By BECKY McKENDRY
Capital News Service
LANSING — After solving the crisis of dwindling bee populations in West Michigan, and illustrating a Great Lakes ecological issue through stop-animation… how about creating an original music video to promote local geology? All in a day’s work – or really, an academic year – for your average seventh-grader at Hamilton Middle School in Hamilton. Instead of wading through graded homework and exam review sheets, Hamilton’s seventh-grade science curriculum is comprised almost entirely of creative, collaborative projects. These projects take the form of things like “Salami the Salmon,” a stop-animation video that student Elijah Soerens made to show how invasive species affect salmon. It is the result of the futurePrep Connections program, a partnership between the Ottawa Area School District, which is near the Lake Michigan shoreline, and local businesses.