LSSI News & Events


10th Annual Lake Superior Water Festival Goes Virtual This Week ~ March 23-25!

Twenty-one teachers and their nearly 400 students in grades 4-8 have registered to attend one or more of the nine different presentations that will be offered over the 3-day Water Festival, March 23-25.

These 21 classes hail from 12 schools in the western UP in Houghton, Baraga, and Gogebic Counties (EB Holman, Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary, Sacred Heart School, Dollar Bay Elementary, Chassell Elementary, CLK Elementary, Wakefield-Marinesco Elementary, Arvon School, Washington Middle School, L'Anse Middle School, Watersmeet Junior High, and Copper Country Christian Middle/High School).

Teachers were able to select up to six 45-minute sessions to attend at 10 am and 2 pm (Eastern time) on March 23, 24, & 25. All sessions are being held virtually. Not all sessions are available on all days or at all times.

The sessions, presenters, and a short description are listed below. Link to the schedule to see the times and dates when each session is offered: CLICK HERE

"Become a Sooper Yooper" with Mark Newman. Investigate the challenge of ridding the Great Lakes of invasive species (and other environmental pollution battles) with Mark Newman, author of the "Sooper Yooper: Environmental Defender of Lake Superior".

"Great Lakes Freshwater Feasts!" with Lauren Jescovich, Extension Educator in Fisheries & Aquaculture from Michigan Sea Grant. Find out why eating local fish is good for you, and how you can get fish from recreational fishing, aquaculture, or commercial fisheries. Learn how to cook your fish!

"US Coast Guard to the Rescue!" will include a tour of the Dollar Bay station and share a few of their search & rescue operations.

"Living on the Edge: Saving Shorelines" with Jill Fisher & Nick Potter from the Keweenaw Land Trust. Lots of exciting things are happening where land & water meet! Explore the importance of shoreline habitats and how shorelines provide corridors for people, animals, and currents.

"How Do Our Food Choices Affect the Earth?" with MTU Sustainability House. When is a hamburger not a hamburger? When you look at its ingredients--find out about the grass, water, petroleum, fertilizers, and more that go into producing our food and how this affects our planet.

"Striving for Zero-Waste" with students from the MTU Sustainability House. Learn how to reduce the amount of waste you produce through interactive games.

"Monitoring Water Quality with Dragonflies!" with Park Ranger Zach Gostlin and Education Intern Hailey Burley, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Discover how mercury, a toxic pollutant that can harm humans and wildlife, enters our rivers and lakes, then moves through the food web. How do we know it's there? What can we do to stop it?

“Forests’ Importance to Watersheds: Trout Are Made of Trees” with Shanelle Saunders, Conservation Education Coordinator, Ottawa National Forest. Find out why forests are essential to providing the clean water that people and animals need, and what you can do to help protect watersheds.

"We Are Where We Live! Find Out How This Special Place Shapes Us" with Erika Vye, MTU Geosciences Research Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center. What makes our place unique? Explore how geology, Lake Superior, and Indigenous histories are part of our sense of place and who we are.

"The Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource — the Great Lakes!" explains veteran organizer, Joan Chadde, director of the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.

For the past nine years, the Lake Superior Water Festival has been held at the Great Lakes Research Center, for grades 4-8 and grades 9-12 on alternating years.

"In our peak year we had 1100 students attend!" Chadde adds.

"A wide variety of science and engineering topics related to land and water stewardship will be presented," shares Emily Gochis, Western UP MiSTEM director, at the Copper Country ISD.

The 2021 Water Festival is made possible with funding from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium, the Western UP MiSTEM Network, the Great Lakes Research Center, and the Wege Foundation.

The Festival is coordinated by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, with support from MTU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Copper Country Intermediate School District.

The Water Festival would not be possible without the participation of presenters from the Keweenaw Land Trust, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Ottawa National Forest, Michigan State University Extension, students at Michigan Tech's Sustainability House, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Research Center, and Wege Foundation.

For more information, visit the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) webpage: CLICK HERE
and contact: Joan Chadde ( or Lloyd Wescoat at 906-482-4250, Ext.186.