Category: Teacher Education

Chadde Awarded for Environmental Education Achievements

Joan Chadde Shumaker
Joan Chadde

Joan Chadde has been selected to receive one of Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) most prestigious awards. The William Stapp Award recognizes career achievement in environmental education.

Chadde was nominated by Janet Vail, associate research scientist at Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) at Grand Valley State University, and supported by many others. Vail lead the water education/outreach program at AWRI

From Tech Today.


2014 Water Festival at Great Lakes Research Center

2014 Water Festival
2014 Water Festival

Water Festival Set for Thursday, 900 Grade-School Students to Attend

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

Students will spend a half-day on campus and will attend 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.”

From Tech Today.

2014 Water Festival is made possible with funding from Michigan STEM Partnership, Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society, Earth Force, and the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Coordinated by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and hosted by Michigan Tech University.


Michigan Tech Feeding Michigan’s Appetite for Skilled STEM Workers

“Michigan Tech is working hard to meet Michigan’s need for STEM talent,” said Peter Larsen, director of research development.

Others at Tech who are actively encouraging young people to consider STEM careers include the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at the Great Lakes Research Center and High School Enterprise programs that bring scientists and engineers, corporate partners and high school students together to solve problems.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.


Michigan Middle and High School Students Visit Campus

National Ocean Sciences BowlMichigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach recently coordinated campus visits for middle and high school students from two Michigan schools.

Greenhills School, Ann Arbor

Twelve students in grades 10-12 from Greenhills School in Ann Arbor visited Tech Sept. 26-27. The students received a $400 travel stipend, which they earned as second-place winners in the Great Lakes/National Ocean Sciences Bowl held at the University of Michigan.

The travel stipend was provided by the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. The group, which was hosted by the Great Lakes Research Center, learned about topics ranging from wildlife ecology to remotely-operated vehicles in the classroom.

The following Tech scientists and students led activities:

  • Hannah Abbotts (SFRES), community liaison specialist
  • Assistant Professor Joseph Bump (SFRES)
  • Professor Nancy Auer (Bio Sci)
  • Jen Fuller (CEE), PhD student
  • Jenny Tyrrell (CEE), PhD student
  • Xena Cortez (CEE), first-year student
  • Benjamin Jensen (MEEM), president of the Blizzard Baja team

Menominee Catholic Central School

Twenty-three students in grades 6-8 from Menominee Catholic Central School made their annual visit to campus on Monday and Tuesday. 

The students spent time on the Agassiz, exploring the aquatic food web and shipwrecks in the Keweenaw Waterway; toured the boulder garden and rhizotron, which allowed the students to watch worms making soil; and more.

The following Tech scientists and students led activities:

  • Paul Pebler (CEE), PhD student
  • Marcel Djkstra (CEE), PhD student
  • Marcy Erickson (Center for Science and Environmental Outreach), SFRES alumna
  • Wes Ellenwood (CEE), graduate student
  • Jen Fuller (CEE), PhD student
  • Emily Gochis (GMES), PhD student

From Tech Today.


BioBlitz Today at Lake Perrault

LSSIJeffers middle and high school students will be conducting a BioBlitz today at Lake Perrault and the Robert Brown Nature Sanctuary. Various Michigan Tech scientists will assist the students.

A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to identify and record all the living species within a designated area. Scientists, naturalists, teachers, students and community volunteers conduct an intensive inventory over a one-day period. The following Michigan Tech scientists will be helping:

  • Fish, moths and butterflies—Jim Bess and Chris Hohnholt (SFRES)
  • Lichens—Karena Schmidt (SFRES)
  • Wildlife tracking—Dan Haskell (SFRES) and Marcy Erickson (Center for Science and Environmental Outreach)
  • Macroinvertebrates—Amy Schrank (SFRES)
  • Frog, toads and salamanders—Joan Chadde (Center for Science and Environmental Outreach)
  • Invasive plants—Meral Jackson (CEE)

“Participating in these hands-on field studies is a fun and exciting way for students to learn about biodiversity and better understand how to protect it,” explained Cindy McCormick, Jeffers High School science and English teacher and co-coordinator of the event. “Instead of a highly structured technical field survey, the BioBlitz event has the atmosphere of a festival. The short time frame makes the searching more exciting.”

