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Night of education comes to Bessemer

MTU presents activities to school district's families Thursday night


Ryan Jarvi/Daily Globe

JUSTIN BALDWIN helps his daughter, second-grader, Abigail, with a short engineering activity during the Family Science and Engineering Night at Washington Elementary School in Bessemer Thursday.


Bessemer - Michigan Technological University students came to Washington Elementary School to teach students about science and engineering for the Family Science and Engineering Night on Thursday.

The night is part of MTU's K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Outreach, run through the Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education.

Joan Chadde, education program coordinator from MTU, said the program has been coming to Bessemer since 2000.

"The purpose is to encourage elementary students and their parents to learn about engineering," she said.

The program goes to a number of different schools in the U.P., including Ontonagon, Ewen-Trout Creek and Baraga. It also hosts several different Family Nights, such as physics and math night, which all involve lessons presented by MTU students.

"They actually develop new activities and then present them," Chadde said.

"They're kind of learning how to be communicators. They always say that's the number one skill employers are looking for, no matter what field you're in."

The MTU students are enrolled in a two-credit course and are required to present for at least six of the Family Nights each semester.

Kyle Yarusso, a junior in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at MTU, taught the elementary students about ecosystems.

"It's a great experience for students and their parents to come out and experience science at their own elementary school," he said.

"Environmental education is something I look forward to in my future - getting my masters degree - and this is kind of a nice start to that."

Activities included a speed detector, a sound-proof package, identifying mystery chemicals and learning the different seeds found within various fruits and vegetables.

"We usually get a pretty good turnout, around 30 to 40 people," said Gail Maki-Dalbec, second grade teacher. "It's a good thing for kids to get interested in; to see science and to see how it works."


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