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.
Using the outdoors as a classroom is a great way to get students excited about science and make connections to the real world!
Since 2001, the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education, in partnership with the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University, offers outdoor learning experiences in science and environmental education for K-12 students in the five western counties of the Upper Peninsula.
Field trip activities enhance classroom learning and are correlated to Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for Science and Math.. During the activities, students utilize many science and math skills such as observing, predicting, data collecting, recording, graphing, analyzing and drawing conclusions.
Teachers should complete a Field Trip Request Form online. On the form, select a program, several dates, and a
location. Your school is encouraged to schedule multiple field trips on the same day for different classes at different
times. After we receive your request form, we will schedule your field trip and send you a confirmation letter.
Field trips are available to schools in the CCISD and GOISD school districts.
Cost: The field trips are $30 per class (up to 30 students). The CCISD will invoice each school at the end of
the season for the total number of field trips provided for each school during that season.
Pre-K & Kindergarten
Sense Detectives Duration: ½ hour-1hour
By listening carefully and looking closely, students use their senses to interpret the world around them as they discover the living and nonliving parts of the forest. After identifying what all living things need to survive, students will search the forest for some of these needs. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.00.11-14; S.IA.00.12-14; L.OL.00.11-12
Wildlife Is Everywhere!Duration: ½ hour-1hour
Students will make observations and conclude that wildlife is all around us. Next, they will compare the lives of wild and tame animals; and search the forest for the needs of wild animals. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.00.11-14, S.IA.00.12-14, L.OL.00.11-12., SE.SE.00.11
Bird Migration Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will examine the questions: Why do birds migrate? What are some of the challenges they face during migration? How are birds alike or different? Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.01.11-12,14; S.IA.01.12-14; L.OL.01.13,21;L.HE.01.11-12
Weather Forecast Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will be introduced to different tools used to measure weather. They will observe and record the temperature, cloud cover, precipitation and wind. They will investigate ways plants and animals have adapted to different types of weather. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.01.11-12,14; L.OL.01.13; E.ES.01.11-12, E.ES.01.21-24; E.ES.01.31-32
To Be a Tree and Seed Get-AwaysDuration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will investigate trees, focusing on what plants need to survive. They will describe the life cycle of familiar plants and compare the leaves and seeds of different trees. They will also participate in a scavenger hunt identify the different methods of seed dispersal. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.02.11-12,14; S.IA.02.1-14; L.OL.02.14,22 L.HE.02.13
Soil Detectives Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will use sieves to investigate soil and determine what soil is made of. They will discover that there are many types, colors and textures of soil and conduct a mini-experiment to understand how erosion affects soil types differently. Michigan GLEC’s: S.IP.02.11, S.IP.02.12, S.IP.02.13, S.IP.02.14, P.PM.02.14, E.FE.02.21
Have to Have Habitat & Adaptations for Survival Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will observe some of the unique structures and functions of organisms, investigate how plants and animals are adapted to their environments, and participate in multiple activities. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.03.11-15; S.IA.03.11-15; S.RS.03.18; E.ES.03.52.
The Physics of Flight Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Birds come in all shapes and sizes—ever wonder why? Students will explore bird feathers, wings and flight as they investigate the forces of lift and thrust, then conduct an experiment to see how mass and force are related. Michigan GLEC’s: S.IP.03.1, P.FM.E.2, P.FM.E.3
Wildlife Signs and Survival Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will go on a scavenger hunt to look for signs of wildlife. Through two activities, “Oh Deer!” & “How Many Bears?”, students will investigate factors influencing organisms’ survival and population growth. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.04.11-14; S.IA.04.12-14; S.RS.04.15,18; L.OL.04.16.L.EV.04.21-22.
Spiders & Insects Duration: 1-1.5 hours
How are spiders different from insects? How are they similar? The students will learn about different types of spiders and insects while searching for webs, egg cases and other evidence. They will carefully record and analyze the data collected. Students will not handle spiders or insects. Michigan GLEC’s: SCIS.IP.04.11-14; S.IA.04.12-14; S.RS.04.15,18; L.OL.04.16. L.EV.04.21-22; L.EC.04.11.21.
Tree Identification Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Using guidebooks and dichotomous keys, students will use observations of leaves, buds, bark, tree silhouettes, and branch patterns to help identify native trees species. Students will also be introduced to measurement of tree height and diameter. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.05.11-16; S.IA.05.11-15; L.EV.05.12; L.EV.05.21
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Stream Study Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Students will collect, identify and inventory aquatic macroinvertebrates in one of our local streams. They will examine the organism’s role in the food chain and as indicators of water quality in the environment. Michigan GLEC’s: SCI: S.IP.05.11-16; S.IA.05.11-13; L.EV.05.11-12.
Fabulous FungiDuration: 1-1.5 hours
Students will learn what a fungus is and about its role as a decomposer is in the forest ecosystem. We will hunt for the fruiting bodies (mushrooms) of fungi and classify what we find according to the nine major divisions of mushrooms. Michigan GLEC’s: S.IP.06.11-16; S.IA.06.11-13; L.OL.06.51-52. L.EC.06.22-23.
Magnetic Earth-Compasses & OrienteeringDuration: 1.5-2 hours
Students will learn how to use a compass and in the process understand that the reason compasses work is because of earth’s magnetic field. They will also complete a mini-orienteering course to test their compass reading skills. Michigan GLEC’s: E.SE.M.6, E.SE.06.62
Possible topics include:
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Stream Study
Bog and Wetland Ecology
Fungi and Decomposition
Wildlife Signs and Survival
Possible Locations for Fall Field Trips:
Baraga School Forest
Bessemer City Park
Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
Calumet Waterworks Park
Calumet Lions Park
Ford Forestry Center
Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest
McLain State Park
Michigan Tech Trails
Nara Nature Center
Suggest a site!
Cancellation Policy: the Center will not cancel any field trips due to weather, it is the responsibility of the teacher to
decide if a field trip should be cancelled. To cancel a field trip, please call the Field Trip Coordinator at (906)
370-1052 at least 2 hours in advance (3 hours for Gogebic/Ontonagon schools).
Brian Doughty, Field Trip Coordinator
Phone: 906-487-3341 (office) or 248-798-4382 (cell)
The Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education is a partnership of Copper Country & Gogebic-Ontonagon
Intermediate School Districts and the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach serving schools and communities in
Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic, Ontonagon and Keweenaw Counties. The Center’s mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Field Trip Financial Support
The Outdoor Science Investigation Field Trip Program has been funded since 2008 with a grant from the Wege Foundation to Michigan Tech.
In 2012 and 2015, snowshoes were purchased with support from the Keweenaw Community Foundation and the MEEMIC Foundation,
respectively. In 2016, another grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation is funding technology to support outdoor investigations.
The field trip program is coordinated by the Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education. It is funded in part by the Michigan Stem Partnership and the Wege Foundation.
There were free scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 8, 2017, during the Strawberry Festival. Excursions departed from the Chassell marina.
“How do scientists assess the health of Lake Superior” was the focus of the free scientific excursions. The public was invited to sign up for a 30-minute scientific excursion.
On each scientific excursion, Marcel Djkstra, a graduate of Michigan Tech and currently a Great Lakes scientist at the University of Wisconsin, demonstrated the use of sampling equipment to collect data on: water clarity, temperature, and turbidity that tells us about the health of the lake—and Chassell Bay. Participants explored the link between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.
Remotely-Operated-Vehicle (ROV) demonstrations were also conducted from the Chassell Marina dock by Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center researchers throughout the afternoon.
“Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and which measurement indicate a healthy lake,” explained Joan Chadde director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, who has coordinated this program as part of Strawberry Festival since 2006.
“These scientific excursions for the public have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered,” adds Chadde.
The event is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, and funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program. The GM Ride the Waves Program puts more than 600 Copper Country youth and adults on the water each year to learn about the Great Lakes and Lake Superior and promote STEM careers. Additional financial support is provided by the Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center and the Chassell Lions Club.
The 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.
The Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, there will be events throughout the week of March 20th to focus on the issue of clean water.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Wastewater.” Globally, 80 percent of all wastewater flows back to nature without being treated or reused. Not only does this pollute the environment, but valuable nutrients and potentially recoverable materials are lost. Daisuke Minakata from Civil and Environmental Engineering says “Wastewater is no longer a collection of liquid and solid wastes but our valuable resource so that we can create potable water from wastewater with advanced treatment technologies and recover valuable materials and even energy from waste. In this sense we no longer call it a wastewater treatment plant but water resource recovery facility.”
Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and 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.
Today, (March 22) is World Water Day, with this year’s theme being “Wastewater.” Since Monday, visitors to Michigan Tech’s Memorial Union Building, have gotten an up close and personal look at their daily usage of water, illustrated by a display featuring 90 one-gallon water jugs.
