Category: K-12

Designing a Sustainable Future

Summer Institute for Grade 4-12 Teachers

Teachers in the Lab

Date:  July 24 – 28, 2017

Application deadline June 15, 2017



Investigate product life cycle, building design, renewable energy sources, low impact site design, water reuse, smart transportation and food systems with cutting edge research scientists and engineers at Michigan Technological University and community/teacher experts.

Teachers will engage in hands-on engineering lessons, gather resources for teaching about sustainability while addressing the new Michigan Science Standards. As well as learn how to share STEM sustainability career options with their students, all while spending an exciting week in the Keweenaw Peninsula enjoying the Great Outdoors!

Teachers in the Field


Earn 30 SCECHs and Course Preparation

Participants will earn 30 SCECHs (pending) from Michigan Technological University for the 5‐day course.

Participants are asked to:

  • Complete pre‐course readings and reflections.
  • Participate fully in all parts of the Institute.
  • Teachers who develop an approved lesson plan after the institute can earn $100. Due Sept. 5, 2017.

Instructors include Michigan Tech faculty, community and teacher experts.

Teachers on Campus


$300 off campus includes 5 lunches, field trips, and classroom supplies, or $650 on campus which includes five nights lodging and meals.

Teachers can choose to enroll in the course (ED5640) for 2 graduate credits. (There is an additional cost of $561 Official Applied Science Education Graduate Resident and Non‐Resident $561 per credit). Additional coursework required.

Payment due June 15, 2017. Pay by credit card by calling MTU Cashier at 906.487.2247. Payments are non‐refundable.

Financial Aid May Be Available

Teachers may apply for Michigan Space Grant Consortium K‐12 Educator Incentive Program funds for up to $400 to attend workshops on math and science.

Teachers and House

Teachers CooperatingCampus

The class meets in the Great Lakes Research Center, a state‐of‐the art facility with many sustainability features.


Participants staying on campus will receive 5 nights lodging in single rooms with private baths in Michigan Tech’s new Hillside Place and all meals from Monday breakfast through Friday lunch. Easy walking distance to downtown Houghton and Michigan Tech hiking and biking trails. Nearby camping and Super 8 Hotel options are available.

Getting to Michigan Tech

Michigan Technological University is in Houghton, MI (pop. 7,000). United Airlines is the sole airline serving Houghton (800‐241‐6522 or with two flights daily from Chicago. Taxi service is available by calling Copper Country Limo & Taxi at 906‐370‐4761.

Why Come to Michigan Tech?

It’s summer, right!? What better place to earn credit/SCECHs? After class, you can choose from hiking, biking, kayaking, Lake Superior beaches, beautiful sunsets at Mclains St. Park (10 miles away) or visit the more than 25 nature sanctuaries and preserves in the Keweenaw Peninsula.


Joan Chadde, Course Coordinator
Tel: 906.487.3341


Supported by the Sustainable Futures Institute, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, Great Lakes Research Center, and the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education. Coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

3rd Annual Natural Resource and Engineering Career Explorations at Michigan Tech and UP

Research Vessel Agassiz
Research Vessel Agassiz

High School Students Can Win A FREE 6-Day Trip to:

Explore Natural Resources & Engineering at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!!

Mon. – Sat, June 26 – July 1st, 2017

(includes free transportation, meals & lodging)


OPEN to all High School students in Detroit and Wayne County who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!

Michigan Tech will host a 6-day trip to explore environmental science and engineering majors. It is open to all high school students in Detroit and Wayne Counties who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!

What YOU will do …

  • In the forest, ID and measure trees, and collect frog data;
  • On the water, aquatic sampling aboard a research vessel ;
  • In the lab, examine plankton, drive a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), and design a process to clean water;
  • Tour a college campus, stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall;
  • Visit Michigan DNR Training Center on Houghton Lake.
  • Experience national and state parks, wildlife refuges, nature sanctuaries with experts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!


  • Mike Reed, Curator of Education, Detroit Zoo
  • Lisa Perez, U.S. Forest Service ~ Detroit Urban Connections
  • Bruce Ross, MI Department of Natural Resources


Detroit HS Students Natural Resource and Engineering Career Exploration


Mike Reed | Detroit Zoo | | Cell: (313) 595-9729

Joan Chadde | Michigan Technological University | | Office: (906) 487-3341

This program is funded by:

These Michigan Technological University Departments Schools and Centers:

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Michigan Tech Admissions
Housing and Residential Life
Center for Pre-College Outreach
Center for Science and Environmental Outreach
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

General Motors (Ride the Waves)

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach with Help form the Following Partners:

64px-Forestservice-shield.svg  MDNRmtu  frees

Family Engineering Events for Spring Break 2017

Family EngineeringAlternative spring breaks combine the suspension of studies with something extraordinary. There have been some pretty exciting excursions in the past and this year is no exception. Among them is:

National Society of Black Engineers

Again this year, members of the Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools, are spreading the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. A total of 11 Tech students, all but one from the state of Michigan, will visit Detroit-area middle schools March 6 – 8, 2017, while hosting Family Engineering Nights in the evenings.

Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech, says the Family Engineering program was developed at Tech with several partner organizations.

“The goal is to engage, inspire and encourage elementary students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities with their parents at Family Engineering events,” Chadde explains. She says the program is designed to address the country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in math, science, technology and engineering. “The Family Engineering program targets six to 12-year olds and their parents.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Mark Wilcox.

2017 Spring Outdoor Science Investigations Field Trip Program Registration Now Open!!

IMG_0131Using 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.

Program Descriptions

Please click on the activity title for a sample lesson plan. These plans are a rough idea of what teachers can expect form a lesson. Content can be customized according to class needs or Teacher/Instructor discretion

Warm Earth ½-1 hr
Students will participate in simple tests to help them understand that the sun heats up some earth surfaces more than others. They will be challenged to find warm areas and cool areas and compare them to discover why they differ and how this may affect plants or animals. Finally, they will design a structure to help keep a warm area cool. Standards addressed: K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, K-LS1-1

Spring Alive! ½-1 hr
Students will make observations of plants and signs of wildlife to discover how both can change the environment to meet their needs. Can we find young plants pushing up through dead leaves or pavement? How about animal holes in trees or the ground? Students will make connections between living things changing their surroundings to help them survive. Standards addressed: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-PS3-1
What is metamorphosis? Students will explore the life cycles of familiar wildlife and understand that living things grow and change. They will go on a hunt to find small insects and determine if they are adults or not. Standards addressed: 1-LS3-1

Sounds of Nature ½-1 hr
The outdoors are alive with sounds! Students will hunt to find objects that make sounds, such as leaves rustling, grasses blowing, birds singing, or water flowing. Then we’ll explore common objects that vibrate to make sound: strings, grass whistles, rubber bands and learn that even our voices and bird songs are created by vibrating parts within us. Finally, we’ll go on a bird hunt to see if we can find singing birds. Standards addressed: 1-PS4-1
Gr.2 Frog-tastic
Students will participate in a variety of activities followed by a search for frogs. Students will describe the basic requirements, adaptations, and life cycle of frogs. Standards addressed: 2-LS4-1

Who Lives in a Tree? ½-1 hr
Trees provide food and shelter to many animals. Students will develop an awareness of trees and some of the animals that live in them and make connections as to how plants help animals and animals help plants by pollination or by distributing seeds. They will also be challenged to develop a device using objects in nature that models how animals pollinate flowers. Standards addressed: 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-3
Insect Sampling 1½ hrs
How do scientists sample insects? Are sampling methods different for terrestrial vs. aquatic insects? What are the life cycles of different insects? How do insects find their mates? Students will answer these questions as they collect and study insects from terrestrial or aquatic habitats. Standards addressed: 3-LS1-1

What’s For Dinner? 1½ hrs
Students will learn about predator/prey relationships and strategies animals have developed to avoid being eaten. They will discover that some animals of the same species are better at surviving because they have slightly different characteristics that help them. They will define producers and consumers as they examine food chains and food webs. Standards addressed: 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-2
Wetland Ecology 1½ hrs
Students will investigate wetlands by studying the soil, plants, and hydrology. Students will be able to describe the essential components of a wetland and classify them. They will also learn why wetlands are such important ecosystems. Standards addressed: 4-ESS3-1, 4-LS1-1

The Secret Life of Bees 1½ hrs
Students will learn the difference between bees, wasps and hornets. They will discover that bees have fascinating lives due to their ability to sense, process and respond to information in unique ways. They will also get an up close look at a honeybee hive. Bee behavior will be further understood through outdoor games and a nature hike to observe important plants for bees. Standards addressed: 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2
Soil Science 1½ hrs
What is soil? How can soil be described according to texture? Does water move through different soil types faster? What kinds of organisms live in soil? Students will conduct an investigation to describe various soil types and compare percolation rates. Standards addressed: 5-PS1-3, 5-ESS2-1

Birds in Spring 1½ hrs
Spring is a busy time for birds. They are returning from migration, mating and building nests. Students will listen and look for birds and record the data, practice using binoculars and learn the names of some common birds.
Pond (or Stream) Sampling 1½ hrs
Students collect data to discover fauna, and flora of a pond. Students will sample pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. We will discuss ways to make sure we are not negatively impacting the delicate ecosystem of a pond. Standards addressed: MS-LS2-1
Invasive Species 1½ hrs
What are invasive species? Are there any in the surrounding area? How can we slow down their invasion? Students will learn about some of the native, exotic and invasive species in our area and then investigate the surrounding area, looking for them.


Important information __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Appropriate Dress:

The weather can be very unpredictable at this time of the year.  Please have your students dress for the weather conditions!  We recommend boots for wet, muddy conditions.  Some rubber boots will be available for field trips to a wetland or pond.

Locations for Spring Field Trips:

  • Michigan Tech Recreational Trails
  • Nara Chalet and Preserve
  • Maasto Hiito Trails
  • Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest
  • McClain State Park
  • Calumet Waterworks Park
  • Calumet Lake/ Calumet Lions Park
  • Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
  • Baraga School Forest
  • Ford Center and Forest (Alberta)
  • Bessemer City Park
  • Norrie Park
  • Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center
  • Lake Perrault
  • Your school

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).


