Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

IMG_5772Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz from June 15 to July 15, 2015 for Students in Grades 4‐12 ~ Fun! FREE! Educational!
Ride the Waves with GM 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, Keweenaw Bay and/or Portage Lake.

Programs are 3‐4 hours in length—with 1.5‐2 hours on the Agassiz and 1.5 hours in the lab. The Agassiz will accommodate up to 17 youth/
chaperones (minimum of 10 is required).

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Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigation ~ Measure water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” All ages.

RidetheWaves.Flyer 06.10.15 GE

To make reservations, call or email:
Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
Phone: 906‐487‐3341
Email: Lloyd Wescoat lwescoat@mtu.edu
Joan Chadde jchadde@mtu.edu
Provide number of students and 3 date/time options

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2015 Summer Science Camps

IMG_2122Several 2015 Summer Science Camps were held at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. There were two sessions, one for grades one through three and another for grades four through six.

Grades 1-3: Wonders of Space

Explore the earth and its place in the solar system, investigate the planets, moons and other celestial objects in our galaxy, plus types of stars and other aspects of space–nebulae and black holes. Marvel over the history of space exploration and launch a rocket. Always lots of hands on activities

Grades 4-6: Science All Around

Investigate a variety of science topics from chemistry to geology, wolf and moose to ecology. Take a trip on Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz to learn about fresh water ecology, visit a limnology lab and engage in many exciting activities. Instructors include Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students.

Sessions are June 16, 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (students bring their own lunch).
These camps were sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

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More Photos at Flickr Gallery

STEM Immersion on Isle Royale

IMG_0702 (2) (1280x853)A group of 13 Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth took part in an immersion experience in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers, May 26 to 30, 2015 on Isle Royale. The program, entitled “MAAMAADIZI II”, was co-sponsored by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Cedar Tree Institute of Marquette, the Isle Royale Institute and Michigan Tech’s Ride the Waves with General Motors Program. MAAMAADIZI, meaning “the Journey begins” in the Anishinaabe language, sought to immerse students in a wilderness environment rich in both scientific and spiritual content. A diverse community participated in the Journey, including spiritual advisors, artists, scientists, chaperones, graduate student mentors and KBIC drummers … a grand party of 32 travelers. Isle Royale National Park provided an ideal wilderness setting for this important work.

The Michigan Tech team of 6 members traveled to Isle Royale aboard the R/V Agassiz with Captain Stephen Roblee at the helm; the rest of the party came across on the MV Ranger III. Once on the island, the R/V Agassiz provided transport to campsites, ferry service for on-island field trips and served as a platform for STEM offerings. KBIC students, MTU graduate student mentors and chaperones camped for two nights at Daisy Farm, with the entire party moving to Tobin Harbor Cottages for the last two nights.

STEM Science was presented through water quality measurements (light and temperature sensors, Secchi disk transparency) and collections (plankton and bottom organisms) made in Moskey Basin and in the open lake from the R/V Agassiz. Samples were examined on board using microscopes and dissecting scopes. The STEM Science program was led by Dr. Marty Auer of Michigan Tech supported by graduate student mentors Varsha Raman, Aubrey Scott and Nathan Zgnilec.

STEM Math was presented within the context of mass and compass (on land, Jon Magnuson, Cedar Tree Institute) and vessel navigation (on the water, Stephen Roblee, MTU). Hikes to Mount Ojibway and an R/V Agassiz cruise around ice-encrusted Blake Point to a shipwreck site on the Palisades provided the venue for STEM Math offerings.

Students also participated in Art and Spirit Projects led by artist and illustrator Diana Magnuson of the Cedar Tree Institute. Ken Vrana, Director of the Isle Royale Institute, guided students on hikes and on field trips to Rock Harbor Lighthouse, Edisen Fishery and the Island home of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson.

The Journey was wrapped up with a Feast prepared by the Rock Harbor Lodge, a Ceremony hosted by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Drum and an evening campfire with S’mores.

The KBIC, particularly Lori Sherman and chaperones Richard Wickstrom and Katrina Ravindran, deserves special thanks for logistical and financial support. The Isle Royale Institute contributed financial and made other contributions which greatly enriched the experience. The R/V Agassiz and Captain Stephen Roblee were made available through Ride the Waves with General Motors. Wilderness STEM experiences with KBIC youth were originated in 2013 by Jon Magnuson of the Cedar Tree Institute and Marty Auer of Michigan Tech and, with support from General Motors are now in their third year.

Group at Mott Island, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group at Mott Island, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group on board RV Agassiz, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group on board RV Agassiz, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group at the the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson
Group at the the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson
On board the RV Agassiz
On board the RV Agassiz

See More Photos of the STEM Immersion on Isle Royale

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.

Read More about this

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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Listening Under the Ice

image121598-horizThe watery world under winter’s ice is a mystery. It’s also a world full of sound. Now, as the days lengthen and the ice is retreating, researchers at Michigan Technological University are wrapping up their first winter season of underwater acoustic studies.

Learning more about acoustic properties underwater — and specifically under the ice — is important for designing acoustic communication networks and quiet underwater vehicles. These networks and vehicles have a range of applications. Environment monitoring is an example, encompassing everything from ice movement to the habits of aquatic critters to keeping tabs on chemical conditions.

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Lake Superior Celebration April 23

00IMG_0298aLake Superior Celebration:
6:00-8:00pm, Thursday, April 23, 2015; Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center

Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center was the site of a celebration of Lake Superior. The event took place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday. It was free and open to the public.

There was a variety of hands-on activities, GLRC tours (green roof and other sustainable features), energy efficient homes, wind turbines and draft dodger activities for youth.

See the Photo Gallery of the Lake Superior Celebration here

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