Category: Outreach

STEM Night Attended by 300 Teachers

NSTA 2015Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, and Neil Hutzler, retired past chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, collaborated with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering to conduct a STEM Night for a sold-out crowd of 300 teachers from across the country who were attending the 2015 National Science Teachers’ Association STEM Forum & Expo last week in Minneapolis.

Chadde and Hutzler are among the co-authors of the Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide published in 2011. Michigan Tech received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the guide.

Anza Mitchell, president of the Michigan Tech student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, assisted with the event.

From Tech Today.

Chadde at the Marsin Monitoring Project


Marsin Center
Marsin Center

Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, was a participating scientist for a bio-inventory for the Keweenaw Land Trust Marsin Monitoring Project, conducted by the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School tenth-grade biology class. The event was held yesterday at the Marsin Center. The students monitored amphibians and insects and brainstormed native landscaping ideas for the KLT.

From Tech Today.

STEM Field Trips offered for HS Students

STEMHigh School students can visit a variety of science, engineering, and computer labs at Michigan Tech now through May 15.

The students in grades 9 – 12 can participate in presentations and hands-on activities led by Tech students, engineers and scientists to kick start students’ planning for careers in science, technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Nearly 200 students from Bessemer, Baraga-L’Anse Alternative School, Copper Country Christian, L’Anse, Lake Linden-Hubbell, Watersmeet, Dollar Bay, Nah Tah Wahsh, and Jeffers High Schools are planning visits.

Select Topics / Labs to Visit

  • Green Building & Low Impact Design
  • Stream Mechanics Lab
  • Remotely Operated Vehicles
  • Computer Science
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Civil Engineering Concrete TestingLab
  • Fishy Great Lakes
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Geology & Mining Engineering
  • Human Monitoring Devices / Driving Simulator
  • Forest Insects

For more information, contact: or office: 7-3341

Made possible with funding from the Michigan STEM Partnership and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education with assistance from the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

From Tech Today, by Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

High School Students Learn About STEM Careers

This week, nearly 200 high school students from nine schools in the western UP are spending a day at Michigan Tech, exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. They will visit labs and learn about green building and low-impact design, human monitoring devices, forest insects, steam mechanics, remotely-operated vehicles, computer science, materials science and engineering, civil engineering/concrete testing, Great Lakes fish, transportation engineering and geology and mining engineering.

Yesterday, students from Jeffers High School in Adams Township spent the day at Tech learning about STEM careers. Students from Nah Tah Wahsh Public Academy in Wilson will be on campus today, and on Friday the University will host students from Watersmeet High School.

From Tech Today.

Chadde to Participate in Field-Based Ecology CAREER Project

Amy Marcarelli Receives NSF CAREER Award

In the world of aquatic biology, it’s a long-held belief that what goes up, must come down. As human activity causes nitrogen loads to go up along the banks of rivers and streams, nitrogen levels go down through another process. Amy Marcarelli, a Michigan Technological University associate professor in biological sciences, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study this nitrogen conversion balance.

The CAREER awards are prestigious grants from the NSF to young faculty who effectively integrate research and teaching. Marcarelli was awarded a 5-year, $794,661 grant to continue her research into nitrogen fixation and denitrification.

Not only will her research look to affirm, or disprove, long-held beliefs, but also to create a more ecologically-savvy citizenry by integrating ecosystem ecology techniques into K-12 and undergraduate education.

The construction and operation of a mobile lab is a key part of both the research and educational components of the CAREER project. Marcarelli says accurate rates of nitrogen fixation and denitrification using common assays are dependent on accurate estimates of gas concentrations.

“To reach local (K-12) students, I will identify several classes where teachers are interested in introducing their students to field-based ecology. Before our departure, we will visit these students in their classrooms to introduce ourselves and our project,” Marcarelli says.

She plans to work with Joan Chadde, educational program coordinator at Michigan Tech’s Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Mark Wilcox.

Lake Superior Youth Symposium May 14-17, 2015

11th Biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium
Thunder Bay, Ontario
5 pm, Thursday to 11 am, ET, Sunday ~ May 14-17, 2015

for Grades 8-12 Students and Teachers in MI, MN, WI, and Ontario




On the Road

Joan Chadde (CLS) attended her ninth Biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium in Thunder Bay, Ontario over the weekend. 70 students from Houghton, Jeffers and Lake Linden-Hubbell attended the event hosted by Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate & Vocational School on the Lakehead University & Confederation College campuses.

From Tech Today.

High Schools Can Solarize Houghton

Solarize HoughtonSolarize Houghton
May 2 & May 16, 2015
1:00-5:00 pm
104 Great Lakes Research Center
Presenter: Abhilash “Abhi” Kantamneni, author of Michigan Solar Guidebook and Calculator

Open to ALL 9th – 12 Grade Students

Hands-on training, tour of local solar installations, assistance of local community members.

