Author: hrpowers

Register for After School Science and Engineering Classes

Registration is open for after school science and engineering classes for students in grades 1 – 5. Six class sessions will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m on the days specified by the class. Houghton Elementary School bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m. Transportation from Houghton Elementary will be provided by Lamers at no additional cost.

Students will get to experience hands-on explorations taught by Michigan Tech science and engineering students and staff at the Great Lakes Research Center (104 GLRC). The different class options are listed below.

Grades 1-2: Rock and Roll!

This class takes place on Tuesdays (Oct. 8 – Nov. 12). Students will explore rocks, learn about fossils and participate in hands-on activities to discover the many uses of minerals! Erika Vye, from the Geological & Mining Engineering & Science department will be the instructor.

Grades 3-5 Autumn Animal Adventures

This class takes place on Mondays (Oct. 7 – Nov. 11). Set trail cameras and sticky traps to see which animals and insects call the MTU campus home. Learn about habits and habitats of bats, bears and wolves. Students will explore wildlife ecology in the classroom and outside. Brian Doughty, M.S. Biological Sciences, will be the instructor.

The cost to enroll in an after school class is $95 per student. Registration deadline is today, (Oct. 3). Register online. Any questions can be directed to 7-3341 or

Outreach in Natural Resources and Engineering

Eighteen high school students from Detroit and across the Lower Peninsula are spending six days at Michigan Tech from July 22-27 to explore Natural Resources and Engineering majors and consider attending Michigan Technological University. The program is in its fifth year.

Students will investigate drinking water treatment, autonomous vehicles, forest management, and more, with Michigan Tech faculty from Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Electrical and Computing Engineering (ECE), as well as natural resource agencies, such as the US Forest Service. Students will participate in hands-on engineering explorations and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, from kayaking to mountain biking and hiking at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Some of the engineering-related explorations include:

  • Value of STEM Careers with Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering
  • Water Use and Cleaning Wastewater with Joan Chadde, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach (CSEO)
  • Water Treatment and the Flint Water Crisis with Brian Doughty, CSEO
  • Water Treatment Technologies with Ryan Kibler, Benjamin Cerrados, and Dr. Daisuke Minakata, CEE
  • Demo of acoustic triangulation and underwater autonomous vehicles with Dr. Andrew Barnard and Miles Penhale, ME-EM
  • Stream Lab and Green Land and Water Management Practices, with Dr. Brian Barkdoll, CEE
  • Tour of Flood Damage in Houghton (and Detroit): Why does flooding occur and how can it be mitigated? with Dr. Alex Mayer, CEE, and Mike Reed, Detroit Zoological Society
  • Self-Driving Vehicles with Dr. Jeremy P. Bos, ECE

The program is coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, with funding from: Michigan Space Grant Consortium, Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, College of Engineering, Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Admissions, Housing and Residential Life, Great Lakes Research Center, and the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.

For more information, contact: Joan Chadde at 906-487-3341/906-369-1121 or

Green Film Series: “Carbon Nation”

Carbon Nation logoThe 2019 Green Film Series: Issues and Dialogue returns next week. Now in its ninth year, the Green Film Series offers films along with facilitated discussion on the third Wednesday of each month from January through May.

This year’s first film, “Carbon Nation,” will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 16) in Forestry Building G002. “Carbon Nation” is a documentary about climate change solutions. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling film that illustrates how solutions to climate change address social, economic and natonal security issues. The discussion facilitator for this film is Sarah Green (Chem). Coffee and dessert will also be provided by the Sustainable Futures Institute.

There is no admission, although a five dollar donation is suggested.

The Green Film Series is sponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship InitiativeKeweenaw Land Trust, Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences and the Sustainable Futures Institute.

A complete list of films in the Green Films Series: Issues and Dialogue is available here.

Lake Superior Water Festival Wednesday

Beach of Lake Superior
Sunset over Lake Superior

More than 700 elementary, middle and high-school students from 10 Western Upper Peninsula schools will gather at Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center on Wednesday, Oct. 17 for the Seventh Annual Lake Superior Water Festival.

Participating schools include Baraga High School, Barkell Elementary (Hancock), CLK Elementary (Calumet), EB Holman (Stanton Township), Houghton Middle School, Luther L. Wright High School (Ironwood), Jeffers Middle School (Adams Township), Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School, South Range Elementary and Washington Middle School (Calumet).

