Archives—July 2011

Weekend Adventuring the Keweenaw

Weekend Adventuring the Keweenaw

This past weekend my Dad made a visit from the Lower Peninsula to the Keweenaw!  While he was here, we were able to find time to embarked on some great adventuring around the Keweenaw. So this week, I would like to share with you some of the things I enjoy doing with my parents when they are here to visit, in hopes that it will help spark some fun ideas for you to do with your students when you plan a trip to Michigan Tech!

Quincy Mine-

Dad and I in front of a piece of copper weighing 17 tons that was taken from Lake Superior. Location: Quincy Mine.

My Dad arrived on Friday early afternoon (leaving downstate bright and early at 2:30 AM) ready to begin our adventures! We decided since it was a warm day out, and I have no air-conditioning, that it would be nice to visit Hancock’s local mine, the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.  This mine happens to be 43 degrees year round, which was sounding excellent to both of us!

Here is some background information on the mine: The mine was owned by the Quincy Mining Company and operated between 1846 and 1945, although some activities continued through the 1970s. The Quincy Mine was known as “Old Reliable,” as the Quincy Mine Company paid a dividend to investors every year from 1868 through 1920.

When the mine ceased production in 1945, the Quincy Number 2 shaft was the world’s deepest shaft, at 9,260 feet (2.82 km or 1.75 miles) along the dip of the deposit. To raise and lower ore and workers into this shaft, the worlds largest steam-driven mine hoist was built in 1918 and housed in the Quincy Number 2 Hoist House. The Nordberg Steam Hoist and its reinforced concrete building, built in the Georgian architectural style with brick veneer and Italian-tiled walls, cost over $370,000 in 1918 but was used for only eleven years until it ceased usage in 1929. Weighing more than 880 tons, it lifted 10 tons of ore at 36.4 miles per hour, thus saving $16,080 in fuel bills in its first year of operation. The hoist sat on the largest concrete slab ever poured, containing 3200 cu. yards of cement and over 8 tons of reinforcement material.  The Number 2 Hoist House was built as a reinforced concrete structure on a scale rare for 1918, making it one of the first of its kind.The very decorative Hoist House was used as a showpiece for visiting investors.

Both my Dad and I really enjoyed this experience. The guided tour takes about two hours.  While on the underground tour you’re allowed to see a classroom where Michigan Tech students studied to learn how to mine!
Check out their website:

Copper Harbor-

Saturday morning we decided to head up to Copper Harbor, about 45 minutes north of Houghton! My Dad had never been there before so he was really looking forward to it. Our first stop once we were at Copper Harbor was at the marker located at the northern terminus of US 41. This sign (pictured to the left) shows the route that can be taken from Copper Harbor all the way down to Florida. After leaving the marker, we then decided to head back down to the main area of town and visit some of the shops. Many of the items in the local shops are locally made. The shops are small, but fun to look around in! Much of the stuff is different than anything I would be able to find in Lower Michigan.

My favorite stop on the trip was Mt. Brockway! This is really a site that cannot be missed. Brockway Mountain Drive is a scenic drive just West of Copper Harbor. While on this drive, there are several turnouts and great views that you can stop to see of both Copper Harbor and Lake Superior. The drive reaches a height of 1,328 feet (405m) above sea level, and 726 feet (221m) above the surface of Lake Superior.

Location: Top of Mt. Brockway a spectacular view.

After leaving Mt. Brockway we decided to take the scenic route back down the Keweenaw that takes you to Eagle Harbor.  If you decide to take this route, I strongly recommend stopping at the Jampot.  The Jampot is a well known bakery in the Keweenaw. The bakery is operated by the Society of St. John, a monastery. They have the most delicious baked goods! I cannot help but stop here each chance I get. They make a lot of goods ranging from jelly’s, jams, brownies, muffins, bread, cookies, and much more. It truly is scrumptious!

These are only a few of the locations that are fantastic to go and see. With only having a short period of time while my Dad was here, these locations worked out perfectly for our short weekend. I hope that when you are in the Keweenaw with your students you are able to do some sightseeing, not only of the Keweenaw but overall of  the Upper Penninsula!

