How Do Teachers Integrate STEM into K-12 Classrooms?

New teaching standards call for weaving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) into classrooms better. What makes this integration effective?

A research team led by Michigan Tech set out to find what makes STEM integration tick. Their research—published in the International Journal of STEM Education—followed several case studies to observe the impacts of low, medium and high degrees of integration within a classroom. They found that across the board, the greatest challenge that teachers face is making explicit connections between STEM fields while balancing the need for context and student engagement.

Emily Dare (CLS) is lead author of the study. She says different teachers have different approaches to STEM integration. Read the full story on the Michigan Tech News Website.

Professor Emeritus George Alger Passes Away

A visitation is scheduled tomorrow (March 3) for Professor Emeritus George Alger, who passed away Tuesday (Feb. 27), at Garden View Assisted Living in Calumet. He was 84. 

He was born in Saginaw and attended Midland High School, graduating in 1952. He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant. 

Alger earned a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from what was then the Michigan School of Mining and Technology (now Michigan Technological University) in 1956. He received a master's from South Dakota State and his PhD from Colorado State University. 

Following four years as an associate professor at South Dakota State, he returned to Michigan Tech in 1968. Alger served as a tenured professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department until his retirement in 2002. 

Over the course of his more than 30 years at Tech, Alger pursued research in water resources, hydrology, sedimentation, erosion, snow and ice engineering, structures, dam design and mining.

Thoughout his career, he served as a consultant on these matters to several Federal agencies including the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Great Lakes Basin Commission. 

Whatever the subject, Alger loved teaching. His son Russell, project manager and research leader at Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center, said his father's direct and to-the-point teaching style earned him the nickname "Easy-A Alger," from his students.

"It wasn't that he was easy at all," Russ Alger says. "He just laid it all out there. He told you exactly what you needed to do to get an A in his class. If you did what he told you, you got an A. If you didn't do it, then you didn't get an A."

In addition to teaching and consulting, Alger served for years on the faculty committee. "When he felt strongly about something he didn't back down," his son says. "He had a reputation among some faculty as being a bit obstinate, but it was that he stood by his beliefs."

Alger is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elsmarie, sons Russ and Peter, daughter Christine, 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grand children and two great-great-grandchildren. 

A visitation will take place from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (March 3) at the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet. 

Electronic 1095-C Forms Available on Banweb

Electronic Form 1095-C is now available on Banweb for all employees who have consented to an electronic copy. Paper forms of the 1095-C are being mailed out today (March 2).

Form 1095-C is an annual reporting form, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and provides information about the health coverage offered by your employer.

Chemstores Reduced Hours

During Spring Break (March 12-16), Chemstores will have reduced hours from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

IRS Releases 2018 W-4 Form and Updated Withholding Calculator

The IRS released an updated Withholding Calculator on Wednesday (Feb. 28). They are encouraging taxpayers to check their withholding, especially:
  • Families with two incomes
  • People who hold down two or more jobs during a year at the same time or only work for part of the year
  • People who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns
The IRS also released the new 2018 W-4 Form. Employees wishing to change their withholding can do so via Banweb or by submitting a 2018 Form W-4 to Payroll Services. Employees are reminded to never e-mail documents with personal information such as SSNs.

Departments are encouraged to update hiring packets immediately, as the 2017 Form W-4 will not be accepted by Human Resources after March 30.

Film Board Presents "The Disaster Artist"

Michigan Tech Film Board presents "The Disaster Artist" tonight through Sunday. Want to know the real story behind "The Room?" Come see "The Disaster Artist" Where Oscar Nominee James Franco plays Johnnie in the real-life struggles of Hollywood and making a full length motion  picture that will live in infamy.

Initially, Film Board had scheduled "Jumanji" for this weekend, but due to the resounding success in theaters around the country. This was a sudden and final decision that means we have to postpone our show dates for "Jumanji."

Show times for "The Disaster Artist" are:

  • Today (March 2) — 5:308:30 and 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday (March 3) — 2:305:308:30 and 11:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (March 4) — 2:305:30 p.m.
Located at Northern Lights Cinema (Fisher 135) on Michigan Tech's main campus. Tickets  are $3 and concessions are $1 each. We hope to see you at the show this weekend, and have a great day.
"The Disaster Artist" is rated R for strong language and sexual situations.

Huskies Advance to GLIAC Final Four

The Michigan Tech men's basketball team advanced to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament semifinals with an 88-74 victory at No. 3 seed Wayne State Wednesday night. The Huskies have now won all three meetings of the season against the Warriors and punched their ticket to the GLIAC final four for the second straight season.

