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      Students get hands-on experience with nature

      Samantha Reynolds traveled all the way from Harper Middle School near Detroit to Michigan Tech to learn more about nature. It's all part of the Lake Superior Youth Symposium--a gathering of more than 200 students from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada, learning about wildlife.

      Samantha's group hiked through the Nara Nature Trails in search of frogs.

      â??I thought it would be really interesting because we've done something like this back home, so this is pretty much like going further into it,â?? said Samantha. â??It's just so much better than being indoors and learning all this stuff. It's really hands-on.â??

      The leader of the pack, Amy Schrank, a research assistant professor at Tech, said hands-on experiences are what solidify the notion of nature conservation in the students.

      â??Kids can really influence change in the world,â?? said Schrank. â??When the kid learns that it's really important to have aquatic habitat, they can really get behind that idea, and then you get a person who grows up as a better steward to the environment and a person who cares about the world we live in.â??

      Although no frogs were spotted on the adventure today, there were plenty of insects to inspect.

      â??What we've seen are a lot of aquatic invertebrates, or bugs; we saw some caddisflies, we saw mayflies, lots of different birds, some interesting fungus,â?? Schrank said.

      Samantha said what she's gained from the hike is more than just seeing some cool bugs. She said she's learning to take care of the world now to have a better future.

      â??We all have to join together and become united so we can work together to sort of help out the future generations,â?? Samantha said.