Please feel free to email me any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have.

Samantha Allen

Update: This year’s Summer Reading Video has been uploaded! Be sure to have your student check it out at

Summer Preparation!

Summer Preparation!

At this time of the summer, I can assume many of you are beginning to get anxious about what all to pack and how to best help your child prepare for Move-In weekend here at Michigan Tech! In about a month, Michigan Tech students will begin the Move-In process to kick off their fall semester.  If you are looking for further information about room assignments and hall information, please visit the Housing website to access this! The Housing website offers many great options for you and your students to look over, especially first year students.  You can take a photo tour of some of the Resident Halls, gain further information about dining services, living options, and read over some frequently asked questions.

Courtesy of:
What to/not to pack!?

I would like to start by saying, that I would strongly encourage students to begin the packing process as soon as possible. Taking time to make a list is a great idea, it really helps to make sure you have covered everything and are not leaving anything behind. When thinking about what to pack as a first-year student, it may become a bit hectic. So parents, I would look at some overall categories to help break this down for your students:  academic supplies, room items, electronic items, laundry items, personal items, clothing items, and miscellaneous items.

Academic supplies:

Notebook, binders, sticky notes, highlighters, pens, pencils, backpack, stamps/envelopes, stapler and so on. Most of the time students will have a preference to the sorts of things they prefer to use academically.

Room Items:

Bedding-Twin extra long to fit your resident hall mattress , small refrigerator, microwave, cleaning supplies, small, garbage bags, tools, towels , and I would consider lots of storage containers you can never have enough!

Storage containers are a huge help. You can use them to store under your bed, in the bottom of your wardrobe/closet, and as drawer dividers. This will help your student utilize all of their space.

Electronic items:

Computer, possibly a printer (although you have access to printers at computer labs on campus), external hard drive, power strips, calculators, coaxial cable, alarm clock, camera, and a television.

Personal Items:

Medications, shower caddy, first aid kit, and toiletry items.

Clothing Items:

Students should be sure to pack some warm attire!  Students are going to want a warm winter coat, boots, hats, and gloves.  Laundry rooms are available in each Resident Hall.  Washing machines are free to all students and dryers are .25 cents per load.  So, be sure your student brings laundry soap, dryer sheets, stain remover, quarters, and a laundry bag.

Miscellaneous Items:

Last but not least, don’t forget your miscellaneous items. Students should be sure to bring their social security card, an ID, their health insurance card, batteries, and a snow shovel!
Students will need their SS card and their ID if they would like to work on campus.

Leave at home:

Candles, electric heaters, toaster, and toaster oven/hot plate.

Summer Reading:

Courtesy of:

In preparation for the college experience, all first-year students are required to read the Summer Reading as Inquiry book. This year’s book is, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This week post cards were sent out to all first year students providing them with more information on this program.  During Orientation week, first year students will sitdown with their Orientation team and one staff or faculty member and have a group discussion over this reading.  There will also be a Summer Reading as Inquiry session for parents and family members. The book is great, so I would encourage reading it!

I hope you all are as excited for the fall semester as I am! I cannot wait to see new faces all across campus and to work directly with first-year incoming students!  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

-Samantha Allen


Hello everyone!

My name is Samantha Allen and I am pleased to let you know that I will be the new ParentNet writer. This week’s article will be an introduction of who I am and what I do here at Michigan Tech! I am very excited to be able to share with you updates and information from the Keweenaw and Michigan Tech.

Before I tell you too much about myself I think it is very important to thank and recognize all the hard work our past writer, Angela Hoffman, put into ParentNet. Angela was the writer for ParentNet for the past year and 9 months! She did such a superb job and brought so many great articles to ParentNet. I wish her the best of luck on her new endeavor as a graduate student.  I have a large role to fill after Angela and hope that I will do this well! Best of luck Angela, I am so excited for you and your up and coming career!

January 26th, 2011-a beautiful day in Houghton!

