Category: Outreach

Agassiz excursions at Strawberry Festival

Agassiz Michigan Tech“How scientists assess the health of Lake Superior” is the focus of free scientific excursions that will be offered at the Chassell Strawberry Festival from 1-5 p.m., Saturday departing from the marina.

The public is invited to sign up for free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz by calling the Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education at 7-3341 or coming to the Chassell Marina dock on Saturday between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Spaces go quickly. On-site sign-ups begin at 12:30 p.m. with first departure at 1 pm. Half of spaces will be saved for onsite participants.

On each scientific excursion, Martin Auer (CEE) will demonstrate the use of sampling equipment to collect plankton and sediment, evaluate water clarity, temperature and turbidity that tell us about the health of the lake, i.e. Chassell Bay. Participants will investigate the connection between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

Scientific excursions will depart from the Chassell marina dock approximately every half hour. Space is limited to 15 persons per excursion (children must be at least 7 years of age and accompanied by an adult). Life jackets are available for all passengers.

Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations will also be conducted from the Chassell Marina dock throughout the afternoon. “Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and what factors contribute to a healthy lake,” explains Joan Chadde, education program director. “These scientific excursions for the public have been offered at the Strawberry Festival since 2006 and have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered.”

The event is coordinated by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. This year, the program is funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program putting more than 500 Copper Country youth and adults on the water each year to learn about the Great Lakes and promote STEM careers, along with support from the Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society and the Chassell Lions Club.

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Great Lakes Science & Engineering Camp

GLRCBaraga Students Explore the Great Lakes

12 students from Baraga were on the Michigan Tech campus this week participating in a KBOCC (Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College) STEM outreach-funded Great Lakes Science & Engineering Camp at the Great Lakes Research Center. The event was coordinated by Joan Chadde at the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach. The KBOCC program provides free science and math enrichment opportunities to middle and high school students in Baraga County. During the school year the KBOCC department provides after-school and Saturday workshops in music, science, math and engineering.

On campus this week the students participated in a variety of programs with Tech faculty and GLRC personnel.

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Detroit High School Students Visit Tech

Monday began an adventure for twenty Detroit high school students, exploring careers in natural resources, environmental science and engineering, forestry, environmental, civil and mechanical engineering and more. Thanks to donations from numerous Michigan Tech departments and offices, students have received free transportation, food and lodging in Wadsworth Residence Hall and an exciting program.

The students are in grades 9-12 and come from eight different Detroit high schools. They successfully applied for this program (first of its kind), which was made possible by the efforts of many people—from help with recruitment in Detroit, to the multiple experts volunteering their time to present to these youth.

Students arrived eager to visit Michigan Tech’s campus, explore future careers and gain new experiences. They began their week participating in a Great Lakes investigation aboard Michigan Tech’s Agassiz research vessel in Lake Superior. They have a full schedule for the rest of the week with various activities including identifying trees, measuring forest plots, inventorying invasive earthworms, visiting the underground rhyzotron, assessing the health of local streams, manipulating underwater autonomous remotely operated vehicles, visiting labs, conducting insect and wetland inventories and exploring nearby state and county parks in the beautiful Keweenaw and Upper Peninsula.

This program was coordinated by Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Center for Science & Environmental Outreach in collaboration with Detroit colleagues at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo and US Forest Service Urban Connections Program.

The program was made possible with funding from the Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Michigan Tech College of Engineering, Michigan Tech Housing & Residence Life, Michigan Tech Admissions, Department of Civil & Engineering, Pre-College Outreach Initiative, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.

From Tech Today.

Tech tour
Detroit students explore high-tech careers

HOUGHTON – Twenty high school students from Detroit are at Michigan Technological University this week to learn about careers in natural resources, environmental science and engineering.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese (subscription required).

Green Film Thursday

A Will for the WoodsThe 2015 Green Film Series presents, “A Will for the Woods, from 7 – 9 p.m. Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Hesterberg Hall & Atrium in Forestry Building at Michigan Tech. There is no admission charged and free refreshments will be provided by the Keweenaw Green Burial Association which will lead a discussion following the film.

About the film: Musician, psychiatrist, and folk dancer Clark Wang prepares for his own green burial while battling lymphoma, determined that his last act will be a gift to the planet. Documenting one community’s role in the genesis of a revolutionary movement, the film explores the growing movement for green burial. (94 min)

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Green film June 18, Community Forum June 20 to focus on Natural/Green Burial

In the first event, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, in G002 Hesterberg Hall, Michigan Tech Forestry Building, the Green Film Series will screen A Will for the Woods, a documentary about Clark Wang, a musician and psychiatrist who was determined that his last performance would be a gift back to the planet. Viewers will witness Wang preparing for his own green burial and, in so doing, creating that option for others in his community.

