Science, Engineering Challenges for Middle School Girls at Get WISE Workshop

More than 250 middle school students from across the western Upper Peninsula will spend the day exploring the excitement of science and engineering fields during the annual Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) event on Tuesday, February 23 at the Wood Gym in Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex. For more than 25 years, this event has brought seventh and eighth graders from 15 schools to campus for a day of hands-on activities, scientific challenges, talks with female role models and more.

“By having these girls spend the day solving science challenges in a fun atmosphere, we build their confidence and perhaps spark their interest,” said Liz Fujita, a coordinator at Michigan Tech’s Center for Pre-College Outreach (CPCO).  “The girls are so creative in their solutions. We hope they will look at STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] with new eyes.”

One of this year’s activities will challenge them to build a simple water filter out of household materials. Another will have them creating a model heart valve to let marbles through one way, but not back the other way. “What’s fun about it is that there is more than one correct answer,” said Fujita. “That’s one thing we’re trying to show the students—that there’s rarely one ‘right’ solution to an engineering problem. It’s all about trying ideas out and improving on your previous attempts.”

The girls will also have opportunities to meet female role models enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs at Michigan Tech, as well as staff members from widely varying campus departments. The students will be able to hear stories about what shaped their career paths, and ask questions of these successful STEM women.

“Get WISE teaches my female middle school students to problem-solve, work as a team to accomplish challenges, and not be hesitant to share their thoughts and ideas,” says L’Anse science teacher Jen Martin. “Throughout the day I see them gain more and more confidence, and they bring that confidence back to school.  Get WISE has a long-lasting effect on my students.”

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.

Yucatan Bird Research and Live Twitter Chat

A bird’s home is bigger than its nest. Across the Americas, birds and their home habitat reveal much about the health of other species, the health of ecosystems and perhaps even the socio-economic wellbeing of local human communities.

In the world of forest bioenergy—growing crops to use for fuel, heat and other energy—this understanding of bird communities is especially important. That’s why David Flaspohler, a professor of ornithology at Michigan Technological University, is heading down to Mexico.

Through the rest of the month and into early March, Flaspohler will be at the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan in Merida and visiting several field sites near Villahermosa, Tabasco. 

Flaspohler’s work is part of a bigger Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Read the full story.

Stay tuned for a live chat on Twitter next week. Flaspohler will be joined by three other faculty doing research abroad and they’ll be sharing their experiences, photos, and projects. Join the conversation at 2:30 p.m. (EST) February 23 and follow @mturesearch and #MTUlive. 

2015 Rekhi Innovation Challenge Results

The Rekhi Innovation Challenge is a crowdfunding competition to help promote and support student innovation and entrepreneurship through the use of Superior Ideas. The team that raises the most money on Superior Ideas during the competition time frame receives a matching gift. Teams also have the opportunity to win four additional $100 prizes. The results of the 2015 competition are as follows:

Matching Gift Winners:

  • 1st Place - Baja Enterprise with $4,310 raised
  • 2nd Place - Supermileage Enterprise with $2,483 raised

Additional $100 Prizes:

  • Most Unique Donors - Supermileage Enterprise
  • Most Unique Visitors - Velovations Enterprise
  • Best Marketing Plan - Velovations Enterprise
  • Most Social Media Engagement - Supermileage Enterprise

Collectively, the teams raised $9,658 on Superior Ideas for their projects and received an additional $7,193 in prize money, bringing the overall total to $16,851.

If your student team would like to compete in this year's challenge, please contact Natasha Chopp for more information.

Graduate Research Colloquium

Graduate Student Government (GSG) at Michigan Tech is proud to present their biggest event of the year: the Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC).

Make sure you check out the awesome research that is being done at Michigan Tech. Each spring, GSG sponsors the Graduate Research Colloquium Poster and Presentation Competition. The colloquium is a unique opportunity to share research with the university and local community and provides an opportunity to graduate students to gain experience in presenting research to colleagues. Graduate students will be presenting their work in both oral presentations and poster format. You will have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentations.

The event is open to public and will be held Wednesday, February 24 through Thursday, February 25 in the MUB Ballroom at Michigan Tech.

School groups welcome 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, February 25. (School groups, please register one week in advance by contacting Lydia Lytle).

There will also be a networking social held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. Check out the GSG website for more details.

Tau Beta Pi Sponsors Engineers Week Activites at Tech

Next week is National Engineers Week, and to celebrate the 65th anniversary of that event, Tau Beta Pi is sponsoring a full slate of events. Tau Beta Pi is a national engineering honor society with an active chapter at Michigan Tech.

National Engineers Week, known as Eweek, will kick off with a Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers hands-on demonstration in the Fisher lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, February 22. See electricity travel, create a tornado and much more.

Other Eweek events--all open to the campus and the public--include:

Tuesday, February 23

  • Clean Snowmobile Challenge preview. Check out a zero emission sled. 10 to 11 a.m.,  ME-EM lobby,
  • Consumer Product Manufacturing Enterprise. Measure knife sharpness. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fisher lobby,
  • Formula SAE. Take the 5-second seat harness challenge. 1 to 3 p.m., ME-EM lobby.

Wednesday, February 24

  • Eweek cake. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dillman 112.
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers - Minute to Win it trivia contest. Noon to 1:30 p.m., Chemical Sciences lobby.

Thursday, February 25

  • Check out the new Naval Systems Enterprise. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., ME-EM lobby.
  • Society for Environmental Engineering, clean water via simple filtration. Noon to 3 p.m., Fisher lobby.
  • Tau Beta Pi Rube Goldberg competition. 6 to 8 p.m., Wads Annex.
  • Tau Beta Pi's Technicolor light and music show. 8 p.m., Husky Statue.

