The TLA SEOP Grant Applications are now being accepted for the 2020-2021 school year. Information on the application process can be found under: 2020-2021 SEOP Grants Overview
Science Education Outreach Program
The goal of TLA’s Environmental Science Education Outreach Program, which is in its tenth year, is to help cultivate a sense of stewardship of the lakes, streams, and land in young people who will be part of the next generation living within the watersheds of Torch, Bellaire, and Clam Lakes. Our strategy for accomplishing this goal is to work with science teachers and students in the school districts of Central Lake, Bellaire, Kalkaska, and Mancelona.
TLA’s Environmental Science Education Outreach Program is a fundamental part of TLA’s Mission “to provide leadership to preserve, protect, and improve the environmental quality of the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed for all generations with emphasis on Lake Bellaire, Clam Lake, Torch Lake and their tributaries.” By offering supplemental assistance to help local science educators we hope to enrich their environmental science curricula. Science teachers are invited annually to submit a grant application for science materials or experiences that enhance science instruction, but are not within the school district’s budget constraints. This invitation extends to the four school districts within the watersheds of Torch Lake, Clam Lake, and Lake Bellaire. TLA awards as many grants each year as its budget will allow.
This Environmental Science Education Outreach Program was started in 2008, and has provided the following items to the four school districts:
- Over 50 field trips, including class field trips to Grass River Natural Area
- 15 Framed maps of the Elk River Chain of Lakes for school libraries
- Over 25 Teachers attended science conferences
- Several memberships in state or national science education organizations
- Nearly 1000 students benefited from subscriptions to science magazines
- 665 Pieces of science equipment placed in classrooms
- 107 Participating teachers received most or all of their Wish-List requests
- Serving thousands of science students – classroom and field trip experiences that enhanced their science curriculum
- Total funding from TLA since 2008: $76,000.
Inland Seas Schoolship Program
In the first year of this program, TLA pledged to annually fund four Inland Seas Education Association’s schoolship excursions; one for each of the four districts within the watersheds of Torch Lake, Lake Bellaire and Clam Lake, i.e. Bellaire, Central Lake, Kalkaska and Mancelona Schools.
TLA and ISEA (Inland Seas Education Association) are now partnering to provide the annual schoolship excursions. The total cost to send a science class to ISEA is $825. TLA contributes $412.50 and ISEA contributes $412.50. Please see Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) Schoolship Grant Application Process for information on how to apply.
The Inland Seas schoolship excursions were born of conversations with science teachers. Several teachers expressed a need and we were able to act on it. These requests were granted in addition to the Wish Lists submitted that first year.
To date, TLA has funded 30 schoolship excursions.
Carol Gray Norris Education Fund
As part of the Outreach Program, TLA notifies each science teacher in the districts of Bellaire, Central Lake, Kalkaska and Mancelona about The Carol Gray Norris Scientific Education Fund. This Fund was created by the Norris family in honor of Carol Gray Norris to offer loans to students, groups of students or science competition teams to purchase necessary materials.
In recent years, funds requested from the CGN Fund have helped students with financial need in other ways. In 2010, funds from The Carol Gray Norris Scientific Education Fund were used to underwrite a field trip for five Kalkaska physics students with special financial needs, to join their physics class for a special Physics Days field trip. These students were able to participate in a multi-day physics experience in Chicago including the Fermi Labs, Museum of Science and Industry, and an amusement park where they measured velocities and gravitational forces.
Recently, the entire second grade at Birch Street Elementary School in Kalkaska spent a day at the Au Sable Institute thanks to a helping hand from the Carol Gray Norris Fund. In 2015, the CGN Fund underwrote $913 to send Bellaire High School’s 12th grade Biology II class on a field trip to the Fox River, Whitefish Point and other UP destinations.
The CGN Fund provided 6th – 12th grade science classes in Central Lake with current science reading materials while the district bridged the gap between old and new texts. In 2017, the CGN Fund helped Bellaire’s seventh grade with fees for their annual Hayo Went Ha overnight camp trip.
Additional information on how to apply for an award from the Carol Gray Norris is contained in this packet, which you can download: Carol Gray Norris Fund Packet
Elk Rapids Chain of Lakes Map
In 2008, TLA provided a framed map of the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed for each building library and some classrooms in the four districts.