Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2009

Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Teacher Institute

By Tim Sweet


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The 1,000 foot American Integrity enters ...
Photo by: Tim Sweet

Last July I had the good fortune to attend the Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Teacher Institute held in Duluth, Minnesota. Participants toured the Duluth-Superior harbor; visited grain, coal, and taconite port terminals; walked through a ship-building yard, an iron ore mine, and Split Rock Lighthouse; witnessed ongoing ballast water treatment research; and learned more about the importance of maritime transportation throughout the Great Lakes region.

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An adventurous teacher climbs a four-story ladder ...
Photo by: Tim Sweet

The purpose of the Institute was to have teachers apply this knowledge foundation to assist them in the development and implementation of standards-based lessons. These lessons have been incorporated into a Great Lakes Maritime Educators Guide that will be distributed throughout the Great Lakes states and posted on the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI) website.

Excellent presenters and instructors helped to make this one of the best college courses I ever attended. Personal highlights from the week included the opportunity to board the American Integrity, a 1,000-footer that was in Superior at the Midwest Energy terminal. We were allowed to board the vessel as it was taking on 60,000 tons of coal. One man is able to load the entire ship in about eight hours with the aid of a computer operated conveyor system.

Some members of the Duluth Coast Guard provided another unique experience to the group when they took us out into the harbor on a 47-foot search and rescue vessel.

Since returning to my school district, I have obtained a Great Lakes Teaching Chest filled with materials that I will be sharing with Kindergarten — 8th Grade teachers. These materials will be cataloged in our elementary school library for teachers to use with their students throughout the district.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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