Students from 30 classes will participate in 24 different sessions presented by Michigan Tech scientists and graduate students, along with presenters from the U.S. Coast Guard, Ottawa National Forest, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, BHK AmeriCorps and the Copper Harbor Trails Club.

The Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource – the Great Lakes! A wide variety of topics from science and engineering to creative writing will be presented.  Students will attend four 35-minute activities. Some of the topics to be presented include remotely operated vehicles, leave no trace outdoors, cleaning wastewater, careers with the U.S. Coast Guard, the chemistry of corrosion, design a fog harvester and more.

The 2018 Water Festival is coordinated by Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, with funding from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

For more information contact Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Fall 2018 After School Science and Engineering Classes

Young kids taking measurements in the woodsStarting Oct. 1 through Nov. 6, there will be six hands-on explorations taught by Michigan Tech science and engineering students and staff from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Great Lakes Research Center, room 104. These classes are for grades one through five.

Gr. 1-2  Forest Fun, Mondays

Students will engineer seed get-aways, investigate animal tracks, design feeders to help birds through the winter, examine leaf characteristics and create leaf art, and discover the many ways that animals survive the winter.

Gr. 3-5   Chemistry for Kids, Tuesdays

Mix, dissolve, measure and conduct experiments while investigating chemistry. Use red cabbage to explore acids and bases. Examine mystery matter—is it a solid or liquid? Become a detective and use chromatography to find out “who stole Herman, the bucktoothed guppy?’’

The cost is $90 per student. Register by Thursday (Sept. 27). Registration is available online. Your space is not reserved until payment has been received. Minimum of 10 students needed per class. You can pay by credit card here.

Call 7-3341 or email Joan Chadde with any questions.

A Houghton Elementary School bus will drop off students at the GLRC by 3:45 p.m. Transportation from Houghton Elementary will be provided by Lamers at no additional cost.

Detroit Area Engineering Students Participate in Summer Youth Programs

Detroit Teens 201606240025The Michigan Chronicle published a story about the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), mentioning that Michigan Tech is one of DAPCEP’s partners. DAPCEP students will be attending Summer Youth Programs at Tech in July. Sixteen high school students from Detroit and southwest Michigan will explore Natural Resources & Engineering majors and possible careers from July 26 – July 1st. This is the third year the program has been conducted.

Students will investigate invasive species and forest biomaterials with faculty scientists at School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science. Dr. Marty Auer and recent graduate environmental engineering graduate and past NSBE president, Terrianna Bradley, who also hails from Detroit, will take students on the water to sampleaquatic life aboard MTU’s Agassiz research vessel in Lake Superior, including a lab experience to identify plankton and analyze fish stomachs.

Faculty from Mechanical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. In addition, students will experience national and state parks and forests, wildlife refuges, and nature sanctuaries, including an overnight at the MI Department of Natural Resource RAM training center in Roscommon.

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, contributions from the following covers the students’ transportation, meals, and lodging: Michigan Technological University School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, College of Engineering, Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, Admissions, Housing & Residential Life, Great Lakes Research Center & Center for Diversity & Inclusion.

Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced

1490293756The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition shouldn’t come as a surprise. The winners are three members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Environmental Engineering — seniors no less — Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler and Jeremy Luebke.

The winning trio had stiff competition from the runner up team, “The Insolubles,” three students from a Hancock High School chemistry class — Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow and Shannon Nulf. The class is taught by a Michigan Tech grad.

Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids, a group of three eighth-grade students from Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School and three members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force.

The competition was held in recognition of World Water Day, Wednesday (March 22). This year’s theme was wastewater, hence the cleaning water competition.

Event coordinator Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes. The wastewater was made up of household items that go down the drain. Each team was given a cup of wastewater and directed to clean it as best they could using only the materials provided — screen, sand, gravel, activated charcoal and alum.

After 20 minutes, the results came in. Martin Auer (CEE), a local wastewater treatment expert served as judge. All members of the winning team received $25 Michigan Tech gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the second place Hancock High School students, explaining “they didn’t have time to spend it, since they’d be leaving Houghton soon with graduation just a few weeks away.”

Globally, two billion people are without clean drinking water and three billion are without wastewater treatment. After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water.

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events were sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and research centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

ABC News 10, WLUC TV6 and WJMN TV3 all covered World Water Day celebrations this week at Michigan Tech.