Outdoor place-based & STEM education programs

IMG_9175aOn Monday, June 1st through Thurs June 4th, local school students were introduced to various STEM education and Career opportunities. Dollar Bay Elementary School had scientific excursions on the RV Agassiz, and saw science projects at 102 GLRC, and 104 GLRC. The program is funded by General Motors Ride the Waves program.

Jeffers High School’s Place-based Learning Day was at Lake Perrault and the Michigan Nature Association’s Brown Sanctuary. This is funded by a grant from EPA Exemplary Model and Earth Force, along with Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

On Tuesday, June 2nd, Dollar Bay Elementary School had two 1.5-hour sessions aboard the Agassiz research vessel (GLRC dock/boathouse) and lab (102 GLRC) with description of Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.

See a video clip

Also on Tuesday, June 2nd Houghton Middle School was at the Marsin Center monitoring frogs & salamanders, fish seining, and native plant landscaping. This funding is provided by Keweenaw Land Trust with a grant from the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Keweenaw Community Foundation awarded in March 2015.

On Wed, June 3rd the Washington Middle School Gr. 6-8 students held an Adopt a Beach Program and invasive species removal at Calumet Waterworks Park thanks to a grant from EPA Exemplary Model and Earth Force, along with Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

Dollar Bay Elementary School went to the Marsin Center on Thursday, June 4. Funded by Keweenaw Land Trust with a grant from the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Keweenaw Community Foundation awarded in March 2015.
For more information, visit: http://lakesuperiorstewardship.org/

Scientific Excursion on board RV Agassiz -- GM Ride the Waves Program
Scientific Excursion on board RV Agassiz — GM Ride the Waves Program
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.
Dollar Bay Elementary School learns about Aquatic Ecology Program. This is funded by Ride the Waves/GM.

Working Together to Build Drought Resiliency

image122501-horizDrought in the southwest has left only a trickle running through irrigation ditches on farms outside El Paso, Texas. The Rio Grande — called Rio Bravo in Mexico — is what supplies that trickle, struggling to meet water demands in three US states and five in Mexico.

As drought continues, and demand grows, researchers like Alex Mayer from Michigan Technological University are looking to new models to improve the region’s drought resiliency. Mayer, a professor of environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, is part of a unique team looking at water resources along a section of the Rio Grande. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the US Department of Agriculture, has awarded the project a $4.9 million grant to study water shortage and climate change for the next five years in the region.

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STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech

STEMHigh School students came to learn about STEM Careers at Michigan Tech. Nearly 200 high school students from nine schools in the western UP spent a day at Michigan Tech, exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. They visited labs and learn about green building and low-impact design, human monitoring devices, forest insects, steam mechanics, remotely-operated vehicles, computer science, materials science and engineering, civil engineering/concrete testing, Great Lakes fish, transportation engineering and geology and mining engineering.

On Tuesday May 12, students from Jeffers High School in Adams Township spent the day at Tech learning about STEM careers. Students from Nah Tah Wahsh Public Academy in Wilson were on campus on May 13th, and on Friday the 15th the University will host students from Watersmeet High School.

Students visited a variety of science, engineering, and computer labs at Michigan Tech and participate in presentations and hands-on activities led by Michigan Tech students, engineers, and scientists to kick start students’ planning for careers in STEM. Tours were approximately from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

View some photos of the STEM Careers Tours Program at Michigan Tech

View a short video clip of a lab example learning about STEM careers

Download the PDF Flyer: STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech

Selected Topics and Labs to Visited:

Green Building & Low Impact Design
Stream Mechanics Lab
Remotely Operated Vehicles
Computer Science
Materials Science & Engineering
Civil Engineering Concrete TestingLab
Fishy Great Lakes
Transportation Engineering
Geology & Mining Engineering
Human Monitoring Devices / Driving Simulator
Forest Insects

For more information about STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech, contact:

Joan Chadde, Director
MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
jchadde@mtu.edu or 906-487-3341

Made possible with funding from the Michigan STEM Partnership and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education with assistance from the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

STEM Tours School FLYER

Schools Sheduled (Update to May 6)

April 28 – Keweenaw Bay Alternative School and Copper Country Christian
May 4 – Lake Linden-Hubbell High School
May 5 – L’Anse High School
May 8: Dollar Bay
May 11: Bessemer
May 12: Jeffers High School
May 13: Nah Tah Wahsh
May 15: Watersmeet

STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour

Amy Marcarelli Receives NSF CAREER Award

image121680-horizResearch indicates human activities have altered the global nitrogen cycle as much or more than the global carbon cycle. Yet it seems the public is far less aware of these changes.

In the world of aquatic biology, it’s a long-held belief that what goes up, must come down. As human activity causes nitrogen loads to go up along the banks of rivers and streams, nitrogen levels go down through another process. Amy Marcarelli, a Michigan Technological University associate professor in biological sciences, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study this nitrogen conversion balance.

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