“These one-day events stimulate interest in learning more about a place,” adds Joan Chadde, BioBlitz co-coordinator and director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. “Hopefully the BioBlitz will pique students’ interest in the natural world and stimulate their interest in a future scientific career. It provides an opportunity for students and community members to meet working scientists and learn more about what they do.”

The BioBlitz is funded in part by the Upper Peninsula Evironmental Coalition, Adams Township Schools and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI). LSSI connects schools and communities in the stewardship of Lake Superior and its watershed.

The public is invited to participate in the BioBlitz. Come to the Lake Perrault picnic area between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today.

From Tech Today.


Registration Open for Fall 2014 After School Science Classes

After school science classes for grades 1-6 will be offered at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center starting Oct. 6. Classes will last for six weeks and run from Monday Oct. 6 to  Friday, Nov. 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The Houghton bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m. Parents should contact the school office to make arrangements.

Grades 1-3: Where Could I See a Lion?
Students will travel to a different country each week and learn about the habitats, plants, wildlife, climate and more that are unique to that country.

Instructors: Megan Baker and Kathryn Allen, Michigan Tech students in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Grades 4-6: Amazing Human Body!
From the heart, lungs and skin to our tongues and brains—students will find out how various parts of our bodies help make our life pretty awesome.

Instructor: Sarah Kuiper, a Michigan Tech graduate, B.S. Biological Sciences and Science Teaching Certification.

Register online through the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education or by using the Google form. Cost is $75 per student. Call 7-2247 to pay by credit card. Your space is not reserved until payment has been received.

For questions, call 7-3341.

From Tech Today.


Coffee Chat: Organizing STEM Education Research

A growing number of instructors on campus have expressed interest in measuring the effects of classroom reforms. To address this, a coffee chat is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Library East Reading Room. The Pavlis Honors College, the Graduate School, the Departments of Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Engineering Fundamentals, and others have begun working together to formalize programs and centralize resources in order to better support this kind of work.

This coffee chat event will include a summary of efforts to-date, a review of a potential campus-wide grant proposal, and opportunities for you to share your input on future directions. All with an interest in STEM Education research are encouraged to attend.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, Sept 29. Register online or contact the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at 7-3000.

From Tech Today.


Torch Lake Education Activities

Torch LakeThe 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.

From Tech Today.

Students observe effects of mining on Torch Lake

Nothing can live in the stamp sands that cover the bottom of Torch Lake, Michigan Technological University Environmental Engineering Professor Noel Urban told a group of young plant technicians from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department.

The KBIC technicians got a chance to see some of those efforts as well, exploring and doing experiments at the Amheek Stamp Mill, also known as the Tamarack City Stamp Mill, where the Environmental Protection Agency had just finished an asbestos cleanup the day before, as well as the Torch Lake shoreline and the Lake Linden Campground.

“We have them collecting scientific data, like do we have good (plant) ground coverage” in areas above stamp sand beaches that have had remediation,” said Joan Chadde, education program coordinator at Michigan Tech.

Read more at AP and the Daily Mining Gazette, by Dan Roblee.


Teachers Participate in Watershed Investigations

Watershed Teacher Institute 2014The Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette published an article about two brothers, both high school science teachers, who participated in Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Watershed Investigations Teacher Institute this summer.

From Tech Today.

Local teachers travel to study lakes

A local high school teacher and his brother were among the group of educators who took part in a weeklong summer program at the Michigan Technological University as part of the Great Lakes Teacher Institute.

 “The classes are really cool because the teachers meet and work with professors and researchers, experts who are very passionate about their fields of study or their research, professionals who really enjoy connecting with teachers from the K-12 level.”

Read more at The Journal Gazette, by Vivian Sade.