Category Archives: K-12 Outreach

Dow Chemical Partners with Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers and Delta College to Present the “2017 Dow Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival”

Mind Trekkers Delta 13… 2… 1… BOOM! Students jump and scream with excitement as they watch a liquid nitrogen explosion send gallons of water and ping pong balls soaring through the air.

In early October, the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers partnered with Dow Chemical to host the fifth annual “Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival”, an event co-hosted with Delta College in Bay County, Michigan. The two-day event included over 150 exciting and engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) demonstrations for 3,600 Midland area middle schoolers and an estimated additional 3,500 community members. It was made possible by support from partners including Dow, Hemlock Semiconductor, MDOT, Nexteer, local outreach organizations, and numerous Delta College departments.

“The most inspiring thing tome was that all of these people take time out of there day to show us what they do for a living.”

Freeland Elementary School student

Mind Trekkers Delta 2

Our country has a big problem. Industry across the state and nation depends on young people with high-tech skills to grow our economy by solving challenging technical problems globally. Yet, there is a shortage of students pursuing education and careers in STEM fields. You can help solve this and have a measurable impact on student’s interest and engagement with STEM**:

  • 100% of teachers felt the format of this event promoted learning and student engagement
  • 100% of teachers at this event were offered activities and resources that their classroom normally wouldn’t be able to be provided
  • 74% of students are more interested in attending college
  • 63% of students are more interested in science
  • 54% of students are more interested in technology
  • 47% of students are more interested in engineering
  • 66% of students think about what scientists and engineers do in a different way

**Data included represents attendee survey from 2017 Dow Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival.

 

Mind Trekkers Delta 3

“I didn’t realize all the different things you could make and create as an engineer or scientist.”

Hemlock Middle School student

In order to spark a passion for STEM and to bring events into communities like Midland, we rely on partners like you to host and participate in STEM festivals. Learn how your company can be a Mind Trekker partner and associated benefits here.

 


2017 Southeast Michigan Science and Engineering Festival #STEM

Science can be messy.  In fact, when you are trying to get middle school students excited about science, it is essential that! But Michigan Technological University’s Mind Trekkers’ don’t mind at all.

On September 22 and 23, 2017, Mind Trekkers visited Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI for their 3rd Annual Science and Engineering Festival.  Schoolcraft has enjoyed hosting this event which features rock music, balloons, liquid nitrogen ice cream, fire, explosions, magnets, oobleck, and many very excited middle school students.

Michigan Technological University’s “Mind Trekkers” are a student organization made up of college students that aren’t afraid to share their love of STEM with middle school students.  They volunteer their time to help put on Science and Engineering Festivals in communities across the country.

The partnership between Schoolcraft and Michigan Tech has allowed both institutions to help share the hands-on “spark” of STEM education with thousands of students in the Livonia area.  This partnership has been facilitated by the generous donations of time and talents from corporate partners.

The 2017 Festival includes sponsorship from:

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Michigan Tech Receives $50,000 Grant from the DENSO North America Foundation

DensoMichigan Tech’s Enterprise program has received a $50,000 grant from the foundation of a major global automotive supplier. The DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF), a long-time supporter of the University, has provided the funding to support the Enterprise program.

A feature of the Pavlis Honors College, Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program is a collection of student-driven, multidisciplinary teams that work like companies on real-world client projects.

The DENSO North America Foundation $50,000 donation will support three areas within the Enterprise program. The first will provide continued support of the Advanced Motorsports Enterprise (AMS) vehicle development activities. These activities will promote experiential learning and hands-on experience.

The second area of support will fund improvements to the designated design space used by AMS teams focusing on computers capable of supporting today’s design software.

Improvements to the AMS dynamometer, an instrument that measures the power output of an engine, comprise the third area of support.

Joe Thompson, sponsored programs manager in the Pavlis Honors College, says the college and the AMS are grateful to the DENSO North America Foundation for investing in Michigan Tech students. “The automotive industry needs well-rounded engineering graduates who have been exposed to powertrain control, can understand thermal impacts on engine performance and the general manufacturing challenges associated with automotive systems.”

