Veteran oil executive joins nonprofit bringing STEM hub to Steelcase's pyramid building

Veteran oil man Sid Jansma Jr. says Michigan is in the unique position to advance comprehensive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education thanks to Steelcase's donation of its pyramid building to a new nonprofit.

Jansma, president and CEO of Wolverine Oil and Gas Corp., was recently revealed as a member of the nonprofit board Pyramid P20 STEM Education Hub, which recently announced its vision to provide a STEM-driven education for students from preschool to graduate school with an additional focus on the arts. The group's goal is to produce more STEM-educated graduates and certified teachers.

“Having this type of educational facility is a benefit to the whole state both for education and industry,” said Jansma, who said if it works as well as anticipated, it can be template for statewide expansion.

"It doesn't hurt to have a huge vision, but you have to start in pieces. I am glad to be involved and lend my wisdom."

The plan is to house multiple traditional and charters schools and colleges in the seven-story, 660,000-square-foot building at 6100 East Paris Ave. SE in Gaines Township. On Feb. 20, Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Township, secured Senate approval for $5.5 million to develop the STEM Education Hub as part of a mid-year spending bill.

But on Feb. 26, the House stripped out the STEM Education Hub funds. Funding for the project could be restored in the upcoming conference committee.

Accompanied by Jansen, four other lawmakers toured the pyramid building Friday, Feb. 28: Sen Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Antwerp Township; Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland; Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Township; and Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker.

Since the project became public because of the proposed taxpayer funding, there have been questions and criticisms by educators, lawmakers and community members. But none have disputed the role STEM can play in the state and West Michigan’s competitiveness.

Jansen believes the state can become a global leader.

The concern remains there are too many unanswered questions about the nonprofit project to provide taxpayer dollars. Jansma and the nonprofit's founder Jerry Zandstra are they only known members of the nonprofit board. Zandstra is president of Inno-Versity, a Lowell-based business that produces manufacturing training films, and one of the founders of the online charter iCademy.

Zandstra said the full board, its advisory panels, educators consulted on the project and other project details will be announced within a few weeks.

So far, a comprehensive business plan for the project has not been provided to lawmakers, who have requested a structure for the schools involved, the development process and projected costs.

Grand Valley State University is not involved.

Kevin Konarska, superintendent of the Kent Intermediate School District, says it appears to be a duplication of school services already in place, pointing to the ISD’s STEM programming and partnership.

Hooker, a retired teacher, said the pyramid building is an amazing facility and the donation could put the state in a position to be “a world leader in the area of stem education and training.” Still, he said Konarska and others have raised legitimate questions.

“I would like to know more about the project to be able to give answers to my locals,” said Hooker.

“Personally, I don’t like a lot of things added into the supplemental bill and believe, if they have merit, they should be able to carry their weight in a separate bill. I am still out there trying to understand what’s best."

Zandstra said the project, tentatively expected to begin accepting students in 2015, does not hinge on the state granting the $5.5 million but said the funding would expedite plans.

“We are happy that the building will be used for educational purposes, since it once was our corporate development center designed for students of the workplace,” said Dave Sylvester, CFO and senior vice president at Steelcase Inc., when the project was first announced. “As an organization, we are committed to the communities in which we operate and this project will certainly provide value to students in our area.”

Jansma said not only is the building large enough to house students of all grade levels on the STEM-focused campus, but the furniture maker's former research facilities would give students the ability to engage in hands-on experiences.

"This is a collaboration between the teaching community and business community," he said.

