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I'm a huge fan of discovery in our back yards. Looking in a familiar place and finding something new and exciting right under your nose. It's even more compelling to me that these types of discoveries are far more accessible than the discoveries in exotic, distant places. When I hear about a farmer plowing his field and he unearths evidence of an ancient people. That's exciting.

Or in this case...when some high school kids find not one, but TWO century old shipwrecks in Lake Huron near their own homes. That's pure good right there.

This quote from high school student Tierrea Billings wells me up.

"I'm so used to, you know, being in the class room and being in one place and just being here. But when, like, I got to go out there and experience all this different technology and things that I never even heard of, it made me realize that there's so much that the world has to offer..."

ALPENA —  Five Arthur Hill High School students  spent much of their summer locating two shipwrecks on the bottom of Lake Huron.

Juniors Tiesha Anderson, James E. Willett and Yer Vang and seniors Tierrea Billings and Cody Frost, began searching for ships in May through "Project Shiphunt" a archaeological expedition sponsored by Sony and Intel.

The group of students were teamed with James Delgado, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration nautical archaeologist and former chief scientist for the mapping the Titanic shipwreck.

The group discovered the wreck of the 138-foot schooner M.F. Merrick which sank in 1889 and the wreck of the steel freighter Etruria, which sank in 1905.


The kids were selected from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Michigan, to be part of a documentary about ship wreck exploration. Saginaw is near the "thumb" area in Michigan, and like many of the industrial parts of Michigan it has been hit hard over the past decade by the decline and flight of manufacturing...they've been languishing for a very long time.

It's exciting to see some attempts made to show kids in that region that there's still a big, unexplored world of possibility waiting out there for them. And it's right next door.

Watch the video interviews with kids here>>

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Education Alternatives.

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