St. Wendelin teacher goes to sea for science

FOSTORIA – Katie Sakel has been teaching science courses at St. Wendelin Catholic School for a year. This summer, she has the chance to attend two workshops to bring back knowledge to her students.

The first workshop, through the Ohio Northern University chemistry and biochemistry department, began Monday and runs through Sunday. It is designed for high school chemistry teachers.

“At the chemistry workshop at ONU, we will learn about a piece of vernier equipment and spend the week completeing different experiments with the equipment,” Sakel said. “At the end of the week, we will be taking the equipment back to our home school.”

Sakel teaches biology, honors chemistry, physics, biomedical science, anatomy and physiology and environmental science.

The second workshop is July 6-13. Sakel is to participate in a science experience on one of the Great Lakes research and monitoring vessels, the R/V Lake Guardian, on Lake Ontario.

The grant Sakel received will take care of housing and food, curriculum and resources to bring back to the classrooms contact and future assistance from the program, as well as a $400 stipend to complete a Great Lakes project with her students.

“During the week on the vessel, we will be completing research on benthic organisms, geology, water quality and other aspects of limnology. During this, we will be

learning the background behind the research and how to relate it to our classes,” Sakel said.

Sakel was one of 35 who applied and one of 15 chosen to take part in the workshop.

Sakel said when she began her graduate career, she had always thought she was going to go into research.

“I found that I love the moment when students finally understand a science concept,” Sakel said. “I want to bring back knowledge of the environment that is in their backyard to them. With that knowledge, I hope they begin their own research out of their curiosity and develop stewardship on the lakes.”