The  team will explore K-12 Great Lakes education throughout the state.

Michigan is at the heart of the Great Lakes. The lakes are our most notable and treasured natural resource, providing social, economic and environmental benefits to Michigan and the surrounding region. However, when it comes to the Great Lakes, residents’ scientific understanding and stewardship commitment can be lacking.

There is an opportunity to strengthen the role that Great Lakes-related content plays in the state’s education system. Yet, before any changes to the system are suggested, the project team will perform an assessment of the current state of Great Lakes education in Michigan.

Based on that research and stakeholder input, the team will subsequently make recommendations for enhancing K-12 education within the Great Lakes State.

This project, to be carried out over several phases, will compile and analyze existing research and data sets about Great Lakes K-12 learning, and will engage diverse stakeholders in deliberative dialogue around policy options to enhance Great Lakes learning.


Core Research Question:

What influences whether Great Lakes education is present in Michigan’s K-12 schools, and how could innovations to the system help build Great Lakes literacy — while also enhancing traditional academic performance?

Project Objectives

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Facilitate long-term relationships between the research team, agency representatives, stakeholders and K-12 system members and across existing Great Lakes networks.
  • Compile and analyze existing research concerning the relationship of Great Lakes education to K-12 systems in Michigan.
    • That includes impacts on learners’ Great Lakes literacy, academic achievement in traditional subjects like science, math, social studies and language arts.
  • Prepare policy options focused on Great Lakes and K-12 education systems; engage stakeholders to further assess the options.
  • Make final recommendations for policies and innovative governance structures and processes for integration of Great Lakes education into K-12 systems.

To learn more about the project overall, see the project fact sheet (PDF).