Category Archives: Outreach

Donations Needed for Semi-annual Free Sale

amato-henderson-personnelCo-founders of the highly successful semi-annual free sale at Michigan Tech were featured in a segment on TV6 news on Monday evening. Female faculty began the free sale five years ago due to limited local options for women’s business attire.

Ready to clean out your closet and help students at the same time? Consider donating your gently used, clean women’s business clothing and accessories to the Free Sale. Your items will be available to all Michigan Tech students at no cost. Donations help provide students with business attire for the fall career fair. Sizes 12 and up are particularly needed this year.

It has become kind of a passion of mine and I think the reason why is because when you see those students stand taller, look a little prouder and realize that they do look wonderful and their gratefulness that they have when they are leaving is just, I think, what inspires us to keep going — Susan Amato-Henderson, Cognitive and Learning Sciences Department chair.

The next semi-annual Free Sale will be held from 11-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Meese Center. Donations are now being accepted during normal business hours at the following locations:

  • Van Pelt and Opie Library – Front Desk and Jeannie DeClerk’s office, 219
  • Lakeshore Center – Pat Muller’s office, 320 A1
  • Academic Office Building – First Floor and Latika Gupta’s office, 128
  • Dillman Hall – Tess Ahlborn’s office, 108A
  • Meese Center – Susan Amato-Henderson’s office, 107

The semi-annual Free Sale is held the weekend before Career Fair. Your donations have helped hundreds of students dress for success. In addition to business suits, we gratefully accept and give away business-appropriate shoes, jewelry, blouses, briefcases, blazers and more.

We are in particular need of larger sizes. Want to volunteer and join the fun? Contact Tess Ahlborn for more information.


ACSHF Student Receives Local Hero Award

boroski-personnelWhitney Boroski, MS student in the ACSHF program and Manager of Student Health and Wellness, was recently awarded the 2018 Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (MCRUD) Local Hero Award. MCRUD provides leadership on state and national issues, and assists individuals, grassroots groups, and organizations to reduce underage drinking locally.

Boroski has been resourceful in creating programs and utilizing campus and community resources to assist in reducing underage drinking at the university.


Research for Teachers Poster Session

Group of Teachers present posters on mobile chalkboards to attendeesA poster session for the Michigan Tech 2018 Research Experiences for Teachers was held from 3 to 5 p.m. yesterday (Aug. 9) in the Great Lakes Research Center Second Floor Atrium.

The poster session concludes the NSF-funded Teacher Professional Development summer institute, “Computational Tools and the Environment.”  Twelve in-service teachers were paired up with civil and environmental engineering graduate students to research topics such as water quality, lead contamination, aquaponics and renewable energy.

The results of their research have been translated into curricula for science and mathematics classes. They will present the results of their research and curriculum development at the poster session.

Michigan In-service Teachers Participate in Engineering Course at MTU

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Through the generous support of a grant from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, 8 Michigan teachers participated in a two-week long summer institute on the campus of Michigan Tech last month. The teachers are newly admitted students in the Master’s of Applied Science Education program, housed in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences. The teachers engaged in hands-on experiments in the course, The Engineering Process, which was taught by Dr. Irwin from the School of Technology. Teachers took part in both the technical and creative sides of the problem solving process surrounding engineering.

ICAD 2018

International Conference on Auditory Display, ICAD 2018 Michigan Technological University graphic logo.Michigan Technological University has the honor of hosting the 24th annual International Conference on Auditory Display.

ICAD is a highly interdisciplinary academic conference with relevance to researchers, practitioners, musicians, and students interested in the design of sounds to support tasks, improve performance, guide decisions, augment awareness, and enhance experiences. It is unique in its singular focus on auditory displays and the array of perception, technology, and application areas that this encompasses. The overarching theme of this year’s conference is sonification as ADSR (art – design – science – research).

Portions of this conference have been made available for free to the general public:

Presentation from Dr. Stefania Serifin

June 11th, 11 a.m. – 12 p. m. 
Forestry Building Room G02

20 Years of Sonic Interactionsstefania_Lg-300x300

Sonic interaction design is a fertile field of investigation at the intersection of sound and music computing and interaction design. For the past twenty years together with several collaborators we have been designing sonic interactions for different applications, ranging from physics based simulations of musical instruments and everyday objects, new interfaces for musical expression, cultural heritage, walking and rehabilitation, learning and training, as well as virtual and augmented reality. In this talk, she will present an overview of these activities reflecting on their impact and perspectives for the future.

