Category: Outreach

Surveying Engineering Attends MSPS 2020

Clay Hildebrand, Steve Smendzuik, Sanjay Shenoy, Joseph Foster, Chad Holdwick, Alyx Thayer

February 18-21, 2020 marked the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) Convention held at the Radisson Plaza, Kalamazoo, Michigan that hosted over 400 Licensed Professional Surveyors from around the Great Lake states, as well as Michigan Tech’s Douglass Houghton Student Chapter (DHSC) of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)…whew, quite a mouth full, but accurate!  An annual event, the Convention provides the opportunity to not only acquire continuing education credits, learn new and upcoming techniques, view and get “hands on” with cutting edge equipment, but also connect with fellow Licensed Professional Surveyors from throughout the region.  Not to be left out, our Surveying Engineering (BS) and Integrated Geospatial Technology (MS) students were invited to participate and exhibit throughout the entire event.

Chad Holdwick and Steve Smendzuik presenting their Senior Capstone Project.

Seminars given during the four-day event covered a myriad of topics including Railroad Rights-of-Way, Mapping the Great Lakes, Safe Excavation Practices, Analysis of Record Title Boundaries, preparing for the 2022 Datum, Collateral Evidence Analysis, Professional Ethics, and the list goes on…up to the Student Capstone Project presentations given by both Ferris State and Michigan Tech University.  Our own Steven Smendzuik and Chad Holdwick presented their project of going through the steps of a rather complicated boundary survey that included an abandoned railroad right-of-way, ambiguous legal descriptions, conflicting field evidence, as well as a forensic survey of a murder scene from the 1800’s, not to mention finishing in two feet of snow!  Needless to say, it was very intriguing and everyone that attended walked away with a new appreciation of what we do every day.

Vendors and equipment suppliers filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest in surveying, photogrammetric, imaging, scanning, and UAV instruments.  Every opportunity was given to learn about the new technology and how it can be integrated into day to day operations, increasing efficiency and productivity, while maintaining the precision and accuracy required of our Profession.  Finally, the stories and experiences shared by other Surveyors with our students sealed the deal…it was definitely worth the trip!


Michigan Tech’s NSBE Student Chapter Reaches 500 K-12 Students in Detroit Public Schools during 9th Annual ‘Alternative Spring Break’

Six members of Michigan Technological University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Pre-College Initiative (PCI) reached a total of 500 students during their 9th Annual Alternative Spring Break in Detroit from March 9-11, visiting six middle and high schools in Detroit to encourage students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career.

During the school day, the Michigan Tech students made classroom presentations to middle and high school students encouraging them to continue their education after high school, consider going to college or community college, and choose a STEM career path. After the school day ended, the NSBE students conducted K-8 Family Engineering events at two K-8 schools for students and their families, and at a Boys & Girls Club in downstate Highland Park.

Participating MTU-NSBE students included:

# NAME MAJOR YEAR HOME
1 Bryce Stallworth Mechanical Engineering 4th Detroit
2 Rukayat Adeosun Health Informatics 4th Nigeria
3 Meghan Tidwell Civil Engineering 1st Detroit
4 Andrea Smith Chemical Engineering 3rd Southfield
5 Jalen Vaughn Computer Engineering 4th Detroit
6 Koami Hayibo Electrical Engin grad Togo

The schools visited included: Osborn High School, Detroit Arts HS, Mackenzie Middle School, University Prep Math & Science Middle School, University Prep Academy of the Arts Middle School, and Neinas Academy Middle School.

The NSBE students made a special stop at the Fauver-Martin Boys & Girls Clubon Tuesday afternoon, March 10th, to put on a hands-on engineering event for 30 K-12 students from across the city. This event was organized by Mike Reed from the Detroit Zoological Society, who also invited Michael Vaughn, the first president of MTU’s NSBE student chapter in 1995!

The goal of the NSBE classroom presentations and Family Engineering events are to engage, inspire, and encourage diverse students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities and providing ‘hometown’ role models (most of the participating NSBE students are from the Detroit area). These programs are designed to address our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in STEM (math, science, technology, and engineering). This outreach is encouraged by the NSBE Professional Pre-College Initiative (PCI) program which supports and encourages K-12 participation in STEM. 

This MTU NSBE student chapter’s outreach effort is funded by General Motors and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and coordinated by Joan Chadde, Director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.

High school students at these schools are also encouraged to apply to participate in a 5-day High School Summer STEM Internship at Michigan Tech from July 13-17, 2020 that is specifically targeting under-represented students. Each participating student will be supported by a $700 scholarship.  The Detroit high school students are also informed of scholarships available to attend MTU’s Summer Youth Programs.

For more information about the MTU-NSBE student chapter’s Alternative Spring Break, contact NSBE student chapter President, Bryce Stallworth bastallw@mtu.edu  or Joan Chadde, Director, Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, Michigan Technological University by email: jchadde@mtu.edu or call 906-487-3341. 


Michigan Tech Attends MiCareer Quest Southeast

MiCareerQuest Southeast is one of the most unique opportunities for a student to be exposed to a myriad of Trades and Professions.  Organized, in great part, by Michigan WORKS! and given throughout the state each year, this event is a “hands on”, real world opportunity for high school students to be exposed to over 100 Trades and Professions that they may wish to pursue.  This past November was no exception…over 9,000 students, from surrounding school districts, attended the event.  Ushered into the Suburban Collection Showplace, in Novi, all had a chance to experience what they all could become.

