Local school districts tap Western UP Center for educational programming
By GRAHAM JAEHNIG Daily Mining Gazette
HOUGHTON - Programs and events such as family science nights, outdoor field trips, and more, are just a very few examples of programs and activities available to schools in the western Upper Peninsula, through an organization called the Wester Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.
The Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at MTU offers Out of School Time Programs for students which includes after school classes and both spring break and summer camps; outdoor science field trips, and Family Forest, Science and Engineering Nights, just to name a few.
While most of these programs are provided to schools without charge, there is a cost to putting them on. Funding for these programs comes from a number of sources. In the five Western Upper Peninsula counties of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, and Gogebic, funding comes from grants written by the Western U.P. Center.
The Center is a partnership of the Copper Country Intermediate School District, Gogebic and Ontonagon ISD, and the Michigan Technological University's Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and is a member of the Michigan Math & Science Centers Network, whose goal is to build an educated workforce by providing quality student, teacher and community programming in K-12 science and mathematics throughout the state.
Joan Chadde, program director of the Western U.P. Center, said in addition to programs for students, they also offer programs and services to educators.
"Another thing we do is offer teacher professional development," she said, "we have school year workshops and summer institutes. We just had a workshop here on Tuesday on recycling. The teachers were learning how they can integrate recycling into their science and social studies curriculum."
Students, teachers, parents, and communities all benefit from programs offered by the Center.