 FORD, DTE donate to Michigan Science Center to Support STEM 

Declaring its support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM education, the Ford Motor Company Fund has donated $400,000 to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. The donation, which follows $100,000 the Fund gave the center last year, will be given to the museum over a three year period.
The latest gift to the Michigan Science Center follows a $1 million donation by the DTE Energy Foundation, announced last month. The support from the Detroit-based utility’s philanthropic arm will be divvied up over five years.
The continued funding commitment from DTE, Ford and other corporate sponsors such as General Motors and Toyota will help the science center effectively manage its budget as it implements its outreach programs, the science center’s marketing manager, Kerri Budde, told MLive last month. 
Formerly known as the Detroit Science Center, the facility at 5020 John R St. in Midtown got new life in 2012 with millions of dollars in philanthropic support, after indefinitely closing its doors in September 2011. When it reopened in December 2012, the center had received more than $5 million in commitments or donations from more than 25 different organizations.
And Ford was among the donors, giving an initial $200,000. The company, through its Fund, also donated another $50,000 as a founding sponsor of its 2013 MiSci gala event. And Ford’s group vice president of global product development, Raj Nair, now sits on the museum’s board of directors. 
“Michigan Science Center is a great place for students and families to explore how science and technology impacts and improves our lives,” Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Company Fund, said in a release. “At Ford we understand that our future depends on engaging and effective educational opportunities for the next generation.”
In October, Tonya Matthews was named president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center, replacing Jim Issner, who was serving as interim executive director. Matthews was previously in management roles at the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Maryland Science Center, and has focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs.
STEM education programs will continue to be a focal point for the Michigan Science Center, as it strives to live up to its moniker and broaden its reach beyond southeast Michigan. The center has already done traveling programs as far as Indiana and Traverse City, and has been fielding calls from interested parties in Grand Rapids.
In addition to corporate and foundation support, walk-in traffic and on-site ticket sales make up a large portion of the science center's funding. About 384,000 people attended the science center or its full year of operations after re-opening. That figure includes special events, educational programs and facility rentals. More than 92,000 people attended off-site, traveling programs, which was in line with expectations, according to museum officials.
“We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from the Ford Motor Company Fund. Its continued support of the Michigan Science Center is greatly appreciated by not only museum staff and members, but everyone in the community,” Matthews said in a statement. “These contributions enable us to continue to reach out and provide children and their families with unique science experiences that encourage a greater interest in STEM education – an integral component to boosting Detroit’s and Michigan’s economies.”

U-M gets $2M from National Science Foundation

A $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation is expected to support efforts at the University of Michigan to educate a diverse group of science, math and engineering students.


The Ann Arbor school on Thursday announced the five-year grant will establish the M-STEM Academies at U-M. The school says it will expand current efforts to attract a more diverse group of undergraduates into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM — disciplines.

The effort aims to increase the number of undergraduates with degrees in those fields. It's described as a high school to college transition program.



source: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121115/SCHOOLS/211150410/1361/U-M-gets-$2M-from-National-Science-Foundation

Families engage in hands-on learning during Halloween event


After David Dittemore blew bubbles using just a straw and dish soap, the 6-year-old turned to his mother for approval.






MSU professor takes lead role in national STEM initiative

A Michigan State University faculty member is taking a lead role in a national initiative designed to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the so-called STEM fields.

James Fairweather, a professor of higher, adult and lifelong education, will serve as co-principal investigator of the Association of American Universities’ project, which is working to implement new, more interactive methods of instruction in these fields, particularly in freshman and sophomore courses.

Fairweather is professor and director of the Center for Higher and Adult Education at MSU. He is widely acknowledged as a leading scholar in the study of faculty work and reforming undergraduate STEM education.

The initiative received a major boost last week with the announcement of a $4.7 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The three-year grant will help build AAU’s internal capacity to lead the effort, as well as provide resources directly to AAU universities to facilitate transformation in teaching and learning.

The AAU, an association of 59 U.S. and two Canadian research institutions, is developing a framework for effective STEM teaching and learning, and will select a set of up to eight initial demonstration sites to implement and test the framework over the next three years.

“For AAU institutions – the top research universities in the United States and Canada – the dilemma centers on how to promote research and scholarship while at the same time better preparing undergraduate students in STEM,” Fairweather said. “I look forward to working with AAU and its member institutions to find ways to improve undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM with the goal of spreading successful innovations to a broad array of colleges and universities.”

AAU President Hunter Rawlings said that the Helmsley Charitable Trust grant is critical to the progress of the initiative.

Since 2008, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has committed more than $700 million to a wide range of charitable organizations. For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

“We appreciate that the Helmsley Charitable Trust views AAU’s initiative as a powerful means of addressing our country’s shortage of college graduates with degrees in STEM fields and with basic STEM literacy,” he said. “While that shortage has a number of contributing factors, it is clear that improving teaching methods is crucial to our efforts to fix it.”

For more information on the initiative, visit http://www.aau.edu/policy/article.aspx?id=12588.


source: http://news.msu.edu/story/msu-professor-takes-lead-role-in-national-stem-initiative/

Toyota picks Ann Arbor from school districts nationwide to pilot new international program

Teams of Ann Arbor’s staff who are integral to designing and implementing curriculum at AAPS will have two opportunities to travel to Singapore as soon as April 2013 and possibly next fall, said Superintendent Patricia Green.


The program will strive to bring Singapore’s successful instructional strategies back to Ann Arbor and, eventually, not only see measureable impacts of these techniques at AAPS, but spread these STEM strategies and initiatives nationwide, said Cynthia Mahalak.


Mahalak is the assistant manager of external affairs at the Toyota Technical Center, headquartered in Ann Arbor. The technical center is the research and development arm of the motor engineering and manufacturing corporation. Toyota also has a research and development offices in Saline, Plymouth and Livonia.


Mahalak said Toyota knows all too well the importance of developing today’s children into STEM experts.


