The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition shouldn’t come as a surprise. The winners are three members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Environmental Engineering — seniors no less — Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler and Jeremy Luebke.
The winning trio had stiff competition from the runner up team, “The Insolubles,” three students from a Hancock High School chemistry class — Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow and Shannon Nulf. The class is taught by a Michigan Tech grad.
Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids, a group of three eighth-grade students 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, Wednesday (March 22). This year’s theme was wastewater, hence the cleaning water competition.
Event coordinator Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes. The wastewater was made up of 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 came in. Martin Auer (CEE), a local wastewater treatment expert served as judge. All members of the winning team received $25 Michigan Tech gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the second 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, two billion people are without clean drinking water and three billion are without wastewater treatment. After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water.
Two hundred students in grades 4-8 participated in the 19th Annual Western Upper Peninsula Science Fair on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Michigan Tech’s Memorial Union Ballroom. Projects entered in the Western UP Science Fair were on public display from 4:45-5:45 pm in the 2nd floor ballroom of the MUB.
OPEN to all High School students in Detroit and Wayne County who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!
Michigan Tech will host a 6-day trip to explore environmental science and engineering majors. It is open to all high school students in Detroit and Wayne Counties who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!
What YOU will do …
In the forest, ID and measure trees, and collect frog data;
On the water, aquatic sampling aboard a research vessel ;
In the lab, examine plankton, drive a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), and design a process to clean water;
Tour a college campus, stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall;
Visit Michigan DNR Training Center on Houghton Lake.
Experience national and state parks, wildlife refuges, nature sanctuaries with experts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!
Mike Reed, Curator of Education, Detroit Zoo
Lisa Perez, U.S. Forest Service ~ Detroit Urban Connections
Joan Chadde | Michigan Technological University |firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: (906) 487-3341
This program is funded by:
These Michigan Technological University Departments Schools and Centers:
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Michigan Tech Admissions
Housing and Residential Life
Center for Pre-College Outreach
Center for Science and Environmental Outreach
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Tech Transportation Institute
General Motors (Ride the Waves)
Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach with Help form the Following Partners:
The Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, there will be events throughout the week of March 20th to focus on the issue of clean water.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Wastewater.” Globally, 80 percent of all wastewater flows back to nature without being treated or reused. Not only does this pollute the environment, but valuable nutrients and potentially recoverable materials are lost. Daisuke Minakata from Civil and Environmental Engineering says “Wastewater is no longer a collection of liquid and solid wastes but our valuable resource so that we can create potable water from wastewater with advanced treatment technologies and recover valuable materials and even energy from waste. In this sense we no longer call it a wastewater treatment plant but water resource recovery facility.”
Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and 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.
Today, (March 22) is World Water Day, with this year’s theme being “Wastewater.” Since Monday, visitors to Michigan Tech’s Memorial Union Building, have gotten an up close and personal look at their daily usage of water, illustrated by a display featuring 90 one-gallon water jugs.
The display is the work of Caryn Murray, an environmental engineering major from Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Murray’s display has dozens of gallon jugs with colored caps corresponding with everyday water-related activities such as flushing a toilet, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc.
Latika Gupta (SBE), Joan Chadde (CEE/GLRC) and Daisuke Minakata (CEE) appeared on Copper Country Today to discuss the celebration of World Water Day at Michigan Tech this week. The interview aired on Sunday, March 19 on WOLV FM, WHKB FM and WCCY AM/FM.The entire interview can be found on the Copper Country Today website.
Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced
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.
University celebrates World Water Day
Michigan Tech has been taking part in the global observance of World Water Day for about 10 years. Spanning several days on campus, the celebration includes art displays, competitions and a panel discussion to name just a few.
Celebrating World Water Day with scientific research
Michelle Kelly, a fourth-year environmental engineering student, said research like hers can help efforts to improve water quality in the future.
