by: Tyler Buitenwerf, Middle School Science Teacher
On September 20, 17 students from Creative Technologies Academy traveled to Suttons Bay to sail aboard Inland Seas, an educational research vessel run by the Schoolship program. The trip was sponsored by George Wagoner and Diana Glass, grandparents of CTA student, Lily Fulkerson, and they accompanied their granddaughter, her classmates, and teachers Ashley Moon and Tyler Buitenwerf on their half day sail aboard a traditionally rigged schooner where the group had the opportunity to become Great Lakes scientists and sailors for the afternoon.
The students arrived at the dock and were given the important instructions about what it means to be a sailor on the Great Lakes. They were taught the parts of the ship along with the basic commands that are necessary for a safe and fun trip. When asked why this was important student Dawson Ingersoll replied, “We learned the communications that you have to know on a boat.”
Shortly after boarding Inland Seas students were greeted with a deafening blast of the air horn that meant the ship had left the dock. The students immediately began their time as research scientists. They were allowed the opportunity to collect samples from Suttons Bay that included fish, water, zooplankton and sediment samples. “We got to learn all the names of the tools and what they do.” said Brianne Calkins about getting to do hands on science.
Once all the samples were collected and recorded in the students’ logs it was time for the students to raise the anchor so they could begin sailing. With a call of “Heave” and a response of “Ho” the anchor was pulled off the bottom of the bay. The sails were raised and the Inland Seas was now sailing. “I liked it when we got to put the sails up,” remarked student Marjorie Starr.
The crew of Inland Seas spent the next one and a half hours rotating students through various learning stations where the students were taught seamanship and allowed the opportunity to examine the many samples that were collected earlier in the day. Seamanship was clearly the favorite of many students. Charles Wortz, another CTA student, voiced his enjoyment by saying, “. . . love that they let us steer and control the boat.”
Much to the dismay of the students the sails were lowered and the Inland Seas returned to dock for the crew and students to disembark. The trip was well summarized by Mya Turoski when asked why she enjoyed the trip. “I liked how they had one on one groups with the students and showed us how FUN science and sailing can be.”