"We started a new season when the tournament began and we are 1-0," Michigan Tech Head Coach Levin Luke said. "We did what we had to do tonight, our team played really well, and Kyle Monroe had a great game. We did a good job of taking care of the basketball when we had to. It was a fabulous team effort, we hung in there and held our own on the boards and had a solid night at the free throw line.

"Right now when you are playing in the GLIAC tournament all the teams you face are good. I believe we belong in the group of four teams still remaining. I'm proud to be in the final four and now we have to take things one half and one possession at a time. I'm excited for our guys to get a chance to compete this weekend."

The Huskies will play the No. 2 seed Lake Superior State at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Top seeded Ferris State takes on the No. 4 seed Ashland University in the other semifinal game at 3 p.m. with the winners slated to face each other in the championship game at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Big Rapids. The game will be broadcast on local radio on 93.5 FM and streamed on

Hockey Huskies Open WCHA Playoffs Tonight

Michigan Tech begins its second straight quest for a WCHA Playoff Championship tonight as it  opens a best-of-three quarterfinal series at Bemidji State. The Huskies are the fifth seed and the Beavers are the fourth seed. The puck drops at 8:07 p.m. tonight and tomorrow  night at the Sanford Center. Sunday's game three, if necessary, will start at 6:07 p.m.

Top-seeded Minnesota State hosts Alaska (8), No. 2 seed Northern Michigan hosts No. 7 Alabama Huntsville and No. 3 Bowling Green welcomes No. 6 Ferris State in other first-round matchups. Tech finished the regular season with a 17-15-5 overall record and a 12-11-5-2 mark in the WCHA. Tech is 12-9-5 all-time against Bemidji State in a series that dates back to the 2006-07 season. The Huskies are 5-7-0 in games played in Bemidji.

Tech won the MacInnes Cup as Winter Carnival champions the first time the Huskies and Beavers met on February 9-10 at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The Huskies outscored the Beavers 7-5 on the weekend to capture the trophy for the sixth straight season.

The games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM, streamed on and video streamed on

SFRES Forum: Catherine Dieleman

The next SFRES Forum will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday (March 8) in Forestry G-002, with a social afterward from 4 to 5 p.m. in the atrium.

Catherine Dieleman from the University of Guelph will present "A Changing North: The Role of Climatic Change in Shaping Future Boreal Forest Ecosystems."

Dieleman’s research evaluates the impacts of press and pulse climate disturbances on boreal forest vegetation community structure and productivity, as well as the associated changes in carbon cycling; a critical ecosystem function that directly impacts ecosystem services such as carbon storage. Her work demonstrates that disturbances like climate warming can prompt significant structural and functional shifts in boreal ecosystems, and provides foundational knowledge needed to identify generalizable effects of climate change disturbances on ecosystem structure, function and state in the coming century.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will be at 3:05 Monday (March 5) in GLRC 202.

Fengjing Liu (SFRES), will present "Determining Sources and Flowpaths of Streamflow Using Natural Tracers." 

Groundwater plays a more important role in hydrologic cycle than we thought before. Steamflow is primarily fed by groundwater for most catchments around the world. It is thus important to determine groundwater contributed to streamflow from small to large catchments for water resources management and understanding the climate change effects. This presentation will introduce the evolution of mixing models based on natural tracers to separating streamflow hydrograph. 

Job Postings

Job Postings for Friday, March 2, 2018

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources.  For more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Office Assistant 4, ​Dining Services. ​UAW posting 3/2/2018 - 3/8/2018. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​Apply online.

Office Assistant 6, ​Facilities. ​UAW posting 3/2/2018 - 3/8/2018. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​Apply online.​

Food Service Helper (9mos./ 40 hrs/ 1st Shift), ​Dining Services. AFSCME posting 3/2/2018 - 3/8/2018. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. ​Apply online.​

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Grain Processing Seminar Today

The Chemical Engineering Grain Processing Seminar Series will feature Zhiyong Liang from Florida State University. He will present "Geometrically Constrained CNT Self-assembling and Scale-up Manufacturing Toward High-performance Structural Composite Applications," at 1 p.m. today (March 2) in ME-EM 302.


