Michigan Tech Magazine, December 2004
Printable Version (PDF)
July 23, 2014
News
1. Michigan Tech Receives $5 Million from Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to Reform Middle-School Science Education

2. Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools

Entertainment and Enrichment
3. Chinese Lunch at Khana Khazana Friday

Regular Features
4. New Canvas Courses Available

5. On the Road

6. In the News

7. In Print

8. Notable

1. Michigan Tech Receives $5 Million from Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to Reform Middle-School Science Education
by Jennifer Donovan, director of news and media relations

Young children are naturally curious about everything around them. They want to know how and why things work. Then, around middle school age, many of them lose that natural attraction to science and engineering.

A team of university and public school educators in Michigan say they know what’s wrong with middle school science education. And, with a $5 million, three-year grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, they intend to develop and test some solutions.

“In Michigan and most of the nation’s schools, STEM instruction consists of a series of seemingly unrelated courses that require students to memorize large numbers of facts but fail to engage them in the practice of using science as a tool to address real-world problems,” says Jacqueline Huntoon, a geology professor, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at Michigan Tech.

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, based in Midland, Mich., has funded the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform (Mi-STAR) program to develop a model for reforming middle-school STEM education that will include a new curriculum supported by updated teacher education and teacher professional development strategies.

The program focuses on integrating the sciences, using a problem-based approach, cutting across the traditional disciplines of biology, physics, chemistry and earth science to emphasize core ideas and show how science can be used to address society’s needs. For the full story, see Michigan Tech News.

2. Teachers Building 3D Printers for Use in their High Schools
Twenty-two high school teachers from all across Michigan--including two from Houghton High School--are building their own 3D printers at Michigan Tech this week. During the 3-day workshop, the teachers will build and learn to use open source 3-D printers, which they will take back to their schools.

The printers are capable of printing most of their own parts--and just about anything their students can imagine.

This is the second year Michigan Tech has helped teachers build 3D printers for use in their own classrooms. Last year each 2-teacher team built one printer to share. At many of the schools, use was so high that one turned out not to be enough, so the printers were re-designed to reduce the time it takes to build them, improve printing and reliability and reduce cost. Now each teacher gets to build one of his/her own.

For more information, please contact Joshua Pearce, professor.pearce@gmail.com, 7-1466.

3. Chinese Lunch at Khana Khazana Friday
Chinese fried noodles, with or without sausage, and a banana shake is on the Khana Khazana lunch menu Friday. Lu Yang, a graduate student in geological and mining engineering and sciences, will cook the Chinese specialty, which is made with spaghetti noodles stir-fried with green peppers, onions, peas and corn and seasoned with soy and oyster sauce, black pepper and salt. The banana shake is made from banana blended with milk and ice cubes.

Khana Khazana will serve from the food truck outside the Van Pelt and Opie Library, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch costs $6, cash only.

Khana Khazana is a cooperative effort of international students and Dining Services.

4. New Canvas Courses Available

To Do List Links for Fall 2014 Canvas Courses

Your new Canvas course shells for teaching summer 2014 semester courses are ready to be used. Once the upcoming semester’s Canvas courses become available there are a few things many instructors and instructional staff often want or need to do in Canvas. We’ve included links to help you with a handful of them below.

You will probably need to Customize your Courses drop-down menu to remove any courses from previous semesters, and possibly add some course to that menu too. Instructors at Michigan Tech can use the Combine Canvas Sections tool on the CourseTools page to combine two or more BANNER sections into one Canvas course. Go to Combining Canvas Sections for directions. If you would like to copy the content in one of your previous Canvas courses into a new Fall 2014 Canvas course, you can do that too. See Copying Content from Another Canvas Course to find out how. If you would like to enroll a TA, additional instructors, etc. into your course, see Adding New Users to your Canvas Course. Finally, you will need to Publish your Canvas course in order for your students to be able to see and access it. See How Do I Publish My Course? for directions.

You may just want some help or information. You may just want some help or information, and the best place to start is Canvas One Stop. From there you can Contact Support, find out about eLearning Walk-in Hours for Canvas Help, get quick links to online help resources, and more. The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Michigan Tech.

5. On the Road
The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab traveled to several college campuses in southern Michigan recently. Instead of a single person providing a lecture, the Mobile Lab team provided a hands-on seminar for the Wayne County Community College Districts ongoing Global Conversations Speaker Series in Detroit and Taylor, Michigan. Attendees included students from both Wayne State University and Wayne County Community College.

With funding from MI-LSAMP, the Mobile Lab continued the southern Michigan tour with stops at the Michigan State University campus in Lansing and the Western Michigan University campus in Kalamazoo where hands-on seminars were provided for incoming engineering freshmen attending Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Kellogg Community College. Seminar attendees received a short talk on the importance of STEM careers before working in breakout groups where they learned about modern automotive powertrain technologies and conducted on-road testing of several Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

6. In the News
Copper Country Today, a local radio program broadcast on 97.7 The Wolf, AM 1400 WCCY and KBear 102.3, featured an interview with assistant professor Colleen Mouw (GMES/GLRC) on Sunday, July 20. Hear it at The Keweenaw Report.

7. In Print
Tom Adolphs, PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities, published an article in the July edition of Flaunt Magazine. The title of the article is, "The next statement is true. The previous statement is false." It is available at Flaunt Magazine.

8. Notable
R&D Magazine has named the automotive phased array radar research of Nikola Subotic, co-director of the Michigan Tech Research Institute, and his research colleagues as a recipient of a 2014 R&D 100 Award. The award recognizes the 100 most significant high-tech products developed in the past year.

"On behalf of the R&D staff, I would like to commend the project team on the design, development, testing and production of this remarkable product," said Lindsay Hock, managing editor of R&D Magazine and R&D Daily.

The technology is a new type of collision avoidance radar for cars that achieves high performance at a significantly reduced cost by breaking the problem into two pieces: beam steering and beam refinement. Beam steering enables the radar to look in the general direction of a collision threat, using a simple look-up table. Beam refinement, which is computationally expensive, adaptively focuses the beam on the threat. Subotic explains that current systems try to do both jobs at once as a refinement operation. "By breaking the job into two parts, we have made both the processing and radar quite simple; even the refinement stage, since it has to refine only a little as opposed to having to search the entire space," he says.

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