Become a coastal steward by learning more about Michigan’s coastal and Great Lakes issues or incorporating Great Lakes education content into your programs. From hands-on cruises and camps, to classroom publications and online resources about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Michigan Sea Grant’s education program supports science education and stewardship.

The MSG education team, including Extension educators and communications specialists at MSU and UM, support formal and non-formal educators by helping youth and adults learn about the Great Lakes and oceans. Michigan Sea Grant’s formal education efforts focus on elementary to university educators and students.

Sea Grant research teams support graduate student research assistants. Sea Grant also promotes a number of fellowships and supports work-study students, as well as recent graduates through special grant projects.

Supporting Great Lakes Literacy

Michigan Sea Grant promotes Great Lakes literacy in partnership with the Michigan Science Teacher’s Association, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the regional Center for Great Lakes Literacy, the NOAA Thunder Bay National Marina Sanctuary, the National Park Service, as well as other universities and organizations.

MSU Extension Educators support camps, cruises and collaborative programs in several regions of the state, focusing on fourth grade through high school students and educators.

Michigan Sea Grant Communications and Education Services produces curriculum resources, publications and other tools to provide a rich geographic context that allows students and citizens to gain a better understanding of how they are connected to the Great Lakes.

Supporting Educators

MSG facilitates teacher participation in professional development and interact with scientists. New curriculum content developed are tested in the classroom. Educator-leaders in turn coach new educators on how to incorporate Great Lakes science in the classroom.

MSG reaches a variety of formal and non-formal educators, both in-person during week-long, hands-on experiences and online, engaging with tools and resources. MSG is committed to educators through the Michigan Science Teachers Association and other efforts.

Place-Based Education

MSG supports statewide efforts to increase stewardship of Great Lakes natural resources by promoting place-based education, a learning strategy to engage youth and adults in learning about natural resources.

Great Lakes Education Program

  • The Great Lakes Education Program, supported by MSU Extension, introduces fourth-grade students to the unique features of the Great Lakes through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience.

Summer Discovery Cruises

  • Interested in exploring Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair? Don’t miss the boat! Participants learn about lighthouses, shipwrecks, history, as well as fish and water quality. Choose from more than 20 cruise themes.

Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI)

  • MSG co-leads the northeast GLSI and provides support for the additional eight GLSI hubs in Michigan. MSG and partners facilitate school-community partnerships to support collaborative student-driven projects that extend the classroom into the natural and cultural landscape of Northeast Michigan.
  • The regional Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, supported by MSU Extension, is helping build the environmental stewards of tomorrow.
  • In partnership with schools and community members, students conduct projects that focus on natural resources and local community improvements. This effort is part of a statewide Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative program, supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.
  • Place Based Education Report (PDF)

NOAA B-Wet in Michigan

  • MSG is leading three of the five B-WET (Bay Watershed Education and Training) projects in Michigan and is assisting with teacher training efforts in the Great Lakes region.

Curriculum Resources

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Resources

Teaching Great Lakes Science

  • Ready-to-use STEM lessons and data sets about climate and weather, water quality, fish and fish habitat, beach health and more.
  • By offering data from NOAA and other scientists, Teaching Great Lakes Science promotes students summarizing knowledge, analyzing data and evaluating findings about Great Lakes science, technology, engineering and math.

Great Lakes FieldScope

  • A dynamic GIS mapping, analysis, and collaboration tool, Great Lakes FieldScope is used by educators, students and volunteers citizens to investigate real-world issues.
  • Explore data layers, such as rivers and streams, watershed boundaries, water depth, political boundaries, elevation and land cover.
  • Upload field data, including quantitative measurements, photos and field notes.
  • Great Lakes FieldScope is made possible by Michigan Sea Grant, National Geographic Education, the Great Lakes Observing System and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

  • The CGLL fosters Great Lakes stewardship by providing hands-on experience, educational resources, and networking opportunities for an engaged community of educators, scientists, and citizens. This community collaborates to create place-based, inquiry driven curriculum for incorporation in Great Lakes area schools to increase Great Lakes literacy.


  • Also see the MSG Bookstore for maps, books, posters and other educational materials.

Camps and Competition

4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources

  • The 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources camp is designed to stimulate interest in the Great Lakes and help students understand their role in protecting our vital freshwater resources. MSG has supported this effort since 1983.

Life of Lake Superior Youth Program

  • This free program, supported by MSU Extension, offers local youth opportunities to experience different ways Lake Superior impacts their lives. The program brings children aged 9 to 14 and adults together to explore their community and Great Lakes resources.

National Ocean Science Bowl – Great Lakes Bowl

  • The Great Lakes Bowl is part of a national academic competition. Teams of high school students compete in matches that feature quiz-bowl style rounds and challenge questions that test a team’s ocean and Great Lakes knowledge.
  • Michigan Sea Grant and the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment host this annual event. Become a coach and lead a team to victory.

Featured Programs

Educational Resources



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