Two days later, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 20, at Portage Lake District Library, the KGBA will host a community forum facilitated by Michigan resident Merilynne Rush, a Natural Death Care educator and board member of the Green Burial Council International. Rush will take the audience through an examination of conventional funeral and burial practices, their environmental and social implications, and what green burial is and is not.

Prior registration is not required for either event, and both are open to the public free of charge (donations always welcome).

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz from June 15 to July 15, 2015 for Students in Grades 4‐12 ~ Fun! FREE! Educational!

Ride the Waves with GM invites Copper Country youth in Grades 4‐12 to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the exploration of Lake Superior, Keweenaw Bay and/or Portage Lake.


Programs are 3‐4 hours in length—with 1.5‐2 hours on the Agassiz and 1.5 hours in the lab. The Agassiz will accommodate up to 17 youth/
chaperones (minimum of 10 is required).

Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigation ~ Measure water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” All ages.

To make reservations, call or email:
Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
Phone: 906‐487‐3341
Email: Lloyd Wescoat
Joan Chadde
Provide number of students and 3 date/time options

From the College of Engineering Blog.

2015 Summer Science Camp


Registration is open for 2015 Summer Science Camps at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. There are two sessions, one for grades one through three and another for grades four through six.

Grades 1-3: Wonders of Space

Explore the earth and its place in the solar system, investigate the planets, moons and other celestial objects in our galaxy, plus types of stars and other aspects of space–nebulae and black holes. Marvel over the history of space exploration and launch a rocket. Always lots of hands on activities.

Grades 4-6: Science All Around

Investigate a variety of science topics from chemistry to geology, wolf and moose to ecology. Take a trip on Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz to learn about fresh water ecology, visit a limnology lab and engage in many exciting activities. Instructors include Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students.

Sessions are June 16, 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (students bring their own lunch).

Cost is $120 and space is limited to 20 students. Pay by credit card, space not reserved until payment is received.

Register Online. For more information call 7-3341.

Sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Summer Teacher Institute Deadlines Extended to June 19, 2015

Sustainable Future2015 Summer Michigan Tech University Summer Teacher Institutes


  • M-F, July 6-10 ED5601 Engaging Students in Authentic Science Research Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 13-17 ED5641 Global Change Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 20-24 ED 5640 Designing a Sustainable Future Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 27-30 Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours by Water and Land

See Teacher Professional Development – Current Institutes for details about the courses.

Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative This Week

LSSI InitiativeJoan Chadde, coordinator of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach is taking part in six Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative placed-based education program this week.

Activities involve Dollar Bay Elementary, Jeffers High School, Houghton Middle School and the Washington Middle School, and take place at the Great Lakes Research Center, Marsin Center, Calumet Waterworks Park and onboard the research vessel Agassiz.

From Tech Today.

Learning in the field
Students learn about nature’s essence

LAKE PERRAULT – Jeffers High School students spent Monday learning out of the classroom.

Olivia Johnson, a ninth-grader at Jeffers, said her favorite part was measuring water quality and temperature.

“You get to actually work with the sensors and tools to learn how to do it,” she said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette (subscription required), by Garrett Neese.

Middle School students to hold Open House on stewardship projects at Calumet Township Park June 3

Each year WMS students show off their stewardship projects as presenters to parents and community partners at the township beach and School Forest areas. These place-based projects are a part of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) in conjunction with community partners Calumet Township, BHK Great Explorations, Keweenaw National Historical Park, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Michigan American Water Company.

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

Photos: Lake Linden-Hubbell students learn stewardship, birding, more near Torch Lake

LAKE LINDEN — Students from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School biology and English classes spent an afternoon of hands-on science activities, combined with a game of disc golf and poetry writing, on May 15, 2015, at the Lake Linden Sands Superfund site, where vegetation now covers stamp sand — a waste product left by the copper industry.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bourdieu.

Outdoor STEM experiences for local schools

On Monday, June 1st through Thurs June 4th, local school students were introduced to various STEM education and Career opportunities. Dollar Bay Elementary School had scientific excursions on the RV Agassiz, and saw science projects at 102 GLRC, and 104 GLRC. The program is funded by General Motors Ride the Waves program.

Read more and watch the video at the College of Engineering Blog.