Category Archives: K-12 Outreach

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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Ford Motor Company Donates Support for Women in Engineering Scholarships

Ford Motor Company Donates Support for Women in Engineering Scholarships

Last Modified 10:42 AM on Mon Mar 2, 2015

March 2, 2015—

By Monica Lester

From the left, Women in Engineering alumnae Monica Lester and Rachel Kloc,, Tech alumna and Ford representative Cynthia Hodges, President Glenn Mroz, WIE alumnae  Kara Barakowski and Maggie Stangis.

From the left, Women in Engineering alumnae Monica Lester and Rachel Kloc, Tech alumna and Ford representative Cynthia Hodges, President Glenn Mroz, WIE alumnae Kara Barakowski and Maggie Stangis.

Science, math and classes are normally the farthest things from a high school student’s mind during summer vacation. But every summer about 150 pre-college women trek up to Michigan Tech to participate in Women in Engineering (WIE), a scholarship program and an intensive, exciting week-long look into engineering careers. For some, it’s a life-changing experience.

This year, WIE and the young women attending will be able to do even more, thanks to a $10,000 donation from Ford Motor Company.

Tech alumna Cynthia Hodges, representing Ford Motor Company, presented Michigan Tech with the company’s check. Hodges earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech and participated in WIE herself in 1980. She is also on a committee at Ford Motor Company called Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), which encourages women into STEM fields, especially engineering. So when an opportunity came to support another program at Michigan Tech, Hodges knew which one she wanted.

“Ford Motor Company is pleased to support the WIE program at Michigan Tech,” said Hodges, who is chassis supplier technical assistance 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.”

Hodges presented Ford’s check in the John Edgar McAllister Welcome Center. Many people came to celebrate this donation. Brent Burns, director of industry relations at Michigan Tech, introduced the speakers. Cody Kangas, director of the Center for Pre-College Outreach, said, “Every summer we look forward to WIE.”

Then four WIE alumnae – Rachel Kloc, Monica Lester, Maggie Stangis and Kara Bakowski – stepped up to speak on the experience they had at the program and how it changed their lives.

President Glenn Mroz talked about the employment rate and how the number of people earning degrees is ever-changing process but those with degrees are needed. “These kinds of things do make a difference,” he said.

Finally, Hodges spoke, emphasizing the importance of WIE. “When people ask me what has changed my life, WIE did,” she said.

Kangas said, “Ultimately, the short-term effect of this donation is that 10 more women will be getting scholarships for this summer, but long term, these women have a bigger potential to become engineers and to come to Michigan Tech.”

WIE also has a Superior Ideas page, where Ford Motor Company’s contribution is shown along with others. Superior Ideas is a crowdfunding website at Michigan Tech that helps bring university research and public service projects to life. To contribute to WIE, go to http://www.superiorideas.org/projects/women-in-engineering.

 

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

Original URL: http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2015/march/ford-motor-company-donates-support-for-women-engineering-scholarships.html


Dow Company Great Lakes Bay Science and Engineering Festival

The Dow Chemical Company has taken the lead as naming sponsor of the Dow Chemical Company Great Lakes Bay Science & Engineering Festival at Delta College Oct. 4-5. The festival, hosted by Michigan Technological University and Delta College on the Delta College campus, will feature the Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers and the American Chemical Society Midland Section’s SciFest, performing their hands-on science shows.

The free two-day festival is designed to get children, adolescents and their families excited about science and engineering by engaging them in hands-on activities. Its ultimate goal is to attract more bright students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and careers.

On Friday, Oct. 4, the festival will host 4,000 middle school students from Midland, Bay City and Saginaw area schools. On Saturday, Oct. 5, it will be open to the public.

“STEM literacy has a profound and growing impact on our day-to-day lives. It helps us make critical decisions, and it reveals the power of the world we inhabit,” said Rob Vallentine, director, North America geographic site public affairs, and global director, STEM education at The Dow Chemical Company. “We believe engaging, hands-on learning opportunities are critical for building, supporting and growing the STEM pipeline. The Science and Engineering Festival is a great example of this model.”

Other major sponsors so far include Denso International America Inc., Nexteer Automotive, CMS Energy and the Dow Corning Foundation Donor Advised Funds awarded by the Midland Area Community Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation and Bay Area Community Foundation.

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers undergraduate and graduate student volunteers conduct high-energy, sometimes startling demonstrations and activities involving the young people who come to their performances. Science and engineering are anything but dull when you can make—and eat—liquid nitrogen ice cream, shoot a ping pong ball through a soda can using nothing more powerful than air or walk on (and sink in) a sticky liquid-solid called ooblek.

Mind Trekkers has brought the “Wow!” of STEM to hundreds of thousands of young people all over the country since the traveling science show was established in 2010. Partnering with the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Mind Trekkers will take its performance to the nation’s capital in April 2014.

ACS Midland’s SciFest also brings hands-on science to curious people of all ages, with exhibits, activities and performances. The Midland Local Section of ACS won a ChemLuminary award from the national ACS for SciFest in 2011.

Michigan Tech and Delta College are inviting other organizations and corporations interested in science, engineering and STEM education to participate in the Great Lakes Bay Science & Engineering Festival. Email Steve Patchin at Michigan Tech for more information at shpatchi@mtu.edu.


Georgia-Pacific Foundation Supports Women in Engineering

Seth Adams (left, ’12, BSEET), Electrical Converting Engineer and Andrew Bomstad, Product Engineer (right, ’10, BSME) from Georgia-Pacific Corporation present a check for $5,000 to Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz in support of the Women in Engineering (WIE) program. This gift, made by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, will help Michigan Tech reach out to more young women through the WIE program.

Annually WIE engages 150 pre-college young women in STEM education and career discovery. WIE participants are some of the best and the brightest. In 2013, WIE women boasted an average GPA above 3.9, 17 percent were number one academically in their high school class, and 31 percent were in the top five in their class.  For more information on WIE and other pre-college STEM outreach, please contact Steve Patchin at 906-487-2219 or shpatchi@mtu.edu, or visit syp.mtu.edu.