Being that this is my first article on ParentNet, I would like to take this week to share with you information on myself so that you can get to know who I am and my involvement here at Michigan Tech. I will be entering into my third year at Michigan Tech majoring in Scientific and Technical Communication with a minor in Diversity Studies. I love being a student here and really enjoy my major. I plan to continue my education further onto graduate school to study Student Affairs after I finish my four years at Michigan Tech. I will be graduating in the spring of 2013.  I was born and raised in a small town called Rives Junction which is about 9 hours south located in-between Jackson and Lansing in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  There are many reasons I chose to attend Michigan Tech. I had always wanted to go to school in the Upper Peninsula, my family and I had always came to the U.P. to camp every year, I loved the campus, the beautiful scenery, my program major, the amazing administration, faculty, and staff. I knew when I came to tour Michigan Tech for the first time that this is just where I belonged and wanted to go to school for my undergrad.

Houghton, Michigan I have to say is very different from my hometown. I did grow up in a countryside environment, although I was pretty close to large towns. Here in Houghton, we are not very close to large towns. One of the greatest differences for me would be the lack of large shopping malls in the area, although I have been able to transition to college life at Michigan Tech very easily. Since becoming a student here I have had so many great opportunities come my way, it really has been a remarkable experience.

On campus I have had an array of work experience as a member of the Student Affairs staff.  My first position on campus was working for the Wadsworth Hall Reception Desk as a first year student. I really enjoyed this position. It allowed me to work and meet with many of the students who lived in the resident hall. I was able to get to know a lot of people in this position and gain some true insight of first hand college diversity.

Through the Admissions office, I had been given the opportunity to work as a campus tour guide. In doing this, I work with incoming or perspective students who come to Michigan Tech and take them around campus to teach them about all the things Michigan Tech has to offer. It is a great experience for those who are considering coming to our university because it allows the students to really get a first hand feel and understanding of what Michigan Tech is like and what Michigan Tech has to offer.

When I returned for my second year in college, I worked as an Orientation Team Leader (OTL)! An Orientation Team Leader is responsible for working with our incoming class of first year students and helping lead them for a week through the transition of college. This was an excellent job! I loved having the chance to work with new students and help them in any way I could. I was able to share many of the great experiences I have had as a student here with them.

After working as an Orientation Team Leader, I decided to apply to be on the Orientation Executive Staff (OES). OES is responsible for working year round to plan and organize Orientation, and lead the Orientation Team Leaders in preparation for their week with the incoming first year students.  So, for the past school year I have been working as the OES Publications Coordinator and cannot wait for Orientation to begin on August 22, 2011.

Outside of my work experience on campus, I am actively involved in many student organizations. My very first student organization that I joined was Circle K International. Circle K is a service organization dedicated to giving back to the community. Last year, I served as the membership chair working to recruit new members for them. Some of the projects I have done with this organization would include baking for locals, walking animals at the Copper Country Humane Society, and volunteering to help pass out care packages to students.

As a Scientific and Technical Communication student, it is only fit that I am a member of the Society for Technical Communication Student Chapter. This chapter is geared toward supporting and promoting our degree.

One of my most recent student organizations that I have joined would be the Mind Trekkers. I am currently the Vice President of Public Relations and Media for this student organization.  Mind Trekkers is a student organization committed to engaging people worldwide in action-packed hands-on learning. This student organization is composed as a road show of short engaging hands on science experiments. Mind Trekkers also perform some events on campus outside of doing traveling road shows.

As for further academic involvement, I have spent a lot of time the past year working and developing my video editing skills. I worked with a small group of students to create a short documentary focusing on the life of a student at Michigan Tech who has cerebral palsy.  This short film was placed into Michigan Tech’s Northern Lights Film Festival.  It really was a great opportunity that Michigan Tech allowed me to have and has helped develop my skills. I am now currently working on comprising the summer reading video for COMPASS to share with first year students about this year’s summer reading book, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Well hopefully now you have been able to have a chance to get to know me a little bit more! If any of you happen to come to campus in the near future you may have the opportunity to see me at work. This summer I am primarily working for the Orientation Executive Staff. I love meeting new people and sharing with others the greatness that Michigan Tech has to offer! I am looking forward to all the upcoming campus activities and events, and can’t wait to share them all with you! Throughout my time as the new ParentNet writer please let me know if you have any specific questions or concerns.  Please feel free to email me at! Until next week :)