Presentation from Dr. Carryl BaldwinCarryl

June 12th, 11 a.m. – 12 p. m.  
Forestry Building Room G02

Auditory Displays to Facilitate Attention Management in Highly Autonomous Systems

Two recent crashes in January 2018 involving Tesla’s Model S, underscore the importance of the need for driver’s to maintain awareness in semi-automated vehicles, even when the autopilot is engaged.  Despite manufacturer’s warnings and cautionary statements in owner’s manuals, decades of research in vigilance indicates that this will be a challenge, if not impossible for most drivers. This talk will focus on our recent and on-going research developing novel methods of assisting the driver with attention management in highly autonomous systems.  Included in this discussion will be a discussion of the methods to develop and validate effective auditory collision avoidance alerts, driver state monitoring with low-cost physiological sensors, and using specific types of music as a means assisting operators with maintaining sustained attention.

Diversity Workshop

June 12th, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Forestry Building Room 144

A hands-on workshop on the development of audio-based educational tools and teaching scenarios of activities pertinent to the ICAD domain.

Sonification Concert

June 13th, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts

Experience experts’ takes on sonification in concert setting.

You may also register for the full conference here. For more details, visit http://icad2018.icad.org/

Partial funding is provided by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture/Scholar Series (VWMLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.


Michigan Tech’s Mi-STAR kits to be supplied by Nasco

Mi-STAR’s curriculum and its associated professional learning program were designed and developed in full alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Michigan Science Standards. The curriculum is unique in that it integrates content and methods across the traditional disciplinary boundaries of Earth and space science, life science, engineering and physical science. Engineering principles are fully embedded in the curriculum; engineering is not treated as an afterthought or add-on by Mi-STAR.

Although the curriculum is still being developed, all of the 6th-grade units will be available in time for the start of school in fall 2018. Several 7th- and 8th-grade units will also be available for the fall. When completed, the entire middle school curriculum will address all of the middle school standards.

Mi-STAR’s curriculum and associated professional learning support student-centered instruction in middle school classrooms. Each unit in the Mi-STAR curriculum addresses a real-world problem that is of wide interest to 21st-century society. By maintaining a focus on real-world problems, the curriculum helps students understand how science and engineering are used to design solutions to issues that are relevant to their communities and the world.

“By partnering with a major corporation to produce and deliver kits to schools, Mi-STAR will be able to expand its reach and provide better service to educators and other users” says Jackie Huntoon, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Michigan Tech. Huntoon noted “anything a STEM-focused University like Michigan Tech can do to increase students’ interest in science before they graduate from high school will ultimately benefit our state and the nation.

“Michigan Tech scientists and engineers have devoted a lot of time and effort into making Mi-STAR the best it can be—and these efforts are really having a positive impact on Michigan’s teachers and students.”

Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through a generous gift to Michigan Tech from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. In 2017, Mi-STAR was identified as a promising program by STEMworks at WestEd.

School districts partnering with Mi-STAR have been successful at obtaining support from the Michigan Department of Education to enhance their teacher’s professional learning and to improve science learning outcomes among their students while using the Mi-STAR curriculum and professional learning program. In 2018, Michigan Tech received funding from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program that will be used to increase the number of teachers proficient with Mi-STAR’s NGSS-aligned curriculum and who are prepared to lead reform efforts in their schools, districts and the state.

As of January 2018, Mi-STAR was used by more than 450 teachers in more than 100 schools/districts with an estimated 45,000 students. Nasco was started in 1941 by a vocational agricultural teacher, Norman Eckley. Starting as a simple operation in a two-car garage, Nasco has grown to an enterprise publishing more than 35 different catalogs, with an annual circulation exceeding 5 million, to customers in education, agriculture, healthcare training and lab sampling worldwide featuring materials available for a wide array of educational, training and production needs.