“A lot of times people take one measurement at one point in the stream and kind of assume that this is the same throughout the stream,” she said. “My research has kind of shown that rates can be pretty variable within the stream itself, so a lot of people have been pretty surprised.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a student poster session in the lobby of the Dow Building. Students will be available for discussions and interviews between 3-5 p.m. each day.
In addition, the art exhibition “Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast,” is on display on the first and second floors of the Great Lakes Research Center through June 15.
Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture. George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis will present “Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in Dow 641.
Alternative spring breaks combine the suspension of studies with something extraordinary. There have been some pretty exciting excursions in the past and this year is no exception. Among them is:
National Society of Black Engineers
Again this year, members of the Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools, are spreading the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. A total of 11 Tech students, all but one from the state of Michigan, will visit Detroit-area middle schools March 6 – 8, 2017, while hosting Family Engineering Nights in the evenings.
Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech, says the Family Engineering program was developed at Tech with several partner organizations.
“The goal is to engage, inspire and encourage elementary students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities with their parents at Family Engineering events,” Chadde explains. She says the program is designed to address the country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in math, science, technology and engineering. “The Family Engineering program targets six to 12-year olds and their parents.”
Using the outdoors as a classroom is a great way to get students excited about science and make connections to the real world!
Since 2001, the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education, in partnership with the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University, offers outdoor learning experiences in science and environmental education for K-12 students in the five western counties of the Upper Peninsula.
Field trip activities enhance classroom learning and are correlated to Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for Science and Math.. During the activities, students utilize many science and math skills such as observing, predicting, data collecting, recording, graphing, analyzing and drawing conclusions.
Teachers should complete a Field Trip Request Form online. On the form, select a program, several dates, and a
location. Your school is encouraged to schedule multiple field trips on the same day for different classes at different
times. After we receive your request form, we will schedule your field trip and send you a confirmation letter.
Field trips are available to schools in the CCISD and GOISD school districts.
Cost: The field trips are $30 per class (up to 30 students). The CCISD will invoice each school at the end of
the season for the total number of field trips provided for each school during that season.
Please click on the activity title for a sample lesson plan. These plans are a rough idea of what teachers can expect form a lesson. Content can be customized according to class needs or Teacher/Instructor discretion
Warm Earth ½-1 hr
Students will participate in simple tests to help them understand that the sun heats up some earth surfaces more than others. They will be challenged to find warm areas and cool areas and compare them to discover why they differ and how this may affect plants or animals. Finally, they will design a structure to help keep a warm area cool. Standards addressed: K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, K-LS1-1
Spring Alive! ½-1 hr
Students will make observations of plants and signs of wildlife to discover how both can change the environment to meet their needs. Can we find young plants pushing up through dead leaves or pavement? How about animal holes in trees or the ground? Students will make connections between living things changing their surroundings to help them survive. Standards addressed: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-PS3-1 GRADE 1 AnimalLifeCycles
What is metamorphosis? Students will explore the life cycles of familiar wildlife and understand that living things grow and change. They will go on a hunt to find small insects and determine if they are adults or not. Standards addressed: 1-LS3-1
Sounds of Nature ½-1 hr
The outdoors are alive with sounds! Students will hunt to find objects that make sounds, such as leaves rustling, grasses blowing, birds singing, or water flowing. Then we’ll explore common objects that vibrate to make sound: strings, grass whistles, rubber bands and learn that even our voices and bird songs are created by vibrating parts within us. Finally, we’ll go on a bird hunt to see if we can find singing birds. Standards addressed: 1-PS4-1 GRADE 2 Gr.2 Frog-tastic
Students will participate in a variety of activities followed by a search for frogs. Students will describe the basic requirements, adaptations, and life cycle of frogs. Standards addressed: 2-LS4-1