Thompson says students who participate on the AMS teams are developing “significant hands-on experience in these automotive technologies.”

The $50,000 contribution to Michigan Tech is among the nearly $1,000,000 in overall funding to more than 20 institutions and educational programs in North America provided by DNAF. Since 2001, the foundation has advanced the auto industry through grants to colleges and universities, providing students with technology, tools and experiences similar to that of the professional workplace they’ll experience after graduation.

Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and Chief Technology Officer of DENSO International America, Inc. says innovation throughout the manufacturing industry will continue to produce more growth opportunities for students in skilled trades and technical fields.

“Companies will lean on this young workforce for years to come, and in order to succeed we need to empower students by giving a better sense of what they’ll experience in the workplace,”

-Doug Patton

Now in its 17th year, Michigan Tech’s Enterprise Program attracts undergraduate students who are looking to differentiate themselves by taking ownership of a portion of their education and working on projects that closely align with personal and professional interests. The program currently consists of 25 teams and more than 800 students.

The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people. The company employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates across the North American region, including Michigan where its North American headquarters resides. Interested in a career at DENSO.


Strategies For Your Talent Pipeline

Michigan Tech - Wisconsin Business Invite
Michigan Tech – Wisconsin Business Invite

Michigan Tech has developed impactful programs that inspire students to enter the STEM Pipeline, actively engage in their learning and application of these newly acquired talents, and provide them professional skills that will launch and sustain them through their careers.

We provide solutions at every step to the challenges facing our economies thirst for intellectual talent.

During the week of May 8, 2017, Michigan Tech staff traveled to Green Bay and the Fox Cities of Wisconsin to provide an educational seminar on “best practices” related to the Talent Pipeline.  This is the second year for this event.  In 2016, similar presentations were made in the communities of Traverse City and Grand Rapids, MI.

Survey on Attracting Students
Survey on Attracting Students

Between the two events, the team addressed over 100 HR professionals, managers, and engineers managers with information related to:

  • Inspiring students to consider STEM
  • Giving them tools to communicate their acquired talents
  • Development and recruitment of talent

The presenters included:

  • Steve Patchin, Director, Career Services
  • Amanda McConnon, Assistant Director, Center for Pre-College Outreach
  • Jim Desrochers, Associate Director of Industry Relations, Office of Innovation & Industry Engagement
Hands-On Activity
Hands-On Activity

During the two-hour event, the presenters shared statistics from student surveys and highlighted best practices for recruiting. They also had a chance to experience first-hand some of the kinds of activities that make students stop and learn more.


Ford – Helping Power Michigan Tech STEM Efforts

A key component of Michigan Technological University’s STEM outreach efforts is hands-on learning.  When Ford Motor Company agreed to help sponsor some programs, it seemed appropriate that the ceremony should be hands-on.

Check Presentation, September 2016

Always willing to help, Ford had one of their Michigan Tech student interns produce an oversized check for the ceremony.  The check even featured Henry Ford’s image in the watermark!  

After the check presentation, Cindy Protas Hodges (Michigan Tech Alumni and Chassis Supplier Technical Assistance Site Manager for Ford) got to learn first-hand how to make ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen (LN2).  We gave her the appropriate gloves and safety equipment and let her get to work mixing a batch of chocolate ice cream.

Chocolate Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Our Michigan Tech students are a lot like the middle school and high school students that attend our events – nothing draws a crowd of students like handing out free treats!

Ford’s STEAM sponsorship for this year includes helping Summer Youth Programs for Women in Computer Science, Women in Engineering, Junior Women in Engineering, and MindTrekkers events.

 

 


Michigan Tech Receives $110,000 Grant from General Motors

In an effort to expand student competencies related to emerging technologies in the automotive industry, long time university supporter, General Motors (GM), recently awarded Michigan Technological University a $110,000 grant through its University/Organization Partner Program.

GM Check Presentation

The grant will provide continuing support for a variety of student activities, including the Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, Manufacturing Engineering Initiatives, pre-college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach, and diversity programs. A highlight of this year’s grant is GM’s focus on providing significant funding for diversity programs administered by Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).

The mission of the CDI is to foster student success by providing engaging programs for students of multiple social and cultural identities.