by Jackie Huntoon, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs


Dr. Ellis Recognized at Dean’s Teaching Showcase Luncheon

Dr. Jsusie and joshosh Ellis was recognized on April 24 by CLS Department Chair Susie Amato-Henderson at the annual Dean’s teaching showcase luncheon. College of Sciences and Arts Dean Bruce Seely selected Ellis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) for his synthesis between research and teaching.
Following his experience as a K-12 teacher in Minneapolis, Ellis was driven to understand more about how teachers know when their students have learned. As a budding researcher with his eye on K12 education, Ellis entered the STEM Education doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, where faculty embraced this connection between research and educational practice. “I learned how to rigorously analyze teaching through a research lens, and I also learned how to conduct more meaningful research through the teaching lens. I firmly believe that I need both research and teaching to do it.”
This synthesis is embedded in Ellis’ research and classroom instruction at Michigan Tech, where he teaches future K-16 educators. His approach is especially useful when exploring how educational technology can support student learning. This might be best shown by a comment Ellis shared from B.W. Seibert: “Teachers will never be replaced by technology … but teachers who use technology effectively will replace those who do not.”
Ellis considers this perspective “both a warning and an opportunity for teacher education students at Tech eager to use the incredible technological tools of our age to push the boundaries of what we think learning is.” He applies Seibert in his instructional technology course (ED3100) and in his with the newly developed foundations of online teaching (ED5101) course. Both courses help educators learn to reach broader audiences, engage diverse participants and empower people of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve more. Students “learn how technology can lower barriers to finding information and more quickly allow students to seek knowledge and understanding.”
As one of 12 Deans’ teaching showcase members, Dr. Ellis is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

Alumni Spotlight: Chemical Kim

image4Over the past 10 years I’ve taken my love of teaching chemistry to the community and volunteer bringing hands-on learning to schools, organizations, libraries, the children’s hospital, and television science segments on ABC affiliate stations (WZZM 13 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ABC7 in Fort Myers, Florida). I present a blend of smart and entertaining hands-on science activities that motivate kids to continually question and investigate their world. My encouragement is to never stop being curious and never stop seeking the answers.

In addition, I utilize mobile technology in my teaching in the chemistry classroom, laboratory, and science outreach. I’ve authored several technology grants and have led several workshops at local colleges and schools teaching on the integration of mobile technology in the classroom.

I started into the education program at MTU as a junior as a result of two friends majoring in mathematics that convinced me to join them. I really wasn’t expecting to go into teaching. I loved chemistry and was planning on a career as a research chemist. Standing in front of a group of people was always so fearful to me. As I got farther into the education program, I started to discover how much I was enjoying my classes. It got me thinking how many college chemistry professors really don’t know how to teach. This motivated me more in the education program at MTU. I started to feel like I could be that change and teach chemistry better than it was taught to me. The education program at MTU gave me that “face your fear and find your passion” moment. I faced my fear of being in front of a group of people and found a passion that made everyday of going to work since, a joy.

My advice to current teachers is to do what you love. If you don’t find a love in your subject or in teaching it, don’t force it. The teaching world is filled with too many who complain about teaching, students, and the hard work for so little pay. Yes, the pay is little and yes, the work is hard… but if you love it, you will not regret a day of your career choice. You will make a difference to the world because you’re giving the good part of yourself, the happy part.

Always be yourself and do not teach a particular style just because that’s how you were taught. Teaching is always evolving and be ready for constant change. The best experiences you can bring to the classroom are your life experiences. Use your personality and life experiences to make the best environment for learning. In the early years of your teaching, keep learning more hands-on about your subject and education. Substitute teach, participate in research, attend workshops and seminars, become active at your school. And if you have time, volunteer in your community.

If you’re enjoying teaching, then your students are probably enjoying learning. And if your nervous, that is good because nerves means you care. The day I’m not nervous or a bit scared to go into a classroom might be the day I might be ready to retire from teaching.

To learn more, check out Chemical Kim’s social media sites: www.youtube.com/scistudiowww.chemicalkim.com


World Class Expert on Cognitive Systems Engineering Visits CLS

Dr. Robert HoffmaIMG_2692n, world renowned expert on cognitive systems engineering and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Human Machine Cognition (IHMC), gave a talk on April 9, entitled, “Integrated Model of Macrocognition” for students and faculty in Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Human Computing Center at MTU. IHMC, based in Pensacola, Florida, is a leading organization in research to understand and extend human capabilities and technologies.

Dr. Hoffman is working with MTU Faculty, Dr. Shane Mueller on a DARPA project to develop explainable AI.

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Dr. Lark Receives New Funding

lark-personnelAmy Lark, Assistant Professor in Applied Science Education, was one of the Michigan Tech faculty members to receive an award exceeding $5,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium for her program “Teacher Training: The Next Generation Science Standards in Theory and Practice”.  Click here to see a full list of recipients.

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.