Who Lives in a Tree? ½-1 hr
Trees provide food and shelter to many animals. Students will develop an awareness of trees and some of the animals that live in them and make connections as to how plants help animals and animals help plants by pollination or by distributing seeds. They will also be challenged to develop a device using objects in nature that models how animals pollinate flowers. Standards addressed: 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-3 GRADE 3 Insect Sampling 1½ hrs
How do scientists sample insects? Are sampling methods different for terrestrial vs. aquatic insects? What are the life cycles of different insects? How do insects find their mates? Students will answer these questions as they collect and study insects from terrestrial or aquatic habitats. Standards addressed: 3-LS1-1
What’s For Dinner? 1½ hrs
Students will learn about predator/prey relationships and strategies animals have developed to avoid being eaten. They will discover that some animals of the same species are better at surviving because they have slightly different characteristics that help them. They will define producers and consumers as they examine food chains and food webs. Standards addressed: 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-2 GRADE 4 Wetland Ecology 1½ hrs
Students will investigate wetlands by studying the soil, plants, and hydrology. Students will be able to describe the essential components of a wetland and classify them. They will also learn why wetlands are such important ecosystems. Standards addressed: 4-ESS3-1, 4-LS1-1
The Secret Life of Bees 1½ hrs
Students will learn the difference between bees, wasps and hornets. They will discover that bees have fascinating lives due to their ability to sense, process and respond to information in unique ways. They will also get an up close look at a honeybee hive. Bee behavior will be further understood through outdoor games and a nature hike to observe important plants for bees. Standards addressed: 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2 GRADE 5 Soil Science 1½ hrs
What is soil? How can soil be described according to texture? Does water move through different soil types faster? What kinds of organisms live in soil? Students will conduct an investigation to describe various soil types and compare percolation rates. Standards addressed: 5-PS1-3, 5-ESS2-1
Birds in Spring 1½ hrs
Spring is a busy time for birds. They are returning from migration, mating and building nests. Students will listen and look for birds and record the data, practice using binoculars and learn the names of some common birds. GRADE 6 Pond (or Stream) Sampling 1½ hrs
Students collect data to discover fauna, and flora of a pond. Students will sample pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. We will discuss ways to make sure we are not negatively impacting the delicate ecosystem of a pond. Standards addressed: MS-LS2-1
Invasive Species 1½ hrs
What are invasive species? Are there any in the surrounding area? How can we slow down their invasion? Students will learn about some of the native, exotic and invasive species in our area and then investigate the surrounding area, looking for them.
Important information __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The weather can be very unpredictable at this time of the year. Please have your students dress for the weather conditions! We recommend boots for wet, muddy conditions. Some rubber boots will be available for field trips to a wetland or pond.
Locations for Spring Field Trips:
Michigan Tech Recreational Trails
Nara Chalet and Preserve
Maasto Hiito Trails
Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest
McClain State Park
Calumet Waterworks Park
Calumet Lake/ Calumet Lions Park
Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
Baraga School Forest
Ford Center and Forest (Alberta)
Bessemer City Park
Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center
Cancellation Policy: the Center will not cancel any field trips due to weather, it is the responsibility of the teacher to
decide if a field trip should be cancelled. To cancel a field trip, please call the Field Trip Coordinator at (906)
370-1052 at least 2 hours in advance (3 hours for Gogebic/Ontonagon schools).
Brian Doughty, Field Trip Coordinator
Phone: 906-487-3341 (office) or 248-798-4382 (cell)
The Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education is a partnership of Copper Country & Gogebic-Ontonagon
Intermediate School Districts and the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach serving schools and communities in
Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic, Ontonagon and Keweenaw Counties. The Center’s mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Field Trip Financial Support
The Outdoor Science Investigation Field Trip Program has been funded since 2008 with a grant from the Wege Foundation to Michigan Tech.
In 2012 and 2015, snowshoes were purchased with support from the Keweenaw Community Foundation and the MEEMIC Foundation,
respectively. In 2016, another grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation is funding technology to support outdoor investigations.
The field trip program is coordinated by the Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education. It is funded in part by the Michigan Stem Partnership and the Wege Foundation.