Eat Pizza! Earn a certificate of participation.

Register for 2015 Solarize Houghton

Coordinated by the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education and the Keweenaw Community Foundation.

Outdoor Community Nature Program at Maasto Hiihto

Families take a hike in Hancock

Families got to learn about animals on a nature hike on Saturday.

An environmental educator from the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Math Outreach lead the hike. The group walked along the Maasto Hiihto Ski Trail.

Read more at Upper Michigan’s Source, by Phil Ford.

The Outdoor Community Nature Program, coordinated by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, runs through May 16, 2015.

Lake Superior Celebration April 23, 2015

LakeSuperiorCelebrationLake Superior Celebration
6:00-8:00pm, Thursday, April 23, 2015
Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center

Hands-on Activities
· Great Lakes Research Center tours: green roof & other sustainable features
· Energy efficient homes, wind turbines, draft dodger activities for youth
· MTU Sustainable Vehicle Lab (invited)

Local Resources
· Renewable energy experts
· Energy efficient builders
· Home energy audits
· Green burial initiative
· Local food & greenhouses
· Houghton Co. recycling plan

Celebrate !
· Solarize Houghton County! Abhilash “Abhi” Kantamneni
· Mine Water Geothermal? MTU Alternative Energy Enterprise students
· LSSI Student Presentations & School Team Displays
· Cake & lemonade

Sponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Technological University, Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, and Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET).
Funded in part with a grant from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

Celebrate Lake Superior

Displays, local resources and experts will address a variety of topical issues include renewable energy, home energy audits, green burial initiative, local food and greenhouse, Houghton County recycling, HEET (Houghton Energy Efficient Team) Dollar Bay-TC Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics (SOAR), Mine Water Geothermal, “Solarizing” Houghton County and more.

Read more at Tech Today, by LSSI.

LakeSuperiorCelebration2015Lake Superior Celebration April 23

There was a variety of hands-on activities, GLRC tours (green roof and other sustainable features), energy efficient homes, wind turbines and draft dodger activities for youth.

See the Photo Gallery of the Lake Superior Celebration here

Read more at GLRC News and Announcements, by Emil Groth.

STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech


FREE 6-hour Field Trips offered for Gr. 9-12 classes April 20-May 15!!

Visit a variety of science, engineering, and computer labs at Michigan Tech and participate in presentations and hands-on activities led by MTU students, engineers, and scientists to kick start students’ planning for careers in STEM. Tours are approximately from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

Register Early! Bus travel stipends, sub teacher reimbursements, free student lunches (up to 25/group) available to first 10 to register!

Download the PDF Flyer: STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech

Register online: 2015 STEM Tour Registration

For more information about STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech, contact:

Joan Chadde, Director
MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach or 906-487-3341

Made possible with funding from the Michigan STEM Partnership and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education with assistance from the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Spring Break Science and Engineering Camps

Spring Break CampSpring Break Science & Engineering Camps for Grade 1-3, Grade 4-6 offered Mar. 31, April 1-2

Classes meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Great Lake’s Research Center.

Cost: $120 per student. Up to 20 students per class. Register soon!

Register Online: Spring Break Science Camp Registration or

Pay by credit card: call the cashier 7-2247 (Your space is not reserved until payment has been received.)

Questions? Call: 7-3341

Grade 1-3 Engineering in Our World!

Learning about the engineering design process, each day of camp will present a different challenge to solve: designing bridges, improving play dough and designing walls. Following the Engineering is Elementary curricula for grades 1-3, campers will explore chemical engineering, materials engineering and civil engineering with visits from real engineers to the class.

Instructors: Marcy Erickson, Michelle Miller and Lloyd Wescoat

Grade 4-6 A Taste of Tech!

Kids will explore a variety of labs and do some cool engineering activities along the way!

  • Watch worms at home in the soil with a visit to the Rhizotron
  • Take a hike on Tech Trails
  • Bend water and make silly putty at the chemistry lab
  • Try out a real driving simulator with mechanical engineers
  • Smash concrete and test a Maglev track with civil engineers
  • Have fun with trains with transportation engineers.
  • And enjoy a free lunch at Michigan Tech (MUB) on Thursday, compliments of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Instructors: Joan Chadde, Chris Hohnholt, along with Michigan Tech faculty and students.

Learn more at the Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Spring break science
Camp offers hands-on learning

“We like to have these camps because it’s an opportunity for these kids to learn about science and engineering in a hands-on way,” said Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, which co-sponsored the event along with the Western Upper Peninsula Math and Science Center and the Great Lakes Research Center. “They’ve got available time, being out of the classroom, and it’s challenging for teachers to do a lot of hands-on projects.”

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