Merrill Area Public Schools offered an exciting summer school course called “Come Aboard” with the help of a grant from the Merrill Area Community Foundation. 
In late June, approximately 30 Prairie River Middle School students and parochial students traveled to Milwaukee to sail aboard the Denis Sullivan, the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century three-mast Great Lakes schooner. While sailing on Lake Michigan, students participated in a hands-on voyage of learning and discovery designed to motivate learning and complement classroom curriculum in science, history, math, technology and language arts.  
While aboard the schooner, students rotated in small groups through five inquiry-based learning stations, with content focused on: Plankton, Fish Adaptations, Benthos, Water Quality and Invasive Species. Students worked together to sample and analyze water quality as well as collect, record and analyze data from their expedition to learn how our freshwater resources should be used and managed.  
Teacher, Lynn Kurth, will continue the study of water quality with her students this fall at Prairie River Middle School when she returns from working in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Oregon II, a NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) research vessel. Mrs. Kurth was at sea from July 26th-August 10thchronicling her research via:  http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/2014/kurth.html.