"When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?" Tonight and Tomorrow

The Tech Theatre Company presents Mark Medoff's Obie Award-winning play "When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?" Performances are tonight and tomorrow (March 2/3) in the McArdle Theatre in the Walker Arts and Humanities Center. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. each evening.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for youth and no charge for Michigan Tech Students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC and at the McArdle Theatre prior to the show.


C-Cubed Luncheon Today

C-Cubed luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today  (Feb. 23) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited. The buffet lunch is $10 per person. Cash, credit cards and C-Cubed gift certificates (available in the Memorial Union office) are accepted. Find more information and share C-Cubed feedback online. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email

Today's menu: 

  • Thai-Salmon Curry (GF)
  • Thai Tofu Curry (GF, VE)
  • Jasmine Rice (GF, VE) V

V-Vegetarian, VE-Vegan, Vegetarian, GF-Gluten Free


First Friday Social Today

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to join Auxiliary Services from 4-6 p.m. today (March 2) in Memorial Union Ballroom A for this month's First Friday Social. Complimentary soda, beer, wine and appetizers will be served. 

Next month's event on April 6 will be sponsored by Information Technology (IT) and Housing & Residential Life at the Campus Café on the ground floor of Wadsworth Hall.  


Red Hat, a $2.9 billion per year open-source software company,  honored Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) as one of eight instructors globally who champion open source education. Read more here.


On the Road

Bruce Lee (Bio Med), Rupak Rajachar (Bio Med) and Ameya Narkar attended the 6th World Congress on Adhesion and Related Phenomena, organized in conjunction with the 41st Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in San Diego.

Lee chaired a session entitled "Biomedical Adhesives and Clinical Applications." Lee also served as the elected vice chair of the Bioadhesion Division within the Adhesion Society and will serve as the chair of the division in the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Adhesion Society in 2019.

Rajachar gave an oral presentation entitled "Optimization of Novel Fibrin-polydopamine Adhesive Hydrogels for Use in Marine Wound Healing."

Narkar gave an oral presentation entitled "Effect of Ionic Functional Groups on the Oxidation State and Interfacial Binding Property of Catechol-based Adhesive," a project directed by Lee. Narkar also co-chaired a session entitled “Bioadhesive Chemistry."

Dean's Teaching Showcase: Mike Hyslop

This week’s Dean's Teaching Showcase member, Principal Lecturer Mike Hyslop, has been selected by Terry Sharik, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Hyslop has been at Michigan Tech for more than 20 years in a variety of roles, all of which have included a significant teaching component in the area of geographic information systems and geospatial science. His current role is as coordinator of the Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) program. He teaches both small and large enrollment classes, almost all of which have a significant lab component. Hyslop also serves as coordinator of the entire suite of Fall Camp classes, addressing the concerns of students as well as maintaining the teaching schedule.

He was instrumental in designing the curriculum for the MGIS program, as well as incorporating geospatial classes into the undergraduate curricula. He also is a key instructor for classes in this program. As Sharik says, “Mike’s teaching has impact on his students which endures long after classes are taken; he always makes himself available to help address issues with GIS and related topics, and takes a strong interest in their career development.”

Hyslop's teaching in this area is made challenging because it is a rapidly developing field, and he provides up-to date information and skills that are essential for all students in the areas of natural resources.

Associate Dean Andrew Storer elaborates, “The geospatial arena is very important in the graduation of students who have a distinctive skillset that sets them apart from graduates of other programs. Mike is an important component of the high quality instruction in the geospatial sciences that SFRES prides itself in.”

Hyslop, for his part, enjoys the challenge. “Teaching geospatial technology is challenging yet rewarding. Students need to learn to think spatially before using the software and data effectively, but doing so is important for helping make decisions regarding the wise use of resources.”

He motivates students by letting them have choices, and finds this unlocks their creative potential. “Students in my graduate GPS course get to wrap up the semester completing a project of their choosing. These have run the gamut from an assessment of hiking trails, scenic overlooks or apple-picking spots to a roadkill inventory database or a sewage treatment outfall plume map. They never cease to amaze me with their creative use of geospatial technology.”

Hyslop's students compliment his motivational skills, but also appreciate his ability to bring this challenging subject to their level.  As one student says, “Mike, as a teacher, has a great ability of communicating to the students in a language that is easy to understand. For GIS that is important because it is a unique platform that has language barriers. In addition to his ability to connect, he does a fantastic job at making something like GIS interesting. Mike is helpful and always willing to work with his students with any challenge. His ultimate goal is to teach students so they learn the subject and he achieves that task well and with grace.”

Hyslop will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer, recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.