Train to Become a Staff Mentor

Providing assistance and guidance to colleagues and new employees can be a rewarding experience for both mentor and protégé. Sharing your professional and life experiences with a colleague as they navigate career and work-life blending at Michigan Tech not only helps your colleague, it can also help you to grow in your career, develop new leadership skills and pass along what you have learned to colleagues.

The WorkLife Advisory Committee and the Labor-Management Staff Mentoring Program Committee invite interested staff to submit applications and statements of interest to train as a staff mentor for Michigan Tech's new Staff Mentoring Pilot Program. This program is being developed as a collaborative effort between staff representing all three unions on campus as well as non-union staff, and is funded by a grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).

Training for new mentors will begin at the end of March and is free to all selected trainees. All full- and part-time staff are eligible to apply. Space is limited to 15 participants. Click here to fill out your application and statement of interest, or email to request a paper copy of the application materials.

The deadline to apply is 5:00 PM, February 29, 2016.

Arts and Ecology Lecture by Artist-Scholar Rachel Kauff

There will be an Arts and Ecology Lecture by Artist-Scholar Rachel Kauff titled "Past Use: Ecology and Art Objects" at 4 p.m. tomorrow, February 19 in Dow 641.

Kauff, Visiting Women and Minority Scholar, will give a free public lecture linking her artist practice and her ideas on ecology. "Past Use" will cover the artist's trajectory of ecological art making and will include recent works that are inspired by American hand tools to describe the landscape and human relationships to the environment.

Film Board Presents "The Good Dinosaur"

This weekend, Film Board Presents "The Good Dinosaur."

Tomorrow, February 19 — 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 20 — 2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 — 2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3, Concessions are $1 each.

Registration Open for Spring Sports Camps, Clinics and Tournaments

Registration is now open for Little Huskies basketball mini camps for both girls and boys. The girls mini camp for grades 2 through 5 will be April 11 through 14, and the boys mini camp for grades 2 through 6 will be April 18 through 21. See Basketball Camps for more information.

The varsity track team and coaches are hosting a Track and Field Technique Clinic for boys and girls grades 7 through 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19. See clinic for details.

The Doghouse 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament returns to the SDC April 22 through 24. The tournament will host a boys' and girls' division for grades 4 through 8, JV and Varsity. There will also be a men's and women's open division. See Doghouse for more information.

ME-EM Faculty Candidate - Parisa Abadi

ME-EM (Biomechanics) faculty candidate, Parisa Pour Shahid Saeed Abadi, will present "Mechanical Behavior and Biomedical Applications of Carbon Nanotube Forests" at 1 p.m. today (February 18) in MEEM 406.

Abadi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) working with Prof. Ali Khademhosseini in the Biomaterials Innovation Research Center (BIRC) at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women's Hospital.


Campus Forum Today

President Glenn Mroz will host a campus forum  at 2 p.m. today in Memorial Union Ballroom A. Release time will be provided for the hourly staff with the approval of their supervisor. The presentation will be video streamed live.

If you would like to submit a question during the campus forum, email it to Staff Council at Do not use the chat feature within the live streaming player.


Geoseminar — David Watkins (CEE)

The next Geoseminar will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. tomorrow (February 19) in 610 Dow. David Watkins (CEE) will present "Understanding Socioeconomic Drought in Central Texas and Predicting."

For more information, see Tech Today post.


C-Cubed Menu: Week Six

The sixth week of C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) is here and continues to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday's in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited. 

Lunch is $10 (cash, credit and C-Cubed Gift Certificates accepted); attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Fruit-infused water, coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are available free for all. Even if the food doesn't draw you in, don't miss the opportunity to take a break in a lovely setting with good conversation. See below for this week's menu:

Today 2/18/16 

  • Quinoa, Broccoli & Kale Curry (VGF) 
  • Butter Chicken (GF) 
  • Basmati Rice (VGF)
  • Cucumber Peanut Salad (VGF) 

Tomorrow 2/19/16

  • Pan Fried Cod (GF) 
  • Lemon Garlic, & Horseradish Herb Dipping Sauces (VGF)
  • Potato Gratin (VGF) 
  • Broccoli Crunch Salad (VGF) 
  • Rolls and Butter (V) 


In the News

WJMN-TV Channel 3 did a story about Tech's School of Business and Economics getting re-accredited by the AACSB. Watch the story here. The story was also covered by WNMU-FM in Marquette. 


Alumnus Named "New Face in Civil Engineering"

Kyle Bareither '07, an environmental engineering alumnus who works at Natural Resources Technology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been named one of 10 "New Faces in Civil Engineering" by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

New Faces in Civil Engineering is a national program that celebrates the bold and humanitarian aspect of civil engineering by highlighting the achievements of young civil engineers, their contributions to and impact on society.

At Natural Resources Technology, Bareither does environmental consulting, including initial site investigation, data analysis and evaluation, remedial engineering design, and field oversight of remediation construction. Prior to working at Natural Resources Technology, Bareither worked as a lab technician at Michigan Tech organizing and preparing air samples for analysis.

He serves as president of ASCE's Wisconsin section Southeast Branch Younger Member Group and as a committee member for STEM Expo, a local exposition providing K-12 students with hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities.

Bareither will be officially recognized during ASCE's annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala on March 17, 2016, in Arlington, Virginia.