For Educators

This page is for:

  • K-12 teachers, educators and administrators

  • Museum, nature center and library staff, and other informal educators

  • The homeschooling community

  • Anyone interested in Great Lakes educational resources

The goal of Wisconsin Sea Grant’s education efforts is to increase Great Lakes literacy across the full spectrum of education—from preschoolers to Ph.D. candidates to public officials.

A Great Lakes-literate person understands the essential principles and fundamental concepts about the characteristics, functioning and value of the Great Lakes; can communicate accurately about the Great Lakes’ influence on systems and people in and beyond his/her watershed; and is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding Great Lakes and watershed resources. Wisconsin Sea Grant advances these literacy principles in formal and informal learning environments throughout the state to produce a diverse and skilled workforce that is engaged and able to address critical Great Lakes needs.

ROVe Pack

New Teaching Tool Focuses on Engineering
Middle-school students can experience the engineering process while learning about Great Lakes maritime history and underwater exploration with this loan-able pack. ROVe (Remotely Operating Vehicles and Engineering) provides a rich learning experience aligned to the engineering principles found in the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). The ROVe Pack provides the lesson plan and equipment necessary for teachers to carry out the engineering design process with their students as they build their own simple ROVs within a regular classroom while using common classroom supplies and a small children’s pool. Read more...

Aquatic Invaders Attack Pack

The Aquatic Invaders Attack Pack is a rucksack filled with materials to help students and other groups learn about Great Lakes aquatic invasive species, the problems they cause, and what can be done about them. Read more...

Great Lakes and Marine Education Resources

Wisconsin Water Library
Established in 1964 by the UW Water Resources Institute, the Wisconsin Water Library (formerly known as the Water Resources Library) is unique among UW-Madison's many libraries for its collection of almost 30,000 volumes of water-related information about the Great Lakes and the waters of Wisconsin. The library includes a curriculum collection, dozens of educational videos, a children's collection, and more than 20 journals and 100 newsletters. Read more...

Shipwrecks as a Learning Tool

Sea Grant has maintained a long and fruitful partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society and its underwater archaeology program. Studying shipwrecks in the Great Lakes provides a springboard to the culture and history of Wisconsin. It is also a good component of the 4th-grade Wisconsin history track.


Lesson Plans and Activities
Spark the minds of students using these Great Lakes-inspired lessons, guided-inquiry projects and data sets. Also, discover general marine education material. Read more...

Lake Sturgeon Bowl

Recommended Reading List from Wisconsin's Water Library
Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow books from the Wisconsin Water Library. Check out these books and get ready for the Lake Sturgeon Bowl. Read more...

Form a Team
Become part of the fun and learning involved with being a Lake Sturgeon Bowl competitor, the regional qualifying forum for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Read more...

Video Provides a Window Into the Lake Sturgeon Bowl
Spend a few minutes with this video and the excitement and competition of the annual Lake Sturgeon Bowl becomes infectious. Read more...

Grandparents University

This Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) “university curriculum” is conducted each summer for young people accompanied by their grandparent(s). Students select a course of study in a subject area and track through a two‐day program of coursework. Wisconsin Sea Grant, in cooperation with the UW Center for Limnology, offers a popular course of study on limnology, including water sampling on a UW research vessel, hands‐on operation of underwater robotic technology, and activities on aquatic invasive species. The course of study concludes with the presentation of diplomas at a graduation ceremony.


Center for Great Lakes Literacy

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy (CGLL) is a collaborative effort led by Sea Grant educators throughout the Great Lakes watershed. The Center fosters informed and responsible decisions that advance basin-wide stewardship by providing hands-on experiences, educational resources and networking opportunities that promote Great Lakes literacy among an engaged community of educators, scientists and citizens. Information on upcoming CGLL events can be found at


Watch James Grandt, our UW Sea Grant Institute systems engineer, build a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) in two minutes flat. The kit is from OpenROV, a group of amateur and professional ROV builders and operators from over 50 countries who have a passion for underwater robots, exploration and adventure. Wisconsin Sea Grant uses the ROV in various outreach and education activities. Read more...

