Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Jackson Blended Learning Grant for Susan Amato-Henderson

Susan Amato-Henderson
Susan Amato-Henderson

Jackson Grant Recipients Announced

Due to a generous gift from William G. Jackson, the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is pleased to announce the 2015 grant recipients. Nearly $55,000 in grants were awarded to instructors and teams of instructors at $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 levels. These grants will support course/program reform or expansion projects using blended and online learning.

This year’s solicitation placed special emphasis on mentoring of instructors new to blended learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, shared content, matching support, testing and assessment. A committee, assembled by the Provost and the CTL Director, reviewed many compelling grant proposals in order to select this year’s grant recipients.

Associate Professor and Chair Susan L. Amato-Henderson was awarded $3,000 for Integrative Statistics for Social, Behavioral and Biological Sciences Using Blended Learning.

Read more at Tech Today.

Community Outdoor Nature Program for Families on Mondays

snowshoesThe Community Outdoor Nature Programs are free events for families that focus on engaging parents and children in creative outdoor play and nature exploration. All families are welcome to attend the twice-monthly events held at the Nara Nature Center (Houghton) and the Maasto Hiihto Chalet (Hancock). Families will explore local trail systems and create take-home nature projects while learning about our local environment.

Take a snowshoe hike and weave a stick basket to collect items along the way. Programs will be held one Monday evening each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and one Saturday afternoon each month from 2 to 4 p.m.

During the winter, snowshoeing will be a part of all programs. Bring your own snowshoes if you have them. The Center will have snowshoes on hand. Dress warmly as the program will be mostly outdoors.

This month’s first program will be held on Monday, Jan. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Nara Nature Center.

Programs are led by the staff of the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education and funded by the Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals. The Western UP Center, established in 2000, is a partnership of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, the Copper Country ISD and the Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD, offering a wide variety of K-12 education programs to enhance the teaching and learning of science and mathematics. Find out more online or by calling the Center at 487-3341.

From Tech Today.

Green Film Series Presents “The Human Scale”

The Human ScaleAs part of the 2015 Green Film Series, there will be a showing of “The Human Scale” on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7:00 p.m. in G002 Hesterberg Hall (Forestry building).

Based on the work of famed architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, the film highlights real solutions that promise a more humanistic dimension to cities where people are not displaced by congested streets, skyscrapers and the car-centric urbanism of the 1960s and ’70s. There will be a discussion following the film facilitated by Nathan Miller of the Keweenaw Land Trust.

The event is cosponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society and the Keweenaw Land Trust. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided by the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The event is free and open to the public.

For information about upcoming events, view the complete Green Film Series schedule.

From Tech Today.

After-School Youth Science Classes Begin Jan. 19

After School Science EducationAfter-School Science classes begin Monday, Jan. 19, and run for six weeks. Two classes are available depending on grade level; all classes meet from 4:00–5:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). Cost is $75 per student, and they are open to all.

Register online:

To pay by credit card, call the Cashier’s Office at 7-2247. Your space is not reserved until payment is received.

If you have any questions, call 7-3341.

Note: the Houghton school bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m.

Grades 1–3: Under Your Feet Rocks!

Kids love rocks! This class will develop children’s observation skills by having them examine the characteristics of different rocks. They will then investigate Earth science concepts, such as different landforms, what is the Earth made of and how do volcanoes work? They will compare the erosion of different materials, mine for chocolate chips, look at material reuse/recycling, compare the texture and other characteristics of different soils and go on a dinosaur dig.

Instructor: Marcy Erickson, BS Forest Resources and Applied Ecology and science teacher certification

Grades 4–6: Chemistry for Kids

Kids will experience the fun of chemistry without balancing equations or learning all of the periodic table elements. Instead, they’ll create chemical reactions, where gas is released, a new substance is formed or heat is produced. They’ll make observations about differences in density, make a red cabbage pH indicator to measure how acidic a substance is, investigate characteristics of liquids and solids and solve a mock crime using chromatography.

Instructor: Denise Landsberg, Tech graduate, BS Biological Sciences and environmental educator

From Tech Today.

Isle Royale Moose Watch for Educators Summer 2015

Moose WatchJuly 31, 2015 through August 8, 2015
Deadline: May 1, 2015

MooseWatch for Educators is a unique field experience in support of the ecological study of wolves and moose at Isle Royale National Park.

The field component of the course will be nine days in length. Travel to Isle Royale will be by NPS ferry Ranger III to/from Houghton, MI. On the island, orientation and training will take place at the Bangsund Cabin (home of the wolf-moose study) prior to the backcountry expedition.

Learn more about current institutes for teacher professional development.

Give the Gift of After School Science Classes

Attention parents and grandparents:

After school science class gift certificates are available and make a great gift; they can even be mailed to you for December 24 delivery if you order by 5 p.m. on Monday, December 22.

To order, register your child online, call the Michigan Tech cashier at 487-2247 to pay by credit card, and send an email to Joan Chadde at to request a gift certificate be mailed to your home address.

Classes are every Monday starting January 19 and run for six weeks. March 2 is reserved as a make-up day in the event of snow. Classes meet from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Grades 1–3 can sign up for Under Your Feet Rocks!, a class that will develop observation skills by having children examine the characteristics of different rocks, as well as learn about Earth science concepts and go on a dinosaur dig. Marcy Erickson, who earned her BS in Forest Resources and Applied Ecology and holds science teacher certification, is the instructor.

Grades 4–6 can sign up for Chemistry for Kids, a class introducing chemistry concepts without the intense math of the discipline. Chemical reaction, observation, and application are all covered, including solving a mock crime using chromatography. Denise Landsberg, a Tech graduate with a BS in Biological Sciences, is the instructor.

The cost is $75 per student. Call 7-3341 with any questions. Note: the Houghton school bus will drop students off at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m.

From Tech Today.

Winter Family Fun Night at Nara Nature Center and Park

Nara Nature Center
Nara Nature Center

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 and Park. The event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15.

The nature crafts and snowshoe night hike activities will each be offered from 6:05 to 6:45 p.m. and from 6:50 to 7:30 p.m. Families may participate in one or both indoor and outdoor activities. The event is free, but donations are welcome. Craft supplies, hot chocolate and tea, as well as child and 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. IIf your have your own pair of snowshoes, please bring them. 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 coordinated by the Western UP Math and Science Center and the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. Use of the Nara Center is provided by the City of Houghton, and Bob and 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 Hiihto Chalet over the coming year. These programs are funded by the Michigan Alliance of Environmental Professionals.

From Tech Today.

Family Engineering Night Held in Detroit

Family Engineering
Family Engineering

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

From Tech Today.