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Annual Lake Huron Educator Institute Takes Place in Au Gres

On Monday, July 17th until Wednesday, July 19th, 21 educators from around northeast Michigan gathered in Au Gres for the Lake Huron Place–Based Stewardship Education Teacher Summer Institute.

Place-based learning is a form of education where students explore their surroundings. The event helps educators plan their education around this philosophy.

“I haven’t ever been to Au Gres schools before, and so to see what they were doing with their green infrastructure projects and really learn about how we could apply that to our districts was really interesting and fascinating, and I think all districts in the area have a lot to learn from Au Gres,” said Liz Thomson, a science teacher at Alcona High School.

All the educators have a chance to learn from each other. Things they’ve taught in the past that were effective, and maybe some things that weren’t so effective.

“You’re going in with a plan of how you’re going to solve a problem, and then you kind of have to reinvent it when things don’t go the way you expected them to, or maybe a new problem arose when you were trying to solve the first problem, so now you have to change kind of what you’re attempting to solve,” said Thomson.

When educators get together for an event like this, they learn so many new things that they can apply to their own classrooms and places of education.

“For me, I think about what are the values of Alcona County and what are the values of my students, and then I try to figure out a way to infuse that within the projects that we teach within science, and that becomes more of the driving factor of what projects we kind of steer towards our students and what we kind of offer them, is what is the need of the community and what are the needs of the students?” said Thomson.

All educators received a $500 stipend from the center for great lakes literacy to support their education efforts.