The company announced it is celebrating its 35th anniversary of being in Ann Arbor. She said earlier this year, Toyota also announced a desire to hire 250 scientists and engineers at its Ann Arbor and Saline offices within the next five years.


“Our missions are the same as your missions,” Mahalak told school board members and AAPS administrators Wednesday night at the board’s regular meeting. “…We want to increase students’ interests in pursuing engineering degrees.”


While Toyota did look for communities with strong ties to the company when selecting its single school district to pilot this program in, Mahalak said it also came down to finding a district already committed to international standards and one that had a rigorous STEM base to grow from.


“It’s good to hear this is something we’re good at but also could be better at,” said Trustee Glenn Nelson, thanking Mahalak for the opportunity.


Toyota’s pilot program with Ann Arbor will replace its former International Teacher Program. The teacher program was operated jointly with the Institute of International Education (IIE), which will be a partner in the new pilot program as well. The teacher program gave educators from across the U.S. the opportunity to travel overseas to Japan, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands and South America to learn about cutting-edge curricula on the environment and environmental challenges, Mahalak said.


Teachers had to apply individually to participate in this program and go through an interview process.


Toyota’s goal in launching this new program in Ann Arbor is to return to the areas of study that are Toyota’s expertise, its bread and butter. “And to see what impacts could be made in a single district,” Mahalak said.


Ann Arbor will incur none of the costs of implementing the program. Mahalak said Toyota is still in the information gathering phase, so she could not speculate on what Toyota or IIE’s financial commitment to the program will be.


Green said there is no end date to the program in sight and she hopes for a long-term partnership with the automotive giant.


Green dubbed the partnership a “phenomenal” opportunity for AAPS to follow its strategic plan and enhance its STEM curriculum “above and beyond,” by observing the “best practices” that the world’s leading school systems are imploring. It also will give high school students the opportunity to collaborate on projects with students overseas, she said.


source: http://www.annarbor.com/news/toyota-picks-ann-arbor-from-school-districts-nationwide-to-pilot-new-program/

U-M Tech Transfer office reports record number of new inventions

University of Michigan's Office of Tech Transfer reported that 368 new inventions were reported in the fiscal year 2012, which ended in June, comfortably eclipsing last year’s then-record total of 332.

The Tech Transfer office helps scientists take their inventions to market through a variety of programs and also handles the licensing agreements that allow technologies and inventions to spin off into for-profit companies while still benefiting the university.


"We’re proud of these results that reflect on the high caliber of our research and researchers and the work of our business and venture partners," executive director of Tech Transfer Ken Nisbet said in a statement. "These results, and our investments in capabilities, demonstrate our university’s commitment to the economic progress for our region and state.”


U-M’s income from those licensing agreements was about $13.4 million in FY 2012, down from nearly $16 million in FY11 and $39.8 million in FY10. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Michigan ranked 14th in the country in licensing revenue in FY10 and fell to 22nd in FY11. Information was unavailable as to why the revenue dropped off sharply after 2010.


While revenue from licenses has declined, spending on research grew by about $100 million between FY10 and FY11, the last year with available data.

Spinning inventions off into companies has been a point of emphasis for the university for the past decade, with 98 new startup companies using technologies that were first developed in an academic setting.


The Tech Transfer office was honored with the AnnArbor.com Research Deal of the Year award last year for opening the Venture Accelerator in the North Campus Research Complex. The accelerator houses companies such as Life Magnetics that are founded by U-M faculty.


This year, the Center for Entrepreneurship in the engineering school has been nominated for the same award for running the Innovation Corps program that pairs scientists and innovators with business mentors to help them bring their products to market as spinoff companies.


source: http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/u-m-tech-transfer-office-reports-record-amount-of-new-inventions/


Why GM official says U.S. is trailing the world on engineering education


John Calabrese, General Motors vice president of global engineering, said the auto industry is concerned about a K-12 education system that he said isn't doing enough to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

That's why 1,500 GM engineers volunteer in 325 classrooms through the Society of Automotive Engineers' "A World in Motion" program, which provides technical learning opportunities for elementary and middle school students.

The company also supports First Robotics, which organizes technology competitions for middle and high school students.

"Math and science and the understanding of how and why is a life skill that you need no matter what you do," Calabrese said.

Here are five insights from Calabrese on GM's recruiting efforts and the nation's STEM education challenges:

• GM's biggest engineering recruiting challenges are software and controls engineering, and "mechanical engineers that understand energy," Calabrese said.

"I do a global business. I have engineers on six continents. The U.S. is 27th in the graduation population of developing the folks for the next generation for mathematics and science. That's a real shame," he said.

