Category: STEM Education

Chadde Presents at Belle Isle State Park

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, presented at the Belle Isle State Park Natural Resource Roundtable last Thursday, April 14, 2016. The roundtable was hosted by the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Environmental Conservation Committee and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to share interests and potential collaborations.

Michigan Tech and Wayne State University were the only two universities in Michigan invited to participate, in addition to a dozen government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Chadde has engaged Detroit teachers and students in natural resource stewardship activities on Belle Isle since 2009, supported by three different grants.

From Tech Today.

Western UP Center Science Fair

Science fairs encourage students to explore

HANCOCK – Through the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, students from the five Western U.P. counties are offered hands-on incentives to explore science, math, engineering and the environment in which they live.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig (subscription required).

The Engineering Process

EngineeringThe Engineering Process

ENG 5100 4 credits
July 11 – 22, 2016
Deadline: May 6, 2016

The course is intended to introduce engineering to pre-college teachers* in order to help teachers acquire tools for integrating engineering into their science classrooms under the framework of the new Michigan Science Standards. The course provides teachers with a meaningful experience about the process and methods that engineers use to solve problems. The engineering process (as compared with the scientific process) will be outlined, as will some of the “non-technical” aspects of engineering. Students will explore how the course objectives are related to the NGSS (and the new Michigan Science Standards), specifically identifying ties to the foundational dimensions of the standards; Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs). Students will be required to complete a design project that meets design criteria culminating in testing of the project and analysis of the results. This course is a required, cornerstone course for our Master’s degree program in Applied Science Education.

*Mi-STAR curriculum developers will be given first preference.

ENG 5100
4 credits

Learn more and apply at Teacher Professional Development Summer Institutes.

Teaching Science in Three Dimensions: The NGSS in Theory and Practice

DimensionsTeaching Science in Three Dimensions: The NGSS in Theory and Practice

ED 5540 3 credits
June 27 – August 11, 2016
Deadline: May 6, 2016

This course examines the Next Generation Science Standards and Framework for K-12 Science Teaching (NGSS), the theory underlying them, and what it will take for teachers to transform science teaching practice in ways that align with these standards. The course will focus on critiquing and developing lessons and assessments that incorporate the three dimensions of disciplinary core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. The benefits and challenges of integrating across science and engineering disciplines will be discussed.

ED 5540
3 credits

Learn more and apply at Teacher Professional Development Summer Institutes.

Designing and Implementing 3D Learning Experiences

DesigningDesigning and Implementing 3D Learning Experiences

ED 5602 1 credit
June 20 – 24, 2016
Deadline: May 6, 2016

Teachers* will deepen a practical understanding of how to design and teach 3-dimensional learning experiences that support students in developing and revising their scientific ideas over time while bringing together the scientific and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross cutting concepts identified in “A framework for K-12 Science Education” and the “Next Generation Science Standards.” Through exploration of classroom video cases and collaborative work with colleagues, teachers will develop strategies to engage students in figuring out scientific phenomena or designing solutions to real world problems through developing models and engaging in evidence-based argumentation and explanation.

*Mi-STAR curriculum developers will be given first preference. Teachers who have not participated in Mi-STAR must have completed ED5540 in Spring 2016 or complete a 10 to 15 hour Mi-STAR NGSS Professional Development Series prior to enrolling in this course.

ED 5602 (previously ED 5550)
1 credit

Learn more and apply at Teacher Professional Development Summer Institutes.

Robot Theatre Play

Robot Theatre Play
Robot Theatre Play

Kids at Dollar Bay Elementary School are putting on performances this week using two robots. The students have been working with Michigan Tech graduate students as part of the school’s Great Explorations program.

The graduate students are supervised by Assistant Professor Philart Jeon, who coordinates the Mind Music Machine Lab. The group is giving children exposure to technology and the arts.

The theatrical performance is taking place after National Robotics Week.

Watch the interview in Michigan Tech Unscripted: Science and Research.

Celebrate Lake Superior

The Lake Superior Celebration is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at the Great Lakes Research Center.