The display is the work of Caryn Murray, an environmental engineering major from Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Murray’s display has dozens of gallon jugs with colored caps corresponding with everyday water-related activities such as flushing a toilet, brushing teeth, washing dishes, etc.
Latika Gupta (SBE), Joan Chadde (CEE/GLRC) and Daisuke Minakata (CEE) appeared on Copper Country Today to discuss the celebration of World Water Day at Michigan Tech this week. The interview aired on Sunday, March 19 on WOLV FM, WHKB FM and WCCY AM/FM.The entire interview can be found on the Copper Country Today website.
Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced
The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition are no surprise! They are three members of the Society of Environmental Engineering student chapter at Michigan Tech–seniors no less– Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler, and Jeremy Luebke.
They had stiff competition from the runner up team “The Insolubles–three students from a high school chemistry class at Hancock High School (Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow, Shannon Nulf) taught by a Michigan Tech grad.
Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from MTU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids–a group of three 8th graders 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, March 22, 2017. This year’s theme is wastewater, hence the competition!
Event coordinator, Joan Chadde, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes, as they listed all of the 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 were in!
Chadde is the director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee.
Dr. Marty Auer, a local wastewater treatment expert from Michigan Tech, served as judge.
All members of the winning team received $25 MTU gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the 2nd 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, 2 billion people are without clean drinking water and 3 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 are 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.
University celebrates World Water Day
Michigan Tech has been taking part in the global observance of World Water Day for about 10 years. Spanning several days on campus, the celebration includes art displays, competitions and a panel discussion to name just a few.
Celebrating World Water Day with scientific research
Michelle Kelly, a fourth-year environmental engineering student, said research like hers can help efforts to improve water quality in the future.
“A lot of times people take one measurement at one point in the stream and kind of assume that this is the same throughout the stream,” she said. “My research has kind of shown that rates can be pretty variable within the stream itself, so a lot of people have been pretty surprised.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday there will be a student poster session in the lobby of the Dow Building. Students will be available for discussions and interviews between 3-5 p.m. each day.
In addition, the art exhibition “Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast,” is on display on the first and second floors of the Great Lakes Research Center through June 15.
Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture. George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis will present “Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier.” His talk will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in Dow 641.
HOUGHTON — The first anniversary of cardboard recycling in Houghton County was a great success, according to Joan Chadde, director of the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education (WUPC).
Hancock middle school students dig through 182 pounds of trash
“Eighth graders decided that they wanted to get help out with this project, go through last night’s garbage and see what kind of products we could put in the recyclables to try to better educate ourselves,” said eighth grade science teacher, Jen Davis.
The event was sponsored by Copper Country Recycling Initiative, Portage Lake District Library, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Keweenaw Coop, Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.
FREE films promoting sustainability & environmental awareness!
Enjoy refreshments and facilitated discussion Bring Your Own Mug!
The films begin at 7 p.m. with a discussion facilitated by Roman Sidortsov (SS) to follow. Coffee and dessert will be served.
There is no admission but a $3 donation is suggested.
Thursday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM, Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building
After Coal (60 min)
Describes building a new future in the coalfields of central Appalachia and Wales. Welsh coalfields were shut down in the 1980s, eliminating more than 20,000 jobs while Appalachian coalfields lost 20,000+ jobs from 1994 -2014. Both regions have survived disasters associated with mining production & waste disposal, and each has explored strategies for remembering the past while looking to the future. What lessons does this film have for us?
Half Life (12 min)
Describes the Ute tribe’s concern that toxic and radioactive contamination from the White Mesa Mill in SE Utah threatens their water supply and way of life. Why is this a common outcome of so many mines and/or mineral processing facilities? How can we change the ending?
Facilitator: Roman Sidortsov, Energy Policy, Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech
His research focuses on legal and policy issues related to the development of sustainable energy systems, energy security and justice, comparative and international energy law and policy, energy geopolitics, risk governance, and Arctic oil and gas.
A 2012 documentary on the world’s water crisis, the film sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions.
Based upon the award‐winning book, Silence of the Songbirds, by Stutchbury, The Messenger is an investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion, and the people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning, emotional journey revealing how issues facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet.
Explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design process called ‘Permaculture’. Permaculture is a design lens that uses the principles found in ecosystems to help shift our impact from destructive to regenerative. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes. (93 min.)