Category Archives: Community

fallUsing 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.

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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.

Program Descriptions

Pre-K & Kindergarten

Sense Detectives     Duration:  ½ hour-1hour

By listening carefully and looking closely, students use their senses to interpret the world around them as they discover the living and nonliving parts of the forest. After identifying what all living things need to survive, students will search the forest for some of these needs. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI:  S.IP.00.11-14; S.IA.00.12-14; L.OL.00.11-12

Wildlife Is Everywhere!         Duration:  ½ hour-1hour

Students will make observations and conclude that wildlife is all around us. Next, they will compare the lives of wild and tame animals; and search the forest for the needs of wild animals. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.00.11-14, S.IA.00.12-14, L.OL.00.11-12., SE.SE.00.11

GRADE 1

Bird Migration           Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will examine the questions: Why do birds migrate? What are some of the challenges they face during migration?  How are birds alike or different? Michigan GLEC’s:  SCI: S.IP.01.11-12,14; S.IA.01.12-14; L.OL.01.13,21;L.HE.01.11-12

 

­Weather Forecast      Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will be introduced to different tools used to measure weather.  They will observe and record the temperature, cloud cover, precipitation and wind.  They will investigate ways plants and animals have adapted to different types of weather. Michigan GLEC’s:  SCI: S.IP.01.11-12,14; L.OL.01.13; E.ES.01.11-12, E.ES.01.21-24; E.ES.01.31-32

 

GRADE 2 

To Be a Tree and Seed Get-Aways         Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will investigate trees, focusing on what plants need to survive. They will describe the life cycle of familiar plants and compare the leaves and seeds of different trees.  They will also participate in a scavenger hunt identify the different methods of seed dispersal. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.02.11-12,14; S.IA.02.1-14; L.OL.02.14,22 L.HE.02.13

Soil Detectives           Duration:  1-1.5 hours

Students will use sieves to investigate soil and determine what soil is made of. They will discover that there are many types, colors and textures of soil and conduct a mini-experiment to understand how erosion affects soil types differently.  Michigan GLEC’s: S.IP.02.11, S.IP.02.12, S.IP.02.13, S.IP.02.14, P.PM.02.14, E.FE.02.21

 

GRADE 3

Have to Have Habitat & Adaptations for Survival        Duration:  1-1.5 hours

Students will observe some of the unique structures and functions of organisms, investigate how plants and animals are adapted to their environments, and participate in multiple activities.   Michigan GLEC’s:  SCI:  S.IP.03.11-15; S.IA.03.11-15; S.RS.03.18; E.ES.03.52.              

             

The Physics of Flight       Duration:  1-1.5 hours

Birds come in all shapes and sizes—ever wonder why? Students will explore bird feathers, wings and flight as they investigate the forces of lift and thrust, then conduct an experiment to see how mass and force are related.  Michigan GLEC’s:  S.IP.03.1, P.FM.E.2, P.FM.E.3

 

GRADE 4 

Wildlife Signs and Survival        Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will go on a scavenger hunt to look for signs of wildlife.  Through two activities, “Oh Deer!” & “How Many Bears?”, students will investigate factors influencing organisms’ survival and population growth. Michigan GLEC’s:  SCI:  S.IP.04.11-14; S.IA.04.12-14; S.RS.04.15,18; L.OL.04.16.L.EV.04.21-22.

 

Spiders & Insects        Duration: 1-1.5 hours

How are spiders different from insects? How are they similar? The students will learn about different types of spiders and insects while searching for webs, egg cases and other evidence. They will carefully record and analyze the data collected. Students will not handle spiders or insects.  Michigan GLEC’s:  SCIS.IP.04.11-14; S.IA.04.12-14; S.RS.04.15,18; L.OL.04.16. L.EV.04.21-22; L.EC.04.11.21.

 

GRADE 5

Tree Identification     Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Using guidebooks and dichotomous keys, students will use observations of leaves, buds, bark, tree silhouettes, and branch patterns to help identify native trees species. Students will also be introduced to measurement of tree height and diameter. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.05.11-16; S.IA.05.11-15; L.EV.05.12; L.EV.05.21

 

Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Stream Study   Duration:  1.5-2 hours

Students will collect, identify and inventory aquatic macroinvertebrates in one of our local streams.  They will examine the organism’s role in the food chain and as indicators of water quality in the environment. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.05.11-16; S.IA.05.11-13; L.EV.05.11-12.

 

GRADE 6

Fabulous Fungi             Duration: 1-1.5 hours

Students will learn what a fungus is and about its role as a decomposer is in the forest ecosystem.  We will hunt for the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) of fungi and classify what we find according to the nine major divisions of mushrooms.  Michigan GLEC’s: S.IP.06.11-16; S.IA.06.11-13; L.OL.06.51-52. L.EC.06.22-23.

 

Magnetic Earth-Compasses & Orienteering             Duration: 1.5-2 hours

Students will learn how to use a compass and in the process understand that the reason compasses work is because of earth’s magnetic field. They will also complete a mini-orienteering course to test their compass reading skills. Michigan GLEC’s: E.SE.M.6, E.SE.06.62

GRADES 7-8

Possible topics include:

   Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Stream Study

   Bog and Wetland Ecology

   Fungi and Decomposition

   Tree ID

   Wildlife Signs and Survival

Possible Locations for Fall Field Trips:

  • Baraga School Forest
  • Bessemer City Park
  • Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
  • Calumet Waterworks Park
  • Calumet Lions Park
  • Ford Forestry Center
  • Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest
  • Maasto-Hiito Trails
  • McLain State Park
  • Michigan Tech Trails
  • Nara Nature Center
  • Norrie Park
  • Paavola Wetlands
  • Your school
  • Suggest a site!

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).

2017 Fall Field Trip Flyer

For more information, contact:

Brian Doughty, Field Trip Coordinator
Email: bwdoughty@mtu.edu
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.

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education                                                                                wege                                                                             CSEO_Logo Final Feb2016

Agassiz at Strawberry Festival 2017

AgassizThere were free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 8, 2017, during the Strawberry Festival. Excursions departed from the Chassell marina.

VIEW THE PHOTO ALBUM

“How do scientists assess the health of Lake Superior” was the focus of the free scientific excursions. The public was invited to sign up for a 30-minute scientific excursion.

On each scientific excursion, Marcel Djkstra, a graduate of Michigan Tech and currently a Great Lakes scientist at the University of Wisconsin, demonstrated the use of sampling equipment to collect data on: water clarity, temperature, and turbidity that tells us about the health of the lake—and Chassell Bay. Participants explored the link between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations were also conducted from the Chassell Marina dock by Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center researchers throughout the afternoon.

“Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and which measurement indicate a healthy lake,” explained Joan Chadde director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, who has coordinated this program as part of Strawberry Festival since 2006.

“These scientific excursions for the public have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered,” adds Chadde.

The event is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, and funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program. The GM Ride the Waves Program puts more than 600 Copper Country youth and adults on the water each year to learn about the Great Lakes and Lake Superior and promote STEM careers. Additional financial support is provided by the Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center and the Chassell Lions Club.

Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced

1490293756The 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.

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events were 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.

ABC News 10, WLUC TV6 and WJMN TV3 all covered World Water Day celebrations this week at Michigan Tech.

GLRC Celebrates World Water Day 2017

World Water Day Display
World Water Day Display

WORLD WATER DAY 2017 PHOTO ALBUM

CLEANING DIRTY WATER COMPETITION WWD2017 PHOTO ALBUM

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.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Mark Wilcox.

World Water Day Display In Memorial Union

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.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Mark Wilcox.

In the News

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

Winning SEEn Team and Dr. Marty Auer
Winning SEEn Team and Dr. Marty Auer

VIEW THE PHOTO ALBUM

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.

Read more and watch the video at ABC News 10, by Rick Allen.

ABC 10 WWD 2017
Dr. George Tchobanoglous

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.”

Read more and watch the video at WLUC TV6, by Harri Leigh.

Michelle Kelly
Michelle Kelly

World Water Day at Michigan Tech

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.

Read more at WJMN TV3.

Celebration of One Year Recycling Successes

Garbology
Garbology

All ages join in celebrating first year of local recycling

Local residents celebrated a year of recycling Saturday, February 4, 2017, at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton.

The two-hour event was well-attended, and visitors found presentations and activities to meet a wide range of recycling interests for all age levels.

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.

Recycling anniversary demonstrates local interest

HOUGHTON — The first anniversary of cardboard recycling in Houghton County was a great success, according to Joan Chadde, director of the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education (WUPC).

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.

Hancock middle school students dig through 182 pounds of trash

“Eighth graders decided that they wanted to get help out with this project, go through last night’s garbage and see what kind of products we could put in the recyclables to try to better educate ourselves,” said eighth grade science teacher, Jen Davis.

Students called it the Garbology project.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 FOX UP, by Aleah Hordges.

The event was sponsored by Copper Country Recycling Initiative, Portage Lake District Library, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Keweenaw Coop, Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

2017 Green Film for January 19: After Coal and Half Life

2017 Green Film Series Schedule

View the Flyer

FREE films promoting sustainability & environmental awareness!

Enjoy refreshments and facilitated discussion
Bring Your Own Mug!

The films begin at 7 p.m. with a discussion facilitated by Roman Sidortsov (SS) to follow. Coffee and dessert will be served.

There is no admission but a $3 donation is suggested.

Thursday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM, Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building
After Coal

After Coal (60 min)

Describes building a new future in the coalfields of central Appalachia and Wales. Welsh coalfields were shut down in the 1980s, eliminating more than 20,000 jobs while Appalachian coalfields lost 20,000+ jobs from 1994 -2014. Both regions have survived disasters associated with mining production & waste disposal, and each has explored strategies for remembering the past while looking to the future. What lessons does this film have for us?
Half Life

Half Life (12 min)

Describes the Ute tribe’s concern that toxic and radioactive contamination from the White Mesa Mill in SE Utah threatens their water supply and way of life. Why is this a common outcome of so many mines and/or mineral processing facilities? How can we change the ending?

Facilitator: Roman Sidortsov, Energy Policy, Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech
His research focuses on legal and policy issues related to the development of sustainable energy systems, energy security and justice, comparative and international energy law and policy, energy geopolitics, risk governance, and Arctic oil and gas.

2017 Green Film Series Schedule

Green Film Series: Issues & Dialogue ~ (mostly) 3rd Thursdays, January – May 2017

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm; enjoy coffee, dessert and facilitated discussion
Location: G002 Hesterberg Hall, Michigan Tech Forestry Bldg. (all films)
Cost: FREE, $3 suggested donation

FREE films promoting sustainability & environmental awareness!

Green Film Series Schedule

http://wupcenter.mtu.edu/

January 19: After Coal and Half Life

February 16: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

March 2: Death By Design – The Dirty Story of Our Digital Addiction

March 23: Last Call at the Oasis (World Water Day Film)

A 2012 documentary on the world’s water crisis, the film sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions.

Monday, April 17: The Messenger

Based upon the award‐winning book, Silence of the Songbirds, by Stutchbury, The Messenger is an investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion, and the people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning, emotional journey revealing how issues facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet.

May 11: Inhabit

Explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design process called ‘Permaculture’. Permaculture is a design lens that uses the principles found in ecosystems to help shift our impact from destructive to regenerative. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes. (93 min.)

Coffee, Tea & Refreshments

The Green Film Series is co-sponsored by:

Lake Superior Stewardship InitiativeKeweenaw Land TrustGreat Lakes Research CenterKeweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Coordinated by:

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental EducationCenter for Science and Environmental Outreach