This event is to celebrate the work of the following 17 Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) school -community teams. Many Michigan Tech departments and faculty serve as LSSI community partners and/or advisors.

Schools involved:

  • Washington Elementary (Bessemer)
  • LL Wright High School (Ironwood)
  • EB Holman K-8 School (Stanton Township)
  • Lake Linden Hubbell Middle/High School
  • Jeffers High School (Adams Township)
  • L’Anse Middle School
  • Baraga Middle/High School
  • Houghton Middle School and High School
  • Hancock Middle School and Barkell Elementary
  • CLK Elementary and Washington Middle School (Public Schools of Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw)
  • Chassell Elementary and High School
  • Dollar Bay Tamarack City Elementary and High School

Hands-on Recycling Activities led by Michigan Tech students:

  • Ride the HEET bike & lift the bridge!
  • Paper-Making
  • Garbage Pizza
  • No-Waste Lunch
  • SMOG City, water quality testing, designing pumps

 Local Resources:

  • World Water Day art display
  • Copper Country Recycling Initiative
  • Plastic Recycling Enterprise
  • Alternative Energy Enterprise
  • Engineers Without Borders
  •  UP Food Exchange


  • LSSI student showcase and presentations
  • North Woods Kids (K-12) from the Western U.P. art exhibit
  • Cake, lemonade, and refreshments
  • Live music

Sponsored by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Copper Country Recycling Initiative and Funded in part with a grant from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.and Michigan STEM Partnership.

Find out more here.

Chadde Presents on Engaging Families in STEM

NSTAChadde Presents in Nashville

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, presented “Engaging Families in STEM” at the National Science Teachers Association conference in Nashville, on April 1 with co-presenters, Tenesha Moore, Detroit Public Schools Office of Science and David Heil, Foundation for Family Science & Engineering.

Chadde shared the Family Engineering: An Activity and Event Planning Guide, the product of a National Science Foundation Informal Science Education grant received by Michigan Tech (Neil Hutzler, PI). Family Engineering  actively engage parents and elementary-aged children in hands-on engineering activities in order to create the next generation of problem solvers.

From Tech Today.

After School Science Classes Start Thursday

GLRC STEMThe next session of After School Sciences begins Thursday. The six-class sessions will meet from 4 to 5:30 Thursdays beginning April 7 and running through May 12, at the Great Lakes Research Center.

These hands-on explorations are taught by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach education specialist, Marcy Erickson.

Physics of Motion (grades 2-5)

Explore motion in our world through investigations involving the principles of physics.  Students will construct rockets, roller coasters, aqueducts, and catapults to discover the relationship between energy and motion through engaging, hands-on activities.

Cost: $75/student; pay by credit card by calling Michigan Tech Cashier 487-2247. (Your space is not reserved until payment has been received.) Register online or at Call with questions to 7-3341 or email Joan Chadde  

Note: Houghton school bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 pm. Please email Shari Tapani or call 482-0456 to arrange for your child. 

After School Programs are coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Western UP Center Educational Programming

Joan Chadde
Joan Chadde

Local school districts tap Western UP Center for educational programming

HOUGHTON – Programs and events such as science nights, outdoor field trips, and etcetera, are just a very few examples of programs and activities available to schools all across the state of Michigan. In the western Upper Peninsula, they are made available through an organization called the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Joan Chadde, program director of the Western U.P. center, said in addition to programs for students, they also offer programs and services to educators.

“Another thing we do is we offer a teacher professional development,” she said, “so we have this resource clearing house and then the school year workshops, summer institutes. So, we just had a workshop here on Tuesday. It was on recycling. So the teachers were learning how they can integrate recycling into their science and social studies curriculum.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.

Center gets grants to provide school resources

HANCOCK – The Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education is a valuable resource to schools throughout the five western counties of the U.P. Those counties are Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, and Gogebic.

All of the programs and resources offered to the schools are grant-funded, Opplinger said, requiring long days and many hours of requesting grants.

“These are 12-hour days, because we’re writing grants, and you’re lucky if you get 25 percent of them,” Chadde said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig (subscription required).