GM Continues Investing in GLRC’s Rides the Waves Youth Education Program

General Motors has reinvested in MTU and the Great Lakes Research Center’s youth education program, Ride the Waves. The program allows students from the fourth grade all the way to high school seniors to go out on the Agassiz. Students learn about the scientific process while onboard the research vessel. They also learn about how researchers study the great lakes ecosystem.

“Well, we have different programs, and this year we’ll be offering three. One we call the aquatic food web. They’ll go out for about an hour and a half on the Agassiz Research Vessel. They’ll actually use the same equipment that scientists use, to collect plankton. Then they’ll bring those back to the lab. So they’ll spend about an hour in the lab as well. That’s the first program. The second one they go to Torch Lake. And then the third field trip is they go out to Jacobsville. Which is near White City and on Keweenaw Bay. And they learn about geo-heritage.” – Joan Chadde, Director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach

The 40,000 dollars from GM will help fund the program for two more years. The company has funded ride the waves since 2016. Around 700 students from the Upper Peninsula, Detroit and Flint areas benefit from the program each spring and summer. Tech students love to show kids what environmental science is all about and inspire them to pursue stem programs.

“First of all, we want everyone to become Great Lakes stewards. We can’t live without freshwater and it takes all of us to protect our lakes. And so having an opportunity to get out, enjoy, appreciate and understand the Great lakes is more likely to inspire us to be stewards. We also want students consider this as a career, both scientists and engineers. But we need communicators, and historians and artists as well, to be able to share the Great lakes with others. Consider it as a career path, and then also everyone can be a steward.” – Joan Chadde

Chadde said the GLRC appreciates GM’s continued support of the youth education program. This year’s trips have not been planned yet, but flyers and information will go out to schools and educators soon. For more information on ride the waves, contact Joan Chadde via email

GLRC Ride the Waves