Learn About Starting a Career in Fish and Fisheries
Phil Moy, our former aquatic invasive species and fisheries specialist, presents to students about getting into the career. Read more...

Related Websites

Great Lakes Literacy Principles
Great Lakes literacy is an understanding of the Great Lakes’ influences on society and society's on the Great Lakes.  Read more...

Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes
Learn about field identification, habitats, migration, conservation status, nests and eggs, songs, and issues challenging 20 species of Great Lakes migratory birds.


Visit this website to learn facts about frogs, field identification, take quizzes about frogs, plus more fun activities for kids and teachers. Read more...

Kids and Teachers
Join us for an exciting and informative tour of Great Lakes issues and topics. Sea Grant support enables University of Wisconsin researchers to investigate issues critical to the wise use and protection of the Great Lakes to the benefit of everyone who manages, uses, or simply enjoys these fabulous freshwater seas. Read more...

Underwater Exploration
Take a tour of diving history with the illustrated underwater exploration timeline. Learn diving hand signals, fun quizzes and science experiments. Read more...

Let's Go on a Cruise
An outreach resource for educators, students and members of the community who want to learn about aquatic research on Lake Michigan. Read more...

Sea Grant Research

Recent Advances in Aquatic Sciences Seminar

Carmen Aguilar, UW-Milwaukee, (414) 382-1755,
Russell Cuhel, UW-Milwaukee, (414) 382-1711,

Graduate students in aquatic sciences must be well diversified in their views of aquatic system processes in order to bring appropriate concepts and methods to bear on today's pressing ecosystem problems. Likewise, practicing scientists pursuing Sea Grant-style research leading to stewardship and policy development need to keep up-to-date with developments in aquatic sciences, both marine and freshwater. In addition, cutting edge aquatic science research can be an excellent hook to engage undergraduate students in STEM academic learning and workforce development. Finally, a well-presented public-access scientific forum may be attended by local stakeholders, including those working in the fishing and aquaculture industries, water and wastewater treatment, coastal resource management, public health and many other fields. This seminar will provide such opportunities, leading to far greater learning and critical interpretation development for especially graduate students of aquatic sciences. E/ELWD-06

New Light Under the Surface: Expanding a Successful Underwater Photography Pilot Program Empowering At-Risk Youth to Photograph Wisconsin’s Great Lakes as Therapy, Art and Science

Benjamin Thwaits, Northwest Passage, (715) 416-2323,
Toben LaFrancois, Northland College, (715) 209-7452,

Aquatic systems are fundamental to human life, culture and our future—yet they remain largely a mystery to most people, which presents a challenge in fostering aquatic stewardship. Underwater photography brings these systems, their beauty and their function to life and fosters a sense of connection and stewardship among all who view the photos. Furthermore, experiences in nature are fundamental to healthy human development. We aim to engage at-risk youth in an innovative curriculum that blends science, art and healing through underwater photography experiences. This program will foster learning and stewardship not only among participating youth, but also among the thousands who will experience their photos through statewide exhibitions and other high-impact outreach. This project is an expansion of a highly successful underwater photography pilot program executed in 2014 and 2015. E/ELWD-07

Integrating Climate Change Literacy Into Conservation Education

Nancy Turyk, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-4155,
Cathy Techtmann, UW-Extension, (715) 561-2695,
Katherine Clancy, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-3429,
Shiba Kar, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-2359,
Holly Petrillo, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-4230,
William Fisher, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-2832,
Eric Anderson, UW-Stevens Point, (715) 346-3859,

An array of information exists related to climate change in the United States, including a variety of predictive models and professional interpretations about how the modeling results relate to natural resources. In turn, public and private agencies are developing tools to help guide adaptive strategies for natural resource management. It is challenging for natural resource managers to sift through all of the information and models and guidance to determine which are most appropriate to answer their questions and most relevant to their area of the country or environmental setting. Using the Lake Superior basin as the setting, we will familiarize natural resource professionals and students with current and predicted conditions and how to integrate this information into place-based natural resource management decision-making. Culturally relevant climate literacy and predictive tools will enable resource managers to take action that will lead to increased resiliency of local communities and natural resource systems. E/ELWD-08