Michigan Tech was in attendance, thanks to the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, whose booth we shared, to spread the word about Surveying Engineering and Michigan Tech.  One of the few Universities in attendance, we were able to demonstrate what Surveying Engineering is, and what one needs to become a Licensed Professional Surveyor, not to mention all the great opportunities available at Michigan Tech.

Needless to say, it was an exciting opportunity.  One that we look to experience again.

For more information, check out https://www.oakgov.com/advantageoakland/workforce/Pages/Mi-CareerQuest-Southeast.aspx

by Joe Foster, Professor of Practice


Structural Engineering Institute at L’Anse Area Schools

SEI Graduate Students teach kids in the classroom
From the L’Anse Area Schools Facebook page:

As 5th grade wrapped up their engineering unit with a visit from leaders of the MTU Structural Engineering Institute, Graduate Student Chapter. Our students reviewed the engineering design process while observing and suggesting improvements to structures being tested on an earthquake table. Students learned about competitive bridge building and previewed up coming concepts including plate tectonics and material properties.


Chadde Named Informal Science Educator of the Year

Joan Chadde-Schumaker
Joan Chadde-Schumaker

The Board of the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA) has announced that Joan Schumaker Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, has been selected as the 2020 Informal Science Educator of the Year.

Chadde was chosen for her unique and extraordinary accomplishments, active leadership, scholarly contributions, and direct and substantial contributions to the improvement of non-school based science education over a significant period of time.

She will be honored at an Awards Ceremony at the 2020 MSTA Conference.

By Angela Keranen.


2019 Lake Superior Water Festival

Students in the Coast Guard boat.

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – High school students from all over the western Upper Peninsula took a trip to Michigan Tech Thursday to learn about the science of the Great Lakes.

“We began the year after the Great Lakes Research Center opened, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to get area students, and I mean the western Upper Peninsula area students on campus and hear at the Great Lakes Research Center to learn more about what scientists and engineers do,” said Joan Chadde, the Director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 FOX UP, by Jake Swope.


Bill Sproule Speaks at Hockeyville in Calumet

Bill Sproule Hockey Historian
Bill Sproule, Hockey Historian

As part of the Kraft Hockeyville celebrations in Calumet, Professor Emeritus Bill Sproule (CEE) has had a couple of busy weeks talking about hockey history. He has done several media interviews, made a community presentation at the Calumet Library on hockey history in the Copper Country and did two book signings.

Sproule and Jeremy Roenick, former NHL player, were guest speakers at the Hockeyville celebration banquet last Wednesday (Sept. 25) and Sproule made a guest appearance and was interviewed during the second intermission of the NBC Sports nationally televised coverage of the Hockeyville game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (Sept. 26).

A video summary of Hockeyville Week can be found on the NHL website. Sproule’s new book, “Houghton: The Birthplace of Professional Hockey,” is available at the Michigan Tech bookstores and other local stores, and can be purchased on-line through the Michigan Tech bookstore or Copper World in Calumet.

By Bill Sproule.


STEM Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

Research Vessel Agassiz at White CitySeptember is a busy month for the Ride the Waves (RTW) program – seven UP schools (Chassell Gr. 7 & 8; Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School Gr. 8, Watersmeet High School Gr. 10, Jeffers Middle School Gr. 8,  Menominee Catholic School Gr. 7 & 8, Sacred Heart School Gr. 5 & 7, and LL Wright Middle School Gr. 8 (Ironwood) will participate in a variety of programs aboard the Agassiz research vessel.

Now in its 7th year, the Ride the Waves program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is supported by a grant from General Motors. RTW’s primary focus is to engage youth in grades 4-12 in learning how scientists investigate the Great Lakes. Programs are fun, free and educational.  Scientific excursions, each 3-4 hours in length, take place on Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. The program reaches ~600 students and community residents each year.

 

Lake Linden Hubbell students at JacobsvilleThere are 4 programs to choose from:

  • How Do Scientists Assess the Health of the Great Lakes (1.5 hours GLRC lab; 1.5 hours Agassiz)

Investigate water quality and collect samples of organisms to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” For Grades 4-12.

  • Mine Waste Remediation & Torch Lake Restoration  (2 hours land; 2 hours Agassiz)

The history of the “Copper Country” is explored ‘by land and water.’ Students visit the Ahmeek stamp mill—‘the last mill standing’ to experience an historic copper milling site, assess the effectiveness of the Torch Lake Superfund remediation using EPA protocols, and sample the sediments and organisms in Torch Lake to evaluate ecological recovery. For Grades 6-12 students.

  • Navigation Exploration: Math in Action  

Students use chart dividers and compasses to determine the Agassiz’s position on a navigational chart and then navigate the Agassiz to a new location. Students use algebra to determine the accuracy of their navigation. For Grades 8-12 students.

  • Jacobsville Geoheritage

Explore the history and geology of historic Jacobsville where sandstone quarries were active from 1883 to 1896, when the sandstone was used to construct many buildings in Michigan, Wisconsin, and all over the eastern U.S.  Students will visit the sandstone cliffs, old quarry docks and South Entry data buoy to pull up live data. For Grades 4-12 students.

 

For more Information, contact: Joan Chadde, Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach   Phone: 906-487-3341 or jchadde@mtu.edu