Copper Country Strawberry Festival

Eating strawberry shortcake at the Copper Country Strawberry Festival last year. Photo Credit: Mining Gazette

I hope you all enjoyed the 4th of July weekend and that you had the opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones.  In celebration of Independence Day, there were activities and events going on all weekend long in the Keweenaw Peninsula.  Whether you were in search of live music, fireworks, food, or an adventure, the Keweenaw Peninsula had it all.  During summertime in the Houghton area, the festivities are truly endless.  From one weekend to the next, there is always something to do.  This upcoming weekend the 63rd Copper Country Strawberry Festival will be taking place in Chassell, Michigan.  The Strawberry Festival is known for its parade, entertainment, and of course, it’s delicious strawberries!

Friday, July 8

The Strawberry Festival begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 8 with the serving of strawberry shortcake, brats, hot dogs, and ice cream.  What a way to start a morning!  Starting at 10 a.m. a quilt and craft show will be taking place along the Chassell Bay and will continue into the evening.  From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. there will be horse-drawn wagon rides leaving around the park.  The activities on Friday evening continue with a fish boil,  a children’s parade, the crowning of the Strawberry Festival Queen, and a dance at the local VFW.

Saturday, July 9

Saturday, the day begins bright and early with a scrumptious start.  From 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. pancakes and sausage will be served at the Chassell Firehall.  Starting at 9 a.m. strawberry shortcake will be available.  The quilt and craft show will continue on Saturday.  The Strawberry Festival Parade will take place at 11 a.m.  Also, taking place throughout the afternoon on Saturday is a chicken BBQ, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, and children’s games.  From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. attendees of the Strawberry Festival will have a  very special opportunity.  The Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education will be offering free scientific excursions on Michigan Tech’s very own research vessel, the Agassiz.  This will be the sixth year that the public will have the opportunity to take a 30 minute excursion on the vessel.  In previous years the Agassiz trips were very popular.  The vessel can only hold 17 people and there are currently just three departures planned for the Agassiz.  It is strongly encouraged that those who are interested arrive early and sign up for a trip upon arrival.  The Agassiz is planned to depart from the Strawberry Festival grounds at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

I hope all the Michigan Tech students in the local area make it out to the Strawberry Festival this weekend to enjoy the fun times and the delicious strawberry shortcake.

My Farewell

My dog Powder and I enjoyed our last weekend in Houghton.

Parents, I am sad to say that this is my last article as the ParentNet Weekly Article Writer.  This weekend I will begin making my way across the country to Salt Lake City, Utah where I will begin my new job as an Assistant Residential Education Coordinator at the University of Utah.  In the position I will be supervising student leaders, implementing programs, and maintaining safety in the residence halls.  I will also be going to school at the University of Utah to get my masters in Educational Leadership and Policy with an emphasis in Student Affairs.  I am very excited for this next step in my life, however, it will be very hard to leave Michigan Tech and the community that I have come to call my home.  I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve you as the ParentNet Weekly Article Writer and it is often times the conversations that I have had with you that led me to believe that I need to pursue a career working in higher education.  I want to thank you for letting me into your lives, for letting me share my Michigan Tech experiences with you, and for you sharing with me your questions, concerns, triumphs, and successes.  It has been such a pleasure to write for you and I could not have asked for better readership!  I would like to leave both parents and students with a quote that is meaningful to me.

“If we live good lives, the times are also good.  As we are, such are the times.” -St. Augustine.

Next weeks article will be coming from our new ParentNet Weekly Article Writer, Samantha Allen.  Samantha is a personal friend of mine and I know that she will continue to keep you well informed of campus events, community happenings, and issues that are important to you and your student.  Samantha is involved in many aspects of campus life and I am excited for ParentNet Weekly to have the new and fresh perspective that Samantha will bring to the articles she writes.  I would like to wish you, your student, and Samantha the best!

Check back for next week’s article, in which Samantha will introduce herself to you in her first ParentNet Weekly Article!