“With continued support from GM, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion was able to enhance our Social Justice Lecture Series and helped us bring well known educators and quality speakers to campus that enrich our community. GM Foundation continued support is much appreciated.”

-Kellie Raffaelli
Director of Michigan Tech’s
Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Through a broad range of services, workshops, and events CDI fosters student success by embracing a deeper understanding and appreciation for diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

“As the corporate landscape continues to evolve, it becomes even more evident that diversity will play a major role in corporate success,” said Kurt Wiese, GM’s Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering. “With the consumer market evolving and customer demands exceeding new levels, it is imperative that organizations remain agile and adaptive. Michigan Tech’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion provides the experiences and support for engineering students to become important contributors to society. As a company, General Motors values diversity, in all forms, as a core strength in our ability to meet or exceed customer’s expectations today and going forward.”

Michigan Tech and General Motors share a long-standing partnership dating back to at least 1940, supporting a wide range of activities across campus including scholarships, Senior Design and Enterprise programs, student organizations, sponsored research, recruiting support, youth programs, diversity initiatives and more.

Through the University/Organization Partner Program, the GM annually grants $3 million to support leading universities and partnering organizations across the country. The program aims to strengthen higher education curricula in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and other fields important to the automotive industry, with a goal of preparing more students to graduate with related organizations, and career development resources.


Bosch – Supporting STEM K-12 Outreach

 

BoschRobert Bosch LLC, is North America’s largest supplier of automotive components. Other business units include, power tools, security systems, home appliance, engineering, and electronics. Robert Bosch and the Bosch Community Fund have been consistent and valued partners for many years investing in a variety of programs and projects at Michigan Tech. Over the past decade, Bosch has been very active on campus through recruiting efforts, research, funding student projects, and supporting K-12 outreach.

Bosch exhibit 4EBosch’s most significant involvement with Michigan Tech has been in our pre-college outreach programs. Over the past several years, they have been a major supporter of Michigan Tech’s signature K-12 program, Mind Trekkers. Mind Trekkers is a nationally acclaimed traveling K-12 outreach initiative founded in 2010. The group brings the excitement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) directly to K-12 students in the communities where they live .Bosch exhibit 3E

In the fall of 2015 and 2016, Mind Trekkers co-hosted the Southeast Michigan Science & Engineering Festival held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. About 4,000 middle school students and families attended each of these events. The Bosch Community Fund and Robert Bosch LLC have been major funding partners of this festival each year.

“I am very proud of Bosch’s partnership with Michigan Tech’s Mind Trekkers program. As a corporate foundation, we are very interested in closing the STEM skills gap, and the Mind Trekkers program plays a very important role in getting students interested in STEM. Having college students from Michigan Tech share their knowledge and enthusiasm about STEM with middle school students through fun and exciting hands-on activities is clearly a winning approach!” -Eve Haley, Program Officer, Bosch Community Fund

Bosch exhibit 2EIn order to share our passion for STEM and to bring events into communities like Livonia, Mind Trekkers must partner with industry and many other organizations to host and participate in STEM festivals. Industry participation is especially important since they are the ultimate beneficiary of STEM outreach by inspiring K-12 students to consider STEM careers within their companies. Bosch has made a significant commitment in this area by supporting Mind Trekkers who reach thousands of K-12 students with a positive message that STEM is an exciting and attainable career path.

In addition to providing funding, Bosch has had an exhibit at each festival showcasing fun hands-on science and engineering principles. Bosch employees volunteered and hosted demonstrations and activities that festival guests found interesting and fun.

We value Bosch’s partnership through the many ways they are involved with Michigan Tech and we look forward to broadening the scope of our work together.Bosch exhibit 1E


Mind Trekkers: Create Excitement for STEM in Your Own Community

Industry across the state and nation depends on young people with high-tech skills to grow our economy by solving challenging technical problems globally. Yet, there is a shortage of students pursuing education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Michigan Technological University is tackling this issue head-on through its signature pre-college outreach program, Mind Trekkers. Mind Trekkers is Michigan Tech’s traveling K-12 outreach initiative founded in 2010. The group brings the excitement of STEM directly to K-12 students. Mind Trekkers travel to STEM festivals, expos, and events throughout the nation to showcase engaging, hands-on experiments and activities. Undergraduate and graduate student volunteers serve as a pipeline, connecting thousands of prospective K-12 students to higher education and STEM career opportunities while enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience.