• Colleges need to create multidisciplinary engineering departments to give students a variety of skills, Calabrese said.

"Universities are very silo-structured," he said. "You've got a mechanical engineering department, you've got an electrical engineering department and you've got an industrial engineering department. They've worked over the last five, 10 years to have interdisciplinary type of projects. But in my view, they need to take that to the next step to have interdisciplinary curriculum."

• The summer after students graduate from high school and before they enroll in college classes is a time when students could pick up extra skills to prepare for high-level engineering courses.

"Unfortunately, there's a high transfer rate because of the lack of preparation going into the technical fields in college," Calabrese said.

• Developing new energy systems for the vehicle attracts young talent.

"You do get to invent the future," Calabrese said. "The next 15 years is something that only comes around every 100 years. We're ferreting out petroleum, compressed natural gas, hybrids, battery-electric vehicles with no emissions. The last time this occurred was literally when we were deciding steam versus gasoline versus diesel, which was a hundred years ago."

• Young talent must be given a strong sense of purpose in the workplace.

"I want them to come here, love what they do, love what they work with, know they're on a team that demands a winning attitude and have fun at it.

"Then this is a career, not just a job, and I think that's what the individuals are looking for," he said.

source: http://www.freep.com/article/20120921/BUSINESS0101/309210137/Why-GM-official-says-U-S-is-trailing-the-world-on-engineering-education


Engineering class awarded $15,000

Calera High School’s engineering program was named one of 15 model manufacturing programs in the nation by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

The SME Education Foundation sponsors the Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education initiative. As a PRIME program, Calera High’s engineering program, taught by Brian Copes, will receive $15,000 from the foundation during the next year.

Copes took 10 students to Honduras this summer to fit 14 amputees with artificial legs the students developed in school. The class has also created a number of basic utility vehicles to provide transportation and ambulance services to underdeveloped countries, such as Honduras.

Calera High was nominated by Tom Walton, director of the American Foundry Society Birmingham Chapter. Walton said his involvement with Copes’ class began while Copes taught at Chelsea Middle School about seven years ago.

“I went in for a career day to tell them what I do as an engineer,” Walton said. “Then I met Brian Copes and his students and found out this was a special class.”

When Calera High opened six years ago, Walton knew the school would be the “new home” for the engineering program.

Walton nominated Copes’ program to be chosen as a PRIME school, and Calera High now holds the title.

Copes said the funding would be used to update equipment and expand the program to include more students. He said this year is a “redesign year,” as some components to the basic utility vehicles are no longer available.

Rodney Grover, senior development officer for the SME Education Foundation, said PRIME exists to bring together organizations to support manufacturing, such as the American Foundry Society.

Grover said the investment equals about $45-50,000 over the next three years. This year, $10,000 will be given for Copes to use to build the program, and $5,000 will be earmarked for a youth camp for fifth to seventh graders.

“We need to be sure there’s a pipeline of students who are interested in the program at Calera,” Grover said.

The SME Education Foundation budgets about $10,000 each year for college scholarships for students in the engineering program, Grover said. The foundation also plans to donate $10,000 each year for the next three years to the PRIME schools.

Laurie Maxson, senior program manager for the foundation, said the funding will strengthen Calera High’s engineering program, as well as offer scholarships for post-secondary education.

“The work in Calera shows how communities are finding solutions and taking action,” Maxson said. “(PRIME schools) are exemplary manufacturing programs that are true models.”

Oak Mountain High School teacher Paula Hughes found herself with a surplus of computer boxes and packing material at the beginning of the school year.

Hughes, who is teaching the school’s new aerospace engineering class, had scores of leftover computer boxes and foam after setting up her classroom. Instead of trashing the boxes, she decided to use them for her students’ first project.

Using a set amount of tape, foam and cardboard, each class had to create a functional chair.

“They had to decide as a class what the design was going to look like,” she said.

The chairs had to be functional, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing, and were judged Sept. 19 by three OMHS staffers.

Kaitlyn Hill, a 14-year-old freshman, said her class’ chair allows the user to lean back without breaking it.

“We tried to use a layer system to distribute the weight evenly,” she said.

Hughes said the point of the project was two-fold. First, it put the leftover boxes to good use. More importantly, it gave the students a starter project for the class.

While cardboard chairs have little to do with aerospace engineering, the skills used in creating the chair do.

The students will use the same skills – refined after they study engineering design and drawing – throughout the semester as they study natural winged flight, propulsion, Bernoulli’s principle and gliders.

“It’s project-based learning,” Hughes said.

Rene Day, the career tech coordinator for Shelby County Schools, said the idea for the engineering program developed with input from students and parents. In addition to student feedback, Day looked at OMHS graduates’ career paths and found that many go into engineering.

“Aerