Archives—February 2016

Science, Engineering Challenges for Middle School Girls at Get WISE Workshop

WISE
WISE

More than 250 middle school students from across the western Upper Peninsula will spend the day exploring the excitement of science and engineering fields during the annual Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) event on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at the Wood Gym in Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex. For more than 25 years, this event has brought seventh and eighth graders from 15 schools to campus for a day of hands-on activities, scientific challenges, talks with female role models and more.

“By having these girls spend the day solving science challenges in a fun atmosphere, we build their confidence and perhaps spark their interest,” said Liz Fujita, a coordinator at Michigan Tech’s Center for Pre-College Outreach (CPCO). “The girls are so creative in their solutions. We hope they will look at STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] with new eyes.”

One of this year’s activities will challenge them to build a simple water filter out of household materials. Another will have them creating a model heart valve to let marbles through one way, but not back the other way. “What’s fun about it is that there is more than one correct answer,” said Fujita. “That’s one thing we’re trying to show the students—that there’s rarely one ‘right’ solution to an engineering problem. It’s all about trying ideas out and improving on your previous attempts.”

The girls will also have opportunities to meet female role models enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs at Michigan Tech, as well as staff members from widely varying campus departments. The students will be able to hear stories about what shaped their career paths, and ask questions of these successful STEM women.

“Get WISE teaches my female middle school students to problem-solve, work as a team to accomplish challenges, and not be hesitant to share their thoughts and ideas,” says L’Anse science teacher Jen Martin. “Throughout the day I see them gain more and more confidence, and they bring that confidence back to school. Get WISE has a long-lasting effect on my students.”

Get WISE is hosted by the CPCO office in partnership with the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences and Arts, and the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Sciences, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

From Tech Today, by Jenn Donovan.


Tech Student Wins Scholarship, Recognition for New Student Organization

On January 20, Michigan Tech student Amanda Marciniak was named the recipient of the Lt. Col. Bill Morley Academic Scholarship by the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings national headquarters. The $2000 scholarship recognizes superior academic merit and dedication to advocating for our nation’s aerospace power.

Silver Wings is a national, co-ed, professional organization dedicated to creating proactive, knowledgeable and effective civic leaders through community service and education about national defense. Members are civilian students who desire to work with and support Air Force ROTC programs at universities around the country. Michigan Tech’s own Dotsie Stewart Chapter of Silver Wings was chartered last year and works closely with Arnold Air Society, an Air Force ROTC cadet service organization. Together these two student organizations work hard together to support community events, provide volunteers for local veteran’s organizations, raise money for charities and promote the activities of Air Force ROTC.

Ms. Marciniak’s essay and student record was selected from among nearly one hundred submissions around the nation, and is one of only seven winners. Her achievement puts Michigan Tech and our Silver Wings chapter on a short list of successful and noteworthy schools which will be recognized at the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings National Conclave in Dallas, Texas this March. Ms. Marciniak will travel and attend for free and have the opportunity to meet General Robin Rand, the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX and Peter Bergen, author, journalist and National Security Analyst for CNN. Congratulations Amanda Marciniak!

From Tech Today, by Jason Engler, Chair Aerospace Studies (AFROTC).