QR codes that link visitors to vetted databases, videos, news articles and content directly related to key contemporary themes reflected in our exhibitions (e.g., global climate change, biodiversity);
  • Internet-based content for students to use before, during and after their visit that includes orientation videos, extended exhibition labels, videos that support complex exhibition content, homework resources sorted by content, and techniques for applying digital technology and accessing digital content in other settings;
  • Images, video, and data on Institute objects and specimens not currently on display;
  • Survey and feedback resources for the Institute;

Specifically, parents will find guides for touring the museum with their children, reading lists organized by age or grade level and museum scavenger hunts. Teachers are able to access quizzes with answer keys, pre/post visit online surveys and tests, and classroom projects and assignments that complement their museum visit. To inform the public about all these developments, the best Michigan digital marketing tools are used to make the Comcast Museum Without Walls a great success.

All visitors have access to real-time digital content and online exhibits that complement our traveling exhibits or other collections items. By having their learning and digital literacy development occur in a museum setting (an environment not traditionally known for digitally connecting with visitors), the Institute’s visitors will begin to think differently about how their place-based experiences can and should be extended after they leave a particular venue — museum or otherwise. As a result, visitors will truly start to think and act as “digital citizens.”

Comcast Museum Without Walls uses ID tags emblazoned with a QR Code. By scanning the QR Code with your smartphone or slate computer, you will be taken to more in-depth information regarding the particular item or exhibit you’re viewing.

Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304, Phone: 248-645-3200