Category: BIO

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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.


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.