K-12 Programs

Seventh Grade

Outdoor Exploration

Develop the skills necessary to safely explore our northern environment with this outdoor adventure that combines science and survival skills into one amazing program. Students learn the basics of orienteering and compass work, explore the science behind weather to make simple forecasts, and discover the physics behind good fire building as they work to create small survival fires. Try this unit during the winter months for added excitement with snowshoes and snow!

Michigan Science Standards: Middle School - ESS2-5MI

Offered: Winter


Winter Water Quality

Students learn about water quality by comparing local Big Twin Lake with Au Sable’s Louie’s Pond. Students take water samples and temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen readings from both water bodies. Using microscopes, we compare the organisms found in the lake and pond. Through these tests, students determine the trophic level of both bodies of water and learn about factors affecting water quality in northern Michigan.

Michigan Science Standards: Middle School – ESS2-4

Offered: Winter



Students learn how groundwater - our invisible, subsurface resource - moves and behaves underground. Students measure the water table and its fluctuations through a series of unique test wells on the Au Sable campus. They also test water samples for pH, hardness, and chlorides. Groundwater models aid students in understanding how groundwater can become contaminated, how contamination moves, and how it can be cleaned up. An emphasis is placed on actions each of us can take to protect groundwater.

Michigan Science Standards: Middle School -ESS2-4, ESS3-1

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring