Category Archives: Outreach

Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced

Winning SEEN team & Dr. MartyAuer-1
The winning team of Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler, and Jeremy Luebke pictured with judge Dr. Marty Auer

 

The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition are no surprise! They are three members of the Society of Environmental Engineering student chapter at Michigan Tech–seniors no less— Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler, and Jeremy Luebke.

They had stiff competition from the runner up team “The Insolubles”— three students from a high school chemistry class at Hancock High School (Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow, Shannon Nulf) taught by a Michigan Tech grad.

Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from MTU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids– a group of three 8th graders from Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School, and three members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force.

The competition was held in recognition of World Water Day, March 22, 2017. This year’s theme is wastewater, hence the competition!

Event coordinator, Joan Chadde, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes, as they listed all of the household items that go down the drain. Each team was given a cup of wastewater and directed to clean it as best they could using only the materials provided– screen, sand, gravel, activated charcoal and alum. After 20 minutes, the results were in!

Chadde is the director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee.

Dr. Marty Auer, a local wastewater treatment expert from Michigan Tech, served as judge.

All members of the winning team received $25 MTU gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the 2nd place Hancock High School students, explaining ‘they didn’t have time to spend it, since they’d be leaving Houghton soon with graduation just a few weeks away!’

Globally, 2 billion people are without clean drinking water and 3 billion are without wastewater treatment.

After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water!

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and research centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts, and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

CEE international students
CEE International Graduate Students
CopperCountryRecycling
Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force
Hancock HS team
Hancock HS team – 2nd place
LakeLinden-HubbellGr.8team
Lake Linden – Hubbell 8th grade team

Detroit HS Students Natural Resource & Engineering Explorations

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High school students in Detroit & Wayne County will have the opportunity to explore environmental science & engineering majors at Michigan Tech this summer.  This will be the 3rd consecutive year that this program will be offered to up to 20 students selected to participate.

Students will participate in many outdoor activities during their 6 day trip to the UP, including: ID and measure trees, collect frog data, sample aquatic life aboard a Lake Superior research vessel, examine plankton, drive a ROV, design a process to clean water and touring the campus of MTU.

The program will be held from June 26 – July 1 and the deadline for students to apply is March 20th.

How to apply

  • Complete application form online 2017 Michigan Tech-Upper Peninsula Trip Application
  • Describe what you hope to gain from the experience and your previous experience with natural resources and/or engineering
  • Email or mail 2 letters of recommendation (from non-family members; one from a teacher) to:

Joan Chadde jchadde@mtu.edu

115 GLRC – Michigan Technological University

1400 Townsend Drive

Houghton, MI 49931

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach

Unscripted: Daisy and the Engineers

DaisyDaisy Isaksson is a fifth-grade student at Dollar Bay Elementary. A couple weeks ago, she surprised one of Michigan Tech’s engineers from the Center for Technology & Training by beating the results of several PhDs, professional engineers and engineering students in a classroom activity called “Stop That Truck!”

The activity was designed by Drew Roberts, a civil engineering senior, under a Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program module updated by civil engineer Chris Gilbertson from the Center for Technology & Training under a Michigan Department of Transportation grant. TRAC is a national outreach program that encourages the teaching of STEM (with a civil engineering flavor) to students at a young age by providing well-designed learning modules to high school and middle school teachers.

Read more at Unscripted, by Allison Mills.

After-school Science and Engineering Classes

GLRC Great LakesThere will be six after-school science and engineering classes held for grades 1-8 at Michigan Tech. The classes will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 through Dec. 7. There will be no sessions during Thanksgiving week.

These classes offer hands-on explorations taught by Michigan Tech science and engineering students in the GLRC.

Grades 1-2: “Forest Fun!” Wednesdays

Students will engineer seed get-aways, investigate animal tracks, play bird migration games, examine leaf characteristics and create leaf art, and discover the many ways that animals survive the winter.

Grades 3-5: “Wild About Michigan Wildlife!” Mondays

Explore bats and spiders, follow a salmon upstream, investigate the characteristics of wolves and discover what an owl eats by dissecting a little regurgitation.

Grades 6-8: “Investigating Chemistry” Tuesdays

Find out how chemistry affects our daily lives as you delve into food reactions, tie-dye fabrics, crime scene investigation and designing the best bubble solution to create the longest lasting bubble.

Cost is $75 per student. Register by Friday (Oct. 21). Payments can be made by credit card by calling 7-2247. Your space is not reserved until payment has been received.

A Houghton school bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m.

Contact Joan Chadde at 7-3341 with questions.

By Joan Chadde.

SIS & SAAM Hold Annual Meeting

Hot Choc Machine SIS-SAAM 9.30.16

The students of SIS and SAAM alumni participated in several STEM activities just like their parents did at Tech! Joan Chadde facilitated several Family Engineering activities for the students who ranged in age from 3-17 years. A favorite activity is the “Hot Chocolate Machine where students stack 10-15 cups to let gravity do its thing and mix the  milk power and cocoa powder—and Voila! Hot chocolate!

Brimley Area School Students Visit MTU

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Thirty middle-school students, plus two science teachers, and two chaperones from Brimley Area Schools visited Michigan Tech and the Keweenaw Peninsula from Sept. 28-30, hosted by Ted Bornhorst, executive director, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Joan Chadde, Director of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.  The Brimley Area Schools student population is 54% Native American and 51% low income. Students participated in a half-day of STEM activities on campus with Brian Barkdoll and “Kiko” de Melo e Silva, faculty and research scientist, respectively, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Sarah Sun in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

“We were pleased to provide this unique opportunity for the Brimley students that may spark their interest to pursue a STEM degree at Michigan Tech,” explained Bornhorst.

“This was a great group of students,” observed Chadde. “We plan to work with them to make this an annual visit.”

Teachers From Flint Studying Water at Michigan Tech

Agassiz
Agassiz

Water and the City of Flint have garnered plenty of headlines this year. This week, 13 teachers from the Flint area are on the campus of Michigan Tech for a four-day teacher institute focused on water and water issues.

The special interdisciplinary teacher institute will focus on three specific areas: Flint River Watershed; Drinking Water Treatment; Wastewater Treatment. The event is coordinated by the Ride the Waves program, Martin Auer (CEE) principal investigator and the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Read more at Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Flint Teachers visit U.P. to learn about good water quality

Flint’s population continues to try and recover from their water crisis and these lessons will help deal with those lingering issues. Hamaday Middle School Science Teacher Arleatha Bryant said, “I’ve had at least seven children tell me they were tested positive for lead, and so we’ve been doing a lot of research on different foods you can eat and things you can do to try and alleviate some of the issues that may occur with this situation.”

And most importantly to educate people so such a situation doesn’t happen again. MTU Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor Martin Auer said, “These are the people that are going to change the lives that need to get this work done over the next several decades. If we can reach these teachers, then we can stimulate a process that’s going to engage the young people and that’s where the future is.”

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 UP.

Flint Teachers ABC 10

Students Visit Rail Yards in Superior, Wisconsin

SYP Rail 2016KBJR-TV Channel 6 (NBC) in Duluth broadcast a story about students from Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program Rail and Intermodal Transportation Institute visiting rail yards in Superior, Wisconsin.

From Tech Today.

Michigan Tech students get an up close look at trains in Superior

Today, students from throughout the country enrolled in Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program’s Rail and Intermodel Transportation program were in Superior to get an up close look at Railroad Transportation.

Read more and watch the video at KBJR-TV Channel 6, by Anthony Matt.

David Hand Quoted on Flint Water

David Hand
David Hand

David Hand, chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering, was quoted in the article “Flint Water: Where Science Took a Backseat to the Money.”

The article, by Seth Augenstein, was printed in Laboratory Equipment.

From Tech Today.

Flint Water: Where Science Took a Backseat to the Money

General Motors had a problem. The engine blocks in their Flint, Mich. plant were corroding as fast as they came off the production line. In the few months since the city had switched from Detroit water to the supply of the nearby Flint River, everything the factory produced was rusting over.

Tests quickly revealed the cause: elevated levels of chlorides were allowing the water to more-easily oxidize the metal.

The city switched to the river water in April 2014. GM reported its problems within months. After more months of inaction from the city leaders, the company alone switched back to Detroit water in December 2014.

“GM did inform the city,” said David Hand, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at Michigan Technological University, in an interview with Laboratory Equipment. “No doubt (the city) should have realized they should evaluate the water.”

Read more at Laboratory Equipment, by Seth Augenstein.