Rouge Education Project
What is the Rouge Education Project?
The Rouge Education Project (REP) is a multidisciplinary, school-based initiative to raise young people's awareness of pollution in the Rouge River and encourage them to take action to restore and protect the river. The projects focus is the study of the Rouge River; its history, current issues, how to monitor its health, how to restore it, and how to become its steward. As a water quality monitoring and watershed education project, the REP engages students interest, concern and commitment through real-world education. The project also builds school-community-university partnerships through corporate sponsors, corporate volunteers, and university students who assist teachers participating in the REP. The project is coordinated by Friends of the Rouge.
Who participates in the REP?
All public and private elementary, middle and high schools are eligible to participate in the REP. The REP began in 1987 with 16 high schools, and has had as many as 100 elementary, middle and high schools participate in a given year.
View REP 2013 Spring Monitoring Sites in a larger map
What does participation in the REP involve?
Schools participating in the REP teach their students background information about the Rouge River in the classroom, and then take a one-day field trip to a unique sampling site along the Rouge River on "Monitoring Day." At the site, students investigate the health of the river. They monitor for up to nine chemical parameters, participate in a physical assessment of the river, and survey benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic organisms) living in the river. From their results they calculate a numerical value that indicates the relative health of the river section surveyed.
As students learn about the sources and levels of pollution in the river, they also learn how a polluted river affects the safety, health, well-being and economy of their community. Students work in teams to identify individual and community actions that will help clean up the river and prevent further pollution. They develop skills in teamwork, problem solving and decision making as they move together from a goal, through planning, to action. The REP also exposes students to the power of networking in support of environmental protection. Further, students enter data they collect online, strengthening their skills in information technology. They may also use the Internet to communicate with students at other participating schools.
How is the REP financially supported?
The REP is financially supported by contributions from participating schools, corporate sponsors, and grants received by Friends of the Rouge. Elementary schools new to the project contribute $500 for one teacher to participate, plus $50 per additional teacher (up to a maximum of $150). New middle and high schools contribute $1000 for one teacher to participate, plus $50 per additional teacher (up to a maximum of $150). The fair share contribution covers the cost of workshops and training for new teachers. Additionally, new schools are required to pay for a set of water quality monitoring equipment. All schools are also given the option of ordering REP T-shirts for their students to wear during Spring Monitoring Day. Costs are subsidized for new schools; the actual cost for a new elementary school to participate is $3200, while the actual cost for a new middle or high school is $3500. Returning schools in the project contribute $50 per teacher participating (up to a maximum of $150), plus the cost of replenishing monitoring supplies and workshop registration fees.
How can I get involved?
REP registration for each school year opens in August and closes in November. No additional schools may join the REP after the November registration deadline (which may vary slightly each year) due to training requirements for teachers and budget/planning requirements for REP staff.
Schools and teachers can get involved by contacting the REP Program Manager at any time at email@example.com or by phone at 313-792-9626. If you contact after registration has already closed for a given year, your name will be added to a list of teachers to contact for participation in the next school year.
Corporations can get involved by participating in the Adopt-a-School Campaign. For more information about the campaign, contact the REP Assistant Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 313-792-9626.
Announcing the winner of the REP 2012-2013 T-shirt Design Contest: Maya Sheth, Grade 5 from Steppingstone School in Farmington Hills. Winner, runner(s)-up, and honorable mention(s) were selected by our REP Education Task Force. CONGRATULATIONS, MAYA!
This year's theme is "Rouge River: Branches of Life." Maya's creative interpretation of our theme will be featured on our REP spring t-shirts!
Click here to view our contest runners-up and honorable mentions.
Rouge Education Project Newsletters
|09/14/2012||Registration Form Deadline-Fall|
|09/14/2012||Equipment Form Deadline- Fall|
|10/01/2012||R.E.P. T-Shirt Contest Announced|
|10/03/2012||Fall Monitoring Day|
|10/24/2012||Fall Data is Due, Fall Volunteer Tracking Forms Due|
|11/09/2012||Equipment and Registration Form Deadline for Spring|
|11/13/2012||New Teacher Orientation|
|12/07/2012||REP T-Shirt Design Entries Due|
|01/29/2013||Returning Teacher Refresher Course|
|01/31/2013||T-Shirt Orders Due|
|04/12/2013||FINAL Equipment Order Deadline|
|04/13/2013||Water Quality Monitoring Workshop|
|05/01/2013||Spring Monitoring Day|
|05/24/2013||All Data Forms and Volunteer Forms Due|