Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

GTSI Students Featured at Benzie County Water Festival






On Friday, April 12th, the students of the Benzie Central High School GTSI Team will present their research at the Student Water Science Fair as part of the 3rd Annual Benzie Water Festival. These High School students are collaborating with the Benzie Community Water Council to produce this annual community event.

The  Benzie Central High School GTSI Team  is made up of students from  Kevin Kinnan’s Environmental Science class, Melinda Klockziem’s Animal and Plant Science classes, and her Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter, along with  students from Josh Stoltz’s  SEEDS After School Program . Together, this team has created a year-long GTSI project focused on water stewardship in Benzie County and the surrounding Great Lakes.

Animal Science students have been raising and studying salmon in their classroom to learn about Great Lakes ecosystems, fish anatomy, natural history, and reproduction.

Josh Ireton feeds Salmon in Benzie HS Animal Sci class













Plant Science students have been involved in greenhouse aquaponics, including the planting and cultivation of native tree seedlings for sale at a local nursery, and research projects involving the effects of watershed conditions on plant growth.

Jenna Gauthier with plants



Environmental Science students conducted ground water surveys by investigating their own home water supply and waste water disposal systems. They have also been involved in a year-long recycling project that included a service-oriented recycling initiative to raise money for rain forest restoration.

Benzie Central HS Enviro Sci Class Recycling Initiative for the Rain Forest

Teams of GTSI students are creating interactive displays to present their topics to the public at the Water Festival.  Environmental Science students are conducting interviews with environmental experts and will present their findings to Benzie Middle School students the day of the Water Festival.

SEEDS students have been working after school with Josh Stoltz and SEEDS Americorps Vista, Kate Sexton to create activities for kids at the Water Festival.  A water harp, hydrogen fuel cell car, stream table, and water color mural station are just a few of the water-related activities that will be available, along with a video booth where participants will be asked to give their thoughts on water issues in the region.

This GTSI team is working with a diverse group of community partners including SEEDS, the Benzie Community Water Council, the FFA, the Benzie Conservation District, NorthSky Nonprofit Youth Engagement Vista volunteers, and a number of other organizations committed to promoting the importance of fresh water in Benzie County.

The Benzie County Water Festival will be held at Benzie Central High School on April 12th from 3:30pm – 9pm. Along with the Student Water Science Fair, there will be music by Fauxgrass, a keynote by Hans VanSummeran from the NMC Water Studies Institute, “Wedge the Dredge” and “What the Frack” opinion presentations, local food, kids activities and much more. For directions to the Water Festival.