For more information, contact:

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.

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education                                                                                wege                                                                             CSEO_Logo Final Feb2016

Middle and High School Girls Explore Engineering

Engineering Exploration Day
Engineering Exploration Day


HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) — Michigan Technological University wants more girls to become engineers. So they held a Girls Engineering and Exploration Day Feb. 25. Girls and their parents were invited to learn about careers in engineering and try real engineering challenges.

Read more and watch the video at WLUC TV6, by Harri Leigh.

Amy Monte, Engineering Fundamentals
Amy Monte, Engineering Fundamentals

This event was sponsored by the Michigan Tech College of Engineering, Engineering Fundamentals, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Society of Women Engineers student chapter, Tau Beta Pi student chapter, Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, and the Great Lakes Research Center.

Engineering Exploration Day ended the National Engineers Week as celebrated at Michigan Tech.

Middle School Girls Get WISE about Science and Engineering

Get WISEMiddle school girls from across the western Upper Peninsula will get a taste of the excitement of science and engineering during Michigan Tech’s annual Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) workshop on Tuesday (Feb. 21, 2017). This year’s event will be held in the Wood Gym in Tech’s Student Development Complex.

The students will participate in hands-on activities, solve problems and meet with college-age role models. This year’s projects include a wood anatomy activity, designing and creating a pinball machine and participating in an epidemic simulation.

These girls are incredibly smart, and we want to give them the opportunity to explore their options. —Lauren Kirwin

Get WISE is hosted by the CPCO office in partnership with the College of Engineering, the College of Sciences and Arts, and the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Sciences, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jenn Donovan.

Get WISEMiddle School girls ‘Get WISE’

Middle school girls were shown how they can pursue an education in the STEM fields on the campus of Michigan Tech. 260 7th and 8th graders from 14 schools came out for Get WISE-Women in Science and Engineering.

The students learned about pathogens, wood anatomy and mechanical engineering. The activities, like building a pinball machine from common materials, show these girls how rewarding science and engineering can be.

Read more and watch the video at ABC10, by Rick Allen.

Lisa Fujita
Lisa Fujita

Michigan Tech encourages women in engineering

Liz Fujita, event coordinator, said, “We think it’s really important that the girls get exposed to working in teams, solving problems together, and learning that you can do science and engineering.”

Read more and watch the video at, by Kylie Khan.

Middle-school girls get WISE at Tech

The 260 girls from 14 schools started by making a model of a wood cell and looking at types of wood. They also made pinball machines with materials such as Dixie cups and popsicle sticks. After lunch they simulated an epidemic, learning about pathogens and laboratory science.

“Coming in as an engineer, math and science is just something that I knew that I loved,” said Madison Olmstead, a fourth-year civil engineering major.

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Engineering Exploration Day: Register by February 22, 2017

Discover Engineers Week 2017

Engineering Exploration Day for Middle & High School Girls!
FREE! Open to girls in grades 7 – 12 and their parents

Saturday, February 25 from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center

Celebrate Engineers Week! Come find out what engineering is all about! Try some fun hands on activities led by women engineering students at Michigan Tech and discover why the LOVE engineering! Learn how engineers make a difference and why engineering is a great career choice. Hear about the many career paths open to engineers. Includes sessions on the variety of engineering fields and typical college curriculum presented by 1st Year Engineering Fundamentals instructor, Amy Monte. Dr. Adrienne Minerick, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and Chemical Engineering, will present “The Personal (and Other) Rewards of an Engineering Career.”

Registration Deadline: Wed., February 22

Limited to first 40 girls and their parent(s) or chaperones!

Includes lunch and all activities.

To register: Registration: Engineering for Girls

For more Information: Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach

(906) 487-3341


Engineering for Girls is co-sponsored by:

Society of Women EngineersGreat Lakes Research CenterCollege of EngineeringCivil and Environmental EngineeringEngineering Fundamentals

Coordinated by:

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental EducationCenter for Science and Environmental Outreach

Transportation and Engineering After School Classes Underway

Five Transportation and Engineering after school classes are underway at the Great Lakes Research Center and four area schools.

The instructors are all young women engineering students in mechanical, civil, and biomedical engineering. The After School STEM Club activities take place over eight weeks from January 23 to March 3, 2017.

Students are designing boats, making traffic signs, building bridges, flying planes, and riding tracks. They are using LEGOs, airplane spinners, Magna-Tiles®, paper, and other materials

Transportation and Engineering Activity Overview

Activity Schedule

Participating schools are in South Range, L’anse, Hancock, and Dollar Bay.

Coordinated by:

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental EducationCenter for Science and Environmental Outreach

Clay Boats Table Group
Clay Boats Table Group
Designing Boats
Designing Boats
Crafting Clay Boats
Crafting Clay Boats
Testing Boats
Testing Boats
Engineering Design
Engineering Design
Joan Chadde and Young Engineers
Joan Chadde and Young Engineers
Engineering Construction
Engineering Construction
Testing Truck Stoppers
Testing Truck Stoppers