Penn Science Students Get “Schoolship” Experience

Posted on June 5, 2024

After months of planning, on Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20, Penn High School teachers Mr. Steven Sanders (Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science) and Mrs. Amy Tiebout (Project Lead the Way Biomed and AP Biology) drove 27 students to Suttons Bay, Michigan for a once in a lifetime science experience. Click to see the photo gallery below.

Through partnership with the Inland Seas Education Association, students were able to participate in a four-hour long science sailboat voyage on Suttons Bay using professional limnology equipment along with analyzing data previously collected. While on the sailboat, groups of students worked with professionals to focus on specific research topics while gaining skills in science sampling procedures. After all of the sampling and data collection, students shared their newly acquired knowledge with other groups to help reinforce their new knowledge to make this a very educational experience. 

In addition to the “Schoolship” experience, students were able to visit Harbor Bay Beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Sunday evening to enjoy sunset in nature and explore the town of Suttons Bay on Monday morning. The work of Mr. Sanders and Mrs.Tiebout made this trip much more accessible and affordable for students and their families. Mr. Sanders spent a week of his summer during 2023 getting professional development from Inland Seas that reduced the cost to families of the program by $825 and the cost of accommodations by $840. He also wrote a PTO grant to help cover miscellaneous expenses on the trip by $500. Therefore, families were only responsible for $10 of this trip because of all Mr. Sanders did in preparation. 

Students left this experience with a greater appreciation for science as a force for good in the world by directly connecting the science concepts from the classroom and research on the boat with the importance of stewardship for our shared environmental resources. All of this helps students better understand what it means to “Take Care of this Place.”

Last Modified June 5, 2024