Mind Trekkers can’t do any of this without the help of other partners. In order to share our passion for STEM and to bring this out to the communities, Mind Trekkers must partner with industry and many Mind Trekkers logoother organizations to host and participate in STEM festivals. Industry participation is especially important since they are the ultimate beneficiary of STEM outreach by inspiring K-12 students to consider STEM careers within their companies.

Learn how your company can be a Mind Trekker partner and associated benefits here.


Systems Control

Systems Control 3Systems Control, a division of Northern Star Industries, Inc., has over fifty years of expertise as an industry leader in the design and manufacture of engineered solutions that enable the reliable delivery of energy to the world.

Systems Control 2

Their history and relationship with Michigan Tech runs deep. Born and headquartered in Iron Mountain, MI, a small mining town in the Upper Peninsula, the once small town company has grown to over 500 employees, including additional engineering offices in Pewaukee, WI and a recent SmartZone expansion in Houghton, MI in May 2015.

“With proximity to the university, the engineering talent, the technical ability that we have in this community, we thought it’d be a natural for us to open the office here, and take advantage of the talent pool and the strong work ethic.” -David Rowe, Manager – Houghton Office and Michigan Tech alumni

As its company grows, Systems Control recognizes the need to create and develop its own talent and not wait for it to come to them. For many years, owner and Michigan Tech alumni Dave Brule Sr., has made it a priority for the business to invest in its local community talent by creating a scholarship for employees to send their kids to Michigan Tech’s world renowned Summer Youth Programs. These programs not only create excitement and passion with science and engineering for those who attend, but also make memories, friendships, and experiences that will last a lifetime. Children of employees can explore programs from wildlife and outdoors to robotics and computer science. However, the talent pipeline development effort doesn’t stop there.

Systems Control also employs local high school students with summer internships in its manufacturing and engineering facilities. In 2015, seeing a need for more power engineers, the company created a $250,000 scholarship fund, earmarked for students concentrating in Power Engineering in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Michigan Tech. The first cohort of “Systems Control Scholars” was created when five students were granted scholarships of $10,000 per year to complete their studies at Michigan Tech. Many of these students are offered internship and co-op work experiences throughout their college career, potentially landing their full-time dream job with Systems Control after completing their degree.

“I am pleased to be able to support the educational and career goals of aspiring electrical engineers with the establishment of the Systems Control Scholarship program,” states Dave Brule Sr. “It is our goal to attract the best and the brightest among Tech’s electrical engineering students as Systems Control Scholars. We hope to employ them full time upon graduation.”

What makes Systems Control unique in its relationship with Michigan Tech? It is an unwavering commitment to invest in people, leveraging Michigan Tech’s faculty, staff, and students in developing collaborative partnerships to build the future together. Whether it’s supporting continuing education for employees, providing experiences for employees’ children, or providing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to be challenged in an internship experience, Systems Control will continue to be successful in its endeavors.

To learn more about Systems Control, please visit its website, http://www.systemscontrol.com/, or click the video below to hear the company’s story.

Systems Control 1


Industry Invests in Women’s STEM Summer Programs

Across the United States there is a serious shortage of women enrolled in engineering and degree programs and ultimately entering the work place.  According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), only 18-20 percent of engineering students in the nation’s universities are women.  To further compound the problem, only 14 percent then go on to careers in engineering.

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Why are so few women going into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields?  According to ASME several reasons have been suggested including lack of female engineering role models, misconceptions of what it is like to be an engineer, and having fewer technical problem-solving opportunities through K-12 compared to men. It’s also suggested that there is lack of encouragement from parents, teachers, and counselors.  “The real challenges for reaching out to young women is to get over the stereotype that engineering isn’t something girls do and then to help them build their confidence,” Betty Shanahan, executive director of the Society of Women Engineers, told the Washington Post.

