AIS Education for Schools

Otter Tail CountyAIS-Fighters_Logo-color_web

For questions or to implement this at your schools, contact Moriya Rufer, email, 218-846-1465

Student Video Contest!

Submit a video that teaches students about aquatic invasive species (AIS) in an interesting way and you could win prizes for you and your school!   The winning video this year was made by Isaiah Lemke in Fergus Falls.  Here is a link to his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfdmEIa05Ko&feature=youtu.be

School Visits – AIS Jeopardy

We have visited each of the Otter Tail County high schools in winter 2015-2016 to put on an AIS School Assembly (80+ kids participating at each school!).  The presentation starts with an AIS overview, then the bulk of the assembly is spent playing AIS Jeopardy with the students.  They get to win prizes such as t-shirts, waterproof cell phone cases, boat sham towels and pens.  The students have really enjoyed these assemblies and have learned a lot.

sample school assembly agenda

Kids Field Trip to Pelican Lake

On May 28, 2014, we hosted a Field Trip for the Underwood 7th graders on Pelican Lake to learn about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). See a little recap of our day here:

Took Kit

This Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) educational tool kit contains lessons for up to one week of classes.   Each day’s activity is designed to fill an hour of class time, but activities can be shortened or lengthened to fit the teacher’s plans and available time.  Lessons can be given consecutively over a week, or individually as stand-alone lessons.  All supplies, diagrams, printouts and worksheets will be provided electronically in a kit.  Prior research can be assigned as preparatory homework for the class, or research material can be provided during class.

This program was funded by the Otter Tail County AIS Task Force.

Minnesota Academic Standards met by this program:
9.1.3.1.1, 9.1.3.3.3, 9.4.2.1.2, 9.4.2.2.2, 9.4.4.1.2, 9.4.4.2.4

Program Summary and Standards Narrative

Day 1: Introduction to Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
MinnesotaLakes Summary
Day one is an introduction to AIS through watching a DNR documentary video (Aquatic Invasive Species – Minnesota Waters At Risk), and then discussing which AIS are present in Otter Tail County.  AIS specimens will be provided for hands-on learning about the identification of these species.
Materials
Teacher Guide (pdf)
MN DNR Video (YouTube, 24 minutes)
MN DNR Video (YouTube, 11 minutes)
PowerPoint (pptx)
Preserved AIS specimens (get from Moriya)

Day 2: Ecosystems and Food Webs
food chain 2 Summary
Students are presented information about aquatic food webs and the specific biology of selected aquatic invasive species (what they eat, etc).   Small groups will be assigned 1-2 AIS, and using the information about basic aquatic food webs and AIS biology they will explain how that AIS will affect the aquatic food web.  Then each small group presents their findings to the class.
Materials
Teacher Guide (pdf)
PowerPoint (pptx)
Background info for reading (pdf)
AIS factsheets (pdf)
Importance of Aquatic Biodiversity article (pdf)
Day 3: Case Study: the Zebra Mussel
zebra-mussel Summary
Students are given information about how Zebra mussels spread and their biological requirements.  They are also given lake data and characteristics for Otter Tail County lakes.  In small groups, they will use the lake data and characteristics to assess the risk of each lake for being infested with Zebra mussels in the future.  Then each small group presents their findings to the class.
Materials
Teacher Guide (pdf)
Understanding Lake Data article (pdf)
Answer Guide (pptx)

Day 4: AIS Prevention
Inspect Summary
Students are given information about what is being done in Minnesota to prevent AIS and the current Minnesota laws meant to stop the spread of AIS.   They are also taught how to inspect a watercraft for AIS by going outside and working through an actual boat.  A boat could be provided from a volunteer, the teacher or the DNR.  Small dot stickers can be placed around the boat and the kids need to inspect the boat to find the stickers.
Materials
Teacher Guide (pdf)
PowerPoint (pptx)
MN DNR AIS Videos (YouTube channel)