Western U.P. STEM fair returns to Houghton

Students, parents and public encouraged to attend and experience a festival atmosphere dedicated to science

Photo via wupstem.org This year’s Western U.P. STEM will be held Thursday. The public are welcome to attend from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

HOUGHTON — The Western Upper Peninsula STEM Fair is back after a two-year hiatus with an updated name.

Previously known as the Western U.P. Science Fair, the STEM Fair & Festival will be held on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at the Memorial Union Ballroom on Michigan Technological University campus in Houghton, Michigan. The public is encouraged to attend from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all K-8 students and their families.

The event will feature robots, towers and boats, says a March 10 email from Joan Schumaker Chadde, retired, formerly of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, Family Engineering Program, and Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

“The public is invited to attend,” she said, “”especially K-8 students and families, are encouraged to attend. There will be lots to do and see!”

More than two dozen exciting, hands-on science & engineering activities, facilitated by nearly 100 MTU students will be open to all science fair participants, open to all K-8 youth and their families. In addition, there will be a variety of science fair projects to view, submitted by more than 50 Copper Country students in grades 4-8.

“We are very excited about all of the great projects being entered into the Fair this year,” said Emily Gochis, Western UP MiSTEM director. “We are eager for families and the public to come and view the projects during public viewing from 5-6 p.m.”

The design of a STEM project is an excellent way for students to engage in the scientific and engineering practices of the Michigan Science Standards, says the MiSTEM Netword Upper Peninsula Region website.

Students in Grade 4-8 can submit projects on any topic of interest that focuses on solving a problem using either the scientific investigative or the engineering design process,

“The STEM Festival activities will wow and engage kids of all ages,” said Tom Oliver, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Awards will be given to students who receive 80% of the points on their score sheet. Students will receive a rating indicating their project’s success:

• Bronze- 80 to 86% of points

•Silver- 87 to 93% of points

• Gold- 94 to 100% of points

This year’s STEM Fair & Festival is made possible by sponsorship from the following Michigan Tech Departments and community organizations: College of Engineering; College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; College of Sciences and Arts; Departments of Civil, Environmental & Geospatial Engineering, Biological Sciences, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Social Sciences; Ecosystem Science Center, Great Lakes Research Center, and Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI).

The STEM festival is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. The STEM Fair is coordinated by Western UP MiSTEM Network, the Copper Country Intermediate School District and the Michigan Tech Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society.

For more information, visit the Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival webpage (https://www.wupstem.org/home/sciencefair).


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