The good news is that over the past decade, universities, K-12 schools, and industry have been working together to encourage more female students to explore science and engineering.  Michigan Tech has a long and successful history of providing unique hands-on programing for young women that addresses the critical need for talent in STEM fields here in Michigan and across the nation. Our Summer Youth Programs (SYP) (http://www.syp.mtu.edu/) provide an on-campus experience for pre-college students designed to ignite their passions in STEM.

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To encourage young women to pursue engineering education and careers, Michigan Tech’s industry partners have stepped up by investing in the university’s signature engineering and STEM summer youth programs geared for young women.

Women in Engineering 2015-196

Over the past two years, Ford Motor Company has provided $40,000 for Michigan Tech’s Women in Engineering (WIE) and Women in Computer Science (WICS) summer youth programs.  The WIE program, which began in 1973, is a week-long summer camp for high-achieving young women in grades 9-11. Led by faculty, staff, and graduate students from Michigan Tech and role model speakers from industry, participants spend the week exploring future careers in engineering. They learn about multiple engineering fields, complete group projects, and more.  In addition to Ford, many companies have supported WIE scholarships over the past 40 years with notable recent significant funding from the 3M Foundation, donating $150,000 over the past 6 years, sending girls from Minnesota for an experience of a lifetime.

“Ford Motor Company is pleased to support the WIE program at Michigan Tech,” said Cindy Hodges, who is chassis supplier technical assistant site manager at Ford. “We recognize how important it is to encourage young women to study engineering. As an alumna of the WIE program myself, I know how the program really helped me determine I wanted to be an engineer. It’s great to be a part of this wonderful program.”

In addition to WIE support, funding will be used to create a Junior Women in Engineering program in 2016.  Similar to WIE, it provides an opportunity for younger women (grades 6-8) to explore fields of engineering through hands-on projects and investigations. This program will serve as preparation for the WIE program.

Related to the engineering summer programs, Ford provided funding for the 2016 Women in Computer Science (WICS) youth program. WICS brings young women to campus for an exploration in computer science (CS) fields, a program on campus which was brought back to life thanks to a donation of $45,000 over the past three years by Lansing, MI based Jackson National Life.  The primary goal is to introduce the students to the many ways that CS profoundly impacts every industry from medicine to e-commerce, engineering to insurance, and much more. By giving high school girls an opportunity to explore computing projects alongside their peers, we build their confidence in their ability to succeed in a field in which women are often underrepresented. WICS students will take their new confidence and skills with them into post-secondary programs — eventually bringing them into STEM professions.

Women in Engineering 2015-310 compressFiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is also committed to increasing the number of women entering engineering professions, especially in the automotive industry. FCA Foundation donated $30,000 to create a week-long summer youth program in 2016, designed to encourage young women to consider careers in automotive engineering.

Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE) serves to specifically engage high-achieving young women to experience this field in a hands-on, discovery-based learning environment amongst their own peers, and compel them to consider the immense possibilities that can be found in the automotive industry.

“Although women purchase 60 percent of all vehicles and influence nearly 85 percent of all car-buying decisions, enrollment of women in baccalaureate engineering programs remains stubbornly low at around 18 percent,” said Stephen L. Williams, head of safety compliance and product analysis for FCA North America. “By Sponsoring the FCA Women in Automotive Engineering Summer Youth Program at Michigan Tech, we hope to encourage promising young women to consider engineering as a field of study and a career in the automotive industry.”

WIAE will be modeled after the successful WIE program.  However, WIAE will focus on disciplines and projects directly related to the automotive industry in areas of mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineering as well as human machine interface.

By hosting programs exclusively for girls, Michigan Tech is trying to change the widespread perception that STEM fields are only for males. The programs also promote diversity by welcoming students from across the U.S. and around the world.

Michigan Tech would like to challenge industry partners and individuals who are passionate about advancing women in STEM fields to fully scholarship all 240 women program participants for 2016.  To learn more about how you and your company can make a lasting impact for the next generation of women leaders, please visit http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/precollege-scholarships or contact:

Cody Kangas,
Director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach
906-487-2219
ckangas@mtu.edu

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