Category Archives: Outreach

K-6 Winter Family Fun Night at Nara Nature Center & Park

What can you do with your family to celebrate winter and nature? K-6 students and their parents are invited to turn off their electronics and enjoy a fun evening together making nature crafts and taking a snowshoe night hike at the Nara Nature Center & Park. The event will take place from 6:00-7:30 pm, Monday, December 15.

The nature crafts and snowshoe night hike activities will each be offered from 6:05-6:45 pm and from 6:50-7:30 pm. Families may participate in one or both indoor and outdoor activities. The event is FREE, donations are welcome. Craft supplies, hot chocolate and tea, along with child & adult snowshoes will be provided while supplies last.

For the outdoor activity, families can take a hike in the woods, on foot or on snowshoes listening and looking for signs of wildlife, and viewing the night sky, as part of a naturalist-led hike at Nara Nature Park. If available, please bring your own snowshoes. Dress warmly!

For the indoor activity, families can make several types of nature crafts to take home while enjoying the cozy warmth of the Nara Nature Center Chalet. Including birchbark cutout ornaments

The Winter Family Fun Night is a great way to get families outdoors and active! The event is coordinated by Western U.P. Math & Science Center and the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, and funded with a grant from the Michigan Alliance of Environmental Professionals (MAEP). Use of the Nara Center is provided by the City of Houghton, and Bob & Ruth Nara.

This is the first in a monthly series of outdoor family fun nights and monthly family outings to be held on Saturday afternoons at the Nara Nature Center and the Maasto Hhito Chalet over the coming year. These programs are funded by the Michigan Alliance of Environmental Professionals.

The Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals is a nonpolitical, multidisciplinary professional society formed to advance the practice of environmental management in the State of Michigan by providing its members with information on issues affecting the profession and with opportunities for continuing education, professional development, recognition, and interaction with their peers.

WinterFamilyFunNightFLYERDec2014

For more information, contact the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach by calling 906-487-3341.

STEM Outreach in Detroit

The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, along with the Michigan Tech Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers student chapter, conducted a Family Engineering Night at Escuela Avancemos Academy in Southwest Detroit (Mexicantown) on Nov. 24. John Deere provided support for the event, which featured activities in both English and Spanish and offered a free dinner in the school’s cafeteria. Approximately 180 participated, including students in grades K-5 and their family members.

The following members of the Michigan Tech community presented at the event:

Uzi Mendez ’13 (Bio Med)
Michael Briseno (Bio Med/ECE), undergraduate student
Zoe Miller (CEE), master’s student
Gabriella Shirkey ’13 (HU)
Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach

“Ride the Waves with GM” earns grant for 2015

IMG_3318dGeneral Motors, a long-time supporter of Michigan Tech, presented the University with a $100,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation.
Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America, presented 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, Environmental Engineering Senior Design, student groups and diversity programs.
Many people from the campus community were there for the check presentation on Thursday October 30 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.
GM will fund the “Ride the Waves with GM” program for the Great Lakes Research Center for 2015 for the third year. Steve Tomaszewski presented Dr Martin Auer with a check for $25,000 for the 2015 program. This program invites youth to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the exploration of Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. Among the many events that the program supports include:

  • Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz for Students in Grades 4‐12;
  • Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigations toind out how scientists investigate water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “what makes a lake trout?”;
  • Mine Waste Remediation & Torch Lake Restoration – The history of the “Copper Country is explored by land and water as students visit historic copper milling sites, reclaimed mine waste sites, and the bottom of Torch Lake.
  • Investigate the lake with a Remotely Operated Vehicles – Students get to see what lies beneath the waves without a remotely operated vehicle
  • Explore an area in Lake Superior where the shrimplike organism Diporeia is up to 20 times more abundant than in any other part of Lake Superior! How does this affect the Lake Superior food web? Ideal for high school students.
  • Lake Superior’s Ring of Fire – Explore an area in Lake Superior where the shrimplike organism Diporeia is up to 20 times more abundant than in any other part of Lake Superior! How does this affect the Lake Superior food web?

  • Free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz will be held at the Strawberry Festival
  • Houghton: A Look at How Scientists Study the Great Lakes at the Portage District Library to host a special science program that will pique students interest in the Great Lakes and what lives there with excursions on the RV Agassiz.

    See Video Clip of “Ride the Waves with GM” earns grant for 2015

    Ride The Waves With GM  group at Michigan tech with Steve Tomaszewski, GM's global facilities director of operations North America
    Ride The Waves With GM group at Michigan tech with Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America
    Steve Tomaszewski, GM's global facilities director of operations North America with Dr. Martin Auer
    Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America with Dr. Martin Auer
     Steve Tomaszewski, GM's global facilities director of operations North America, will present the check to President Glenn Mroz

    Steve Tomaszewski, GM’s global facilities director of operations North America, will present the check to President Glenn Mroz
    Rich Berkey  and team members  tell how funding helps students
    Rich Berkey and team members tell how funding helps students
  • 2014 Lake Superior Water Festival Thursday, October 23

    IMG_3709

    Lake Superior Water Festival: Students Flood Great Lakes Research Center

    The 2014 Water Festival was held in the Great Lakes Research Center on Thursday, Oct. 23. Almost 1,000 students in grades four through eight from local school districts were registered to attend.

    News article from Daily Mining Gazette Water festival offers hands-on science

    Article and Video from Upper Michigan Source Water Festival draws over 1,000 middle schoolers to Michigan Tech

    Water Festival at Michigan Tech Read the Michigan Tech news story

    Article and video from ABC News 10: Students learn about Lake Superior at MTU’s Water Festival 

    Students spent a half-day on campus and attended four 35-minute activities. The Water Festival is designed to offer students engaging Great-Lakes-based content taught by Tech scientists, students and community experts (including artists and historians).

    Activities offered include remotely operated vehicles, non-native invasive species, Great Lakes monitoring, land and water stewardship, Keweenaw geology, the aquatic food web, fish ecology and more.

    “The Water Festival will provide an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource: clean, fresh water,” said Joan Chadde, education program coordinator. “We will present a wide variety of topics related to the Great Lakes, from science and engineering to social studies and the arts.”

    October 23 Water Festival for Grades 4-8 from 8:45 to 3:00 pm at the Great Lakes Research Center:

    View slide of Pictures of Lake Superior Water Festival

    View Videos clips about Lake Superior Water Festivals

    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech
    Lake Superior Water Festival October 23, 2014 at the Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Tech

    Flyer

    Water Festival Homepage More information

    2014 Green Lecture Series: Rethinking Local Energy Choices & Costs

    2014 Green Lecture Series presents:
    Rethinking Local Energy Choices & Costs
    By Abhilash Kantamneni, PhD student, MTU Dept. of Computer Science

    Date & Time: Thursday, September 11, 7:00-8:30 pm

    Location: G002 Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building, Michigan Tech
    Cost: FREE Enjoy coffee, tea & refreshments

    About the Lecture:
    Residents of our community pay the 2nd highest electricity rates among the 48 contiguous United States, and almost twice as much as the rest of Michigan! Despite our large number of heating degree days and high electricity rates, much of our local population cannot afford to invest in energy-saving technologies and appliances as they are already struggling to simply make ends meet. Our electricity rates have doubled over the last dozen years, and are expected to increase significantly over the next few years. This talk will focus on how our community can rethink our energy use and implement creative strategies to save energy costs. Find out what it means for our community to be a Quarterfinalist competing for the $5,000,000 Georgetown University Energy Prize.

    About Abhilash Kantamneni (‘AH-bee-LAA-sh CAN-tum-NAY-ni’)
    Abhi is a PhD student in Computer Science at Michigan Tech. His research uses artificial intelligence and agent based programming to build agile and smart microgrids: power system devices of the future. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India in 2008 and obtained a Masters Degree in Physics from Michigan Tech in 2013. Abhi is also the co-founder of iThoughtz.com, a software company in India that now employs 15 full time engineers. Having never seen snow before in his life, he made the unfortunate decision of flying to Houghton in the middle of the winter of 2009. Since then however, he has come to think of the UP as his second home. Abhi is committed to using his education to help the community around him, and strives to be a good ambassador for his family, teachers, culture and country.”

    Cosponsored by:
    Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Dept. of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Keweenaw Land Trust

    Children’s Science Exploration, Boat Rides and Talks for Alumni Week

    IMG_8980bChildren’s Science Exploration: Launcher Project – Great Lakes Research Center; Have you ever used a ball thrower or a diving board? These are example of real life ‘launchers’ — machines that propel an object. Launchers work by storing potential energy and then releasing it as kinetic energy (energy of motion) which is used to propel an object. In this activity, families will design their own launchers using plastic spoons, popsicle sticks, and rubber bands.

    Presented by Anza Mitchell, National Society of Black Engineers – Academic Excellence Chair, Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Student, Michigan Technological University and Terrianna Bradley (General Motors Ride The Waves program student, 3rd year), Michigan Technological University, Environmental Engineering, National Society of Black Engineers-Programs Chair; Black Student Association-Secretary; Michigan Tech Dance Team and Society of Intellectual Sisters

    Children’s Science Exploration: Launcher Project: Anza Mitchell and Terrianna Bradley
    Children’s Science Exploration: Launcher Project: Anza Mitchell and Terrianna Bradley

    As part of the Children’s Science Exploration The Houghton Robotics team made a presentation of their projects including a Frisbee throwing robot. The team includes Houghton High School students and mentors who are Michigan Tech students.

    Robotics Team  Houghton High School: Danielle Lund, Aaron Bergstrom, Peter Lund, Chris Doig  (MEEM and Computer Sci)  and Eric Lund (MEEM)
    Robotics Team Houghton High School: Danielle Lund, Aaron Bergstrom, Peter Lund, Chris Doig (MEEM and Computer Sci) and Eric Lund (MEEM)

    Also for Alumni Week the Research Vessel Agassiz Research Boat Tours at Great Lakes Research Center. Four tours left every hour on the hour from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The University operates the R/V Agassiz in support of its mission in aquatic sciences, and these scientific excursions will provide insight into the research being conducted by faculty and students.

    Research Vessel Agassiz Research Boat Tours at Great Lakes Research Center.
    Research Vessel Agassiz Research Boat Tours at Great Lakes Research Center.

    Tech Talks: Dr. Guy Meadows, Hollywood meets Ocean Science: “The Perfect Storm” and “Hunt for Red October”, Fisher Hall Room 139 Based upon applied ocean physics, how real are these Hollywood creations? Could or did the Perfect Storm really occur? How big were the waves really? How do submarines communicate underwater? How do we use sound in the sea as a tool? These questions and more will be explored…with the help of Hollywood, of course.

    Tech Talks: Dr. Guy Meadows, Hollywood meets Ocean Science: "The Perfect Storm" and "Hunt for Red October"
    Tech Talks: Dr. Guy Meadows, Hollywood meets Ocean Science: “The Perfect Storm” and “Hunt for Red October”


    See the Children’s Science Exploration Photo Gallery

    Celebration of Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor

    IMG_7713 (1280x853)Copper Harbor community volunteers, along with the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Organized the second annual Lake Superior Day Festival, Sunday, July 20, with lots of special activities at the 6th Street Dock along the Copper Harbor Boardwalk (near Isle Royale Queen boat dock).

    UPDATE: See Photo Gallery from 2014 Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor Michigan

    Lake Superior Magazine featured photos of the Michigan Tech Research Vessel Agassiz and other activities at Lake Superior Day at Copper Harbor last Sunday. See photos 23-27 at Lake Superior Day.

    Daily Mining Gazette: Lake Superior Day: A Superior celebration

    Copper Harbor activities included:

    * Enjoy fish stew (Kalamojakka), homemade pies, rieska (Finnish flatbread) and more for a community picnic ($5 donation suggested).
    * Canoe races and kayak demonstrations
    * Interactive art (paint the model freighter)
    * ROV (remotely operated vehicle) demonstrations by the Dollar Bay High School S.O.A.R. team
    * Learn about the health of Lake Superior from a presentation by Great Lakes scientist Marcel Dijkestra from Michigan Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
    * Live music, poetry, and more.

    From 1 to 4 p.m., attendees found out how scientists study the Great Lakes by taking a 25-minute scientific excursion in the harbor aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel the Agassiz. These excursions were offered as part of the Ride the Waves Program with funding from General Motors. The Agassiz left the Isle Royale Queen dock every half-hour beginning at 1 p.m.

    Lake Superior Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July in many communities around Lake Superior. The event, now in its 11th year, is spearheaded by the Lake Superior Binational Forum to highlight the special connections people have to this unique world treasure.

    For more information about the event, contact Lake Superior Day lead organizer, Don Kilpela, Isle Royale Queen captain in Copper Harbor

    To learn more about Lake Superior Day events around the lake, visit the Lake Superior Binational Forum. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Office of the Great Lakes also provides information on Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes at the Department of Environmental Quality, or visit
    EPA’s website.

    See Photo Gallery from 2014 Lake Superior Day in Copper Harbor Michigan

    Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech Research Vessel Agassiz for Students

    Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech Research Vessel Agassiz for Students in Grades 4-12 ~ Fun! FREE! Educational!

    Ride the Waves with GM (General Motors) invites Copper Country youth in Grades 4-12 to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the exploration of Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. There are four different programs to choose from, each 4 hours in length, that will accommodate 14 youth/chaperones:

    Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigation (4 hour session, 2 on boat & 2 in lab; July 1, 3, 24, Aug. 1, 4-7) Find out how scientists investigate water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “what makes a lake trout?” All ages.

    Mine Waste Remediation & Torch Lake Restoration (4 hour session, 2 on Agassiz & 2 in Lake Linden; on July 1; Aug. 4-7) The history of the “Copper Country is explored by land and water as students visit historic copper milling sites, reclaimed mine waste sites, and the bottom of Torch Lake. Ideal for middle school students.

    Investigate the lake with a Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) (2-3 hour session on Agassiz on July 21, 23, 30 departing from various locations; optional shuttle available from MTU)
    Unless you’re a diver, few get to see what lies beneath the waves without a remotely operated vehicle. What surprises await you? Ideal for middle/high school students

    Lake Superior’s Ring of Fire (4-hour session on Agassiz on Aug. 18-22) Explore an area in Lake Superior where the shrimplike organism Diporeia is up to 20 times more abundant than in any other part of Lake Superior! How does this affect the Lake Superior food web? Ideal for high school students.

    REGISTER ONLINE: Ride the Waves Registration Form
    Please list all dates and times that work for you and we will reply and fit you into the earliest available slots. Groups of 5 or more students will be given preference in scheduling, so get with your friends and form a group!

    See PDF Flyer Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz for Students in Grades 4-12

    The Ride the Waves Program is funded by GM (General Motors) and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

    For more Information or to make reservations:
    Contact Joan Chadde (jchadde@mtu.edu) or Lloyd Wescoat (lwescoat@mtu.edu) or call 906-487-3341.
    Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
    Great Lakes Research Center

    The Albany (N.Y.) Times Union published a story about an educational cruise led by Professor Noel Urban (CEE) to teach plant technicians from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department about the impact on Torch Lake of mining and the stamp sands it left. The story, initially published by the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, was picked up by Associated Press wire service and made available to member media outlets all over the country. See Students Observe Effects of Mining on Torch Lake.

    See a Video about Ride the Waves with GM – General Motors

    View a slide show with more pictures

    Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech Research Vessel Agassiz
    Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

    Free Scientific Excursion Aboard the Agassiz at the Strawberry Festival

    Free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz will be held at the Strawberry Festival, 1-5 p.m., Saturday, July 12 at Chassell Marina. “How do scientists assess the health of Lake Superior?” is the focus of the excursions.

    See the Video Scientific Excursion Aboard the Agassiz – Ride the Waves with GM

    The public is invited to sign up for a free 30-minute excursion by calling the Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education at 7-3341 or coming to the Chassell Marina dock on Saturday between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Spaces go quickly. On-site sign-ups begin at 12:30 p.m. with first departure at 1 p.m. Half of the spaces will be saved for onsite participants.

    On each scientific excursion, a Marcel Dykstra, a Michigan Tech Great Lakes scientist, will demonstrate how sampling equipment is used to collect plankton and sediment, evaluate water clarity, temperature and turbidity, which tell us about the health of Chassell Bay. Microscopes will be on shore so participants can view the organisms. Participants will investigate the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

    Scientific excursions will depart from the Chassell Marina dock approximately every half hour. Space is limited to 15 persons per excursion (children must be at least 7 years of age and accompanied by an adult). Life jackets are available for all passengers.

    Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations will also be conducted from the Chassell Marina dock throughout the afternoon.

    “Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and what factors contribute to a healthy lake,” explains Joan Chadde, education program director. “These scientific excursions for the public have been offered at the Strawberry Festival since 2006 and have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered.”

    The event is coordinated by the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. This year, the program is funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program putting more than 500 Copper Country youth and adults on the water to learn about the Great Lakes and promote STEM careers, along with support from the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society and the Chassell Lions Club.

    For more information or to sign up for an excursion, call 487-3341. More information on the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative is available online.

    Chassell (in 2013)
    Chassell (in 2013)