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Students swim and snorkel during hands on classroom course

It was a collaboration between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the schools and the Benzie Conservation District.

BENZIE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Students in Benzie County are getting a hands-on learning experience, diving into the waters of the Platte River.

On Friday, two dozen juniors and seniors from Frankfort High School and more than 20 students from Benzie Central High School jumped into the Platte River at the fish weir as part of their science classes.

“The class is sustainable ecology and we’re learning about one of the sustainable resources that we have in the area and an very important one,” said Tim Reznich, a science teacher Frankfort High School. “These kids have been taught their whole lives and how important it is to protect and preserve our resources, now their getting a firsthand experience learning about these resources they got to swim with the fish.”

It was a collaboration between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the schools and the Benzie Conservation District.

“There is something to be said for giving students the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom in the field, and to see it up close and personal really does just that it makes it personal to the students,” said Jane Perrino, an aquatic invasive species coordinator with the Benzie Conservation District.

Expenses for the trip came from a grant awarded to the Benzie Conservation District.

Students played games saw ecosystem of the river as well as the fish, animals and bugs that live in the water.

Representatives with the Trout Unlimited organization provided all the wet suits and snorkel gear.

“You’d be surprised how many kids even though they live right here they may not be able to come and experience something like this,” Reznich said.

“It’s something that not everyone gets to do it’s a cool alternative way of learning hands on which is really cool because you get to see everything that you are learning about,” several students explained.

Groups hope to continue the trip in the future if funding is available.

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