Category Archives: outreach

Lake Superior Water Festival 2017

Lake Superior Water FestivalThe Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource – the Great Lakes! A wide variety of topics from science and engineering to creative writing will be presented. Students attend four 35-minute activities. Some of the topics to be presented include Remotely-Operated- Vehicles, Leave No Trace Outdoors, cleaning wastewater, U.S. Coast Guard careers, Lake Sturgeon ecology, atmospheric research in a cloud chamber, and more.

2017 Water Festival Presenters and Descriptions

Lake Superior Water Festival Haiku

Haiku: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables

The beautiful five Great Lakes
Sparkling below the sky.
Nothing else compares.
Lake Superior
A gentle breeze and waves
Brings back memories.
Over on the shore
I see the waves crashing in
I feel the cold breeze.
Lake Superior
Causing sailors to fall below
Greatest of all lakes.
Rushing and foaming
Dangerously storming now
Lake Superior
The cold moving water
Crashing on the rocky shore
Icy gray water.

Water study: Students spend day learning at Lake Superior Water Festival

HOUGHTON — High school students from five Upper Peninsula counties learned more about the Great Lakes and the research being done on them at the sixth annual Lake Superior Water Festival Wednesday.

The goal is to get students thinking about Lake Superior in an interdisciplinary way, said Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University.

Held at Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, the day included 15 sessions led by Tech researchers, students and staff as well as members of organizations such as the Keweenaw Land Trust and U.S. Coast Guard.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Lake Superior Water Festival at Great Lakes Research Center

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – High school students from across the Western UP got a new perspective on Lake Superior today.

The Great Lakes Research Center hosted their 6th annual Water Festival today. Nearly 500 high school students learned about a variety of challenges and careers surrounding Lake Superior.

“The goal is for the students to get exposure to science and engineering challenges here in Lake Superior and its watershed, as well as to gain some background in history, communication skills and management,” said Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 FOX UP, by Mariah Powell.

Lake Superior Water Festival 2017


Geology Field Trip and Tours for Brimley Area Students

Copper HarborTed Bornhorst, executive director and professor, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, hosted a second group of students from Brimley Area Schools Sept. 20 to 22, 2017. Last year a similar special field trip organized by Bornhorst with Brimley teacher Mary-Beth Andrews was so successful that the Brimley school board funded a return visit. The student interest was twice as great this year with 45 eigth graders and 15 ninth and tenth graders participating, as compared to a total of 30 students last year.

The three-day field trip included an all-day geology field trip in the Copper Harbor/Eagle River area led by Bornhorst. In the evening, the group took a guided boat trip on the Isle Royal Queen, located in Copper Harbor, funded by the GM Ride the Waves program. Erika Vye, geoheritage specialist with the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, was the tour guide on the boat. On campus, the group visited the mineral museum, did STEM tours/activities including presentations by Mark Rudnicki (SFRES) and Parisi Abadi (MEEM). The high school students did an exploration aboard the Agassiz led by environmental engineering students Aubrey Ficek and Marr Langlais. As part of their Keweenaw experience, the Brimley students did an underground tour of the Quincy Mine and took a visit to Keweenaw Gem and Gifts foundry.

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.


eCYBERMISSION Team Thanks Michigan Tech for Support

eCYBERMISSION Winners 2017
The Whiz Kids stand with Army personnel to accept the winner’s trophy for 2017.

BREAKING NEWS—WE WIN!!!

The Whiz Kids presented their work at the eCYBERMISSION National Competition on Thursday, June 29, 2017, and learned that they had won the 8th grade competition on Friday, June 30.

Lake Linden-Hubbell “Whiz Kids” Win National Competition

Three eighth grade students at Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School not only won a national championship, but may have helped create a solution to a local issue.

Although winning was great, Whiz Kid Gabe Poirier said that wasn’t the only benefit of completing the project.

“I think that one of the greatest parts was the realization that people like us that live in such a small area can do something bigger to benefit a lot of people,” said Whiz Kid Gabe Poirier.

Advisor Gretchen Hein said the trio plans to continue their work with stamp sands next year.

Read more at Keweenaw Report. View the Facebook video.


The Whiz Kids (Siona Beaudoin, Beau Hakala and Gabriel Poirier), an 8th grade eCYBERMISSION Team from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School greatly appreciated the support they received from Michigan Tech over the past year.

From October through June, they were advised by Gretchen Hein (CoE), faculty in engineering fundamentals, and Ryan Knoll, fourth-year chemical engineering student.

eCYBERMISSION is sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and is for sixth through ninth grade teams. This is our second year participating in this competition.

This year we competed at nationals, whereas last year we made it to regionals. Since we made it to the national level, we went to Washington D.C. this week.

As part of the week-long activities, we participated in STEM workshops, visited the National Inventors Hall of Fame, went on a tour of the Capitol building, participated in activities with the Army and presented our project for judging purposes.

From 1:30-4 p.m. today (June 29, 2017), you can vote for our team to receive the People’s Choice Award. The link to vote is here. You can also view our presentation, along with the other teams and the Awards Luncheon here. We’d like to win this award for our school and community.

eCYBERMISSION’s goal is for student teams to research and develop a process that will benefit their community. Because we live in the Copper Country, we wanted to focus on something related to that industry. Our elementary school, playground and football field were constructed on top of stamp sands which are materials that are left over from stamping the copper out of the mine rock. Also, many of our grandparents worked in the area mines. When we went to areas containing stamp sands, we noticed that few plants were growing on them. Then we visited places where the stamp sands had been remediated by placing 6″ – 12″ topsoil on top of the stamp sands and then planting various plants.

We wanted to see how plants would grow in different mixtures of stamp sand and topsoil, and how soil stressors would affect that growth. To test this, we completed two experiment.

For our first experiment, we planted four types of plants (Red Fescue, Red Clover, Alfalfa, and Trefoil) in five different quantities of stamp sand and topsoil. Our results showed that Alfalfa and Red Fescue had adequate plant growth in 100% stamp sand, with Red Fescue being the best.

In our second experiment, we tested different stressors with the plant types selected from the first experiment, which were Fescue and Alfalfa. These plants proved to grow the best in 100 percent stamp sand. The stressors were wind, wheel tracks,l and high water table.

Participating in eCYBERMISSION the past two years has been an enjoyable learning experience for us, and we will be able to apply what we have learned in our future endeavors. We were recently interviewed on the Keweenaw Report that can be read here.

When we competed at the regional competition, we came to Michigan Tech where Jeff Toorongian from the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning set up and ensured our virtual presentation worked with the eCYBERMISSION software.

When we made it to the national competition, we learned that only one adviser would be funded to travel with us. We were so happy when Chemical Engineering, Engineering Fundamentals and the Parent Fund supported Ryan’s travel. Ryan makes our team better. He has spent the school year and his summer working with us. He came to the regional competition even though it was his finals week.

In addition to funding Ryan’s travel, Engineering Fundamentals and the College of Engineering supported the poster printing costs. If they had not, our display would have just been print-outs. Instead, we learned how to make a Powerpoint poster and they funded the printing.

We are very thankful that the Parent Fund, Chemical Engineering, Engineering Fundamentals and the College of Engineering supported our project and helped to make us a successful team.

By Gretchen Hein.

ecybermission


Quincy Smelter Dedication

Quincy Smelter PlaqueRIPLEY — The former Quincy Smelting Works site has been recognized as historic because of its uniqueness. On Friday, May 19, 2017, the site received a dedication as a historic landmark.

Wayne Pennington, dean of the Tech College of Engineering, said the university had a connection with the site when the university was called the Michigan School of Mines, and Tech is still involved with the site.

“Thank you for including us at this time,” he said of the landmark dedication.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kurt Hauglie.


Virus Hydrophobicity is a Science360 Top Story

Science360

The Michigan Tech News story “Virus Hydrophobicity Can Help Purify Vaccines” concerning the research of Caryn Heldt made the top story of the online news magazine Science360. Heldt is an associate professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech.

The vaccine story, written by Michigan Tech science and technology writer Allison Mills, appeared in Science360 five days after it was published. This multimedia source is edited by the National Science Foundation in order to gather breaking STEM news from scientists, universities, and science and engineering centers.


Summer 2017 Keweenaw Geotours by Land and Boat

Geoheritage TourThis is the fourth year of summer Geotours of the Keweenaw, led by Bill Rose (GMES) and Erika Vye. The tours are all about Keweenaw Geoheritage and feature the RV Agassiz.

Five different one-day geotours are offered (see links for more details):
July 22: Glacial Geology
July 24: Lavas and the great rift
July 25: The Keweenaw Fault
July 26: Redbed sediments filling the Rift
July 27: Mining wastes and Lake Dynamics

For registration and more information, see this link.


Michigan Space Grants for Guadagno and Oppliger

Marcello Guadagno
Marcello Guadagno

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $30,000 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the 2017-18 funding cycle. Award recipients within the College of Engineering include:

Undergraduate Marcello Guadagno (ME-EM) received a $2,500 research fellowship for “Stratus Meteorological CubeSat: Payload Integration and Mission Level Design” with Lyon Brad King (ME-EM).

Douglas Oppliger
Douglas Oppliger

Douglas Oppliger (EF) received $5,000 or more for “Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles for Teaching STEM Concepts” (includes augmentation).

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College.

For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College at 7-4371 or visit the MSGC website.


GM to Present Grant to Michigan Tech

GM CareerFEST
General Motors at CareerFEST

General Motors, a long-time supporter of Michigan Tech, will present the University with a $110,000 grant on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

The campus community is invited to the check presentation at 10 a.m. in Memorial Union Ballroom A.

Steven Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America and a member of Michigan Tech’s Board of Trustees, will present the check to President Glenn Mroz.

The grant will fund a variety of student activities. Among them are the Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, Manufacturing Engineering Initiative, pre-college STEM outreach programs and diversity programs.

Original story by Industry Relations.

Michigan Tech Receives $110,000 Grant from GM

Michigan Tech and General Motors share a long-standing partnership dating back to at least 1940.

Through the University/Organization Partner Program, GM annually grants $3 million to support leading universities and partnering organizations across the country. The program aims to strengthen higher education curricula in 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.

Read more at Tech Today, by Industry Relations.


After School Science and Engineering Classes for Grades 1-8

GLRC After SchoolThere will be six sessions of after school science and engineering classes for grades 1-8 from Jan. 23 to March 3, 2017. The sessions will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 104 of the Great Lakes Research Center.

These sessions offer hands-on explorations taught by Michigan Tech science and engineering students. 

Class Offerings:

Gr. 1-2 Transportation and Engineering: Mondays

Students will design candy cars, a bridge to hold the most weight, a boat that floats, a brain helmet that survives a crash, planes, trains and more.

Gr. 3-5 Geology Playgrounds: Wednesdays

Beaches, waterfalls, lakes, sledding hills — discover how some of these favorite places to play were formed. Each week, we will explore different geologic activities which have created cool features and shaped our home — the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Gr. 6-8 Fascinating Plants:  Thursday

Explore the amazing world of plants — visit a research greenhouse, conduct experiments on effects of road salt and acid rain, design a water treatment system using plants, try to make sugar like a plant, meet a botanist and find out how forest plant materials can replace plastics and provide medicine and food.

Cost is $75 per student. Register by Friday, Jan. 20. Pay by credit card by calling the Michigan Tech Cashier at 7-2247. Your space is not reserved until payment has been received.

Click on 2017 Winter MTU After School Classes January 23 – March 2  or wupcenter to register online.

Questions? Call 7-3341 or email Joan Chadde.

Note: Houghton school bus will drop off students at Michigan Tech by 3:50 p.m.

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.


Western UP Center Highlighted by MMSCN

CSEOThe services of the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education are highlighted in the October 2016  Michigan Math and Science Center Network  (MMSCN) newsletter.

The Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach is a lead partner in the Western UP Center since its creation in 2000.

The MMSCN newsletter is distributed to MDE, MI state legislature, STEM Council  and other stakeholders. Several additional Michigan Tech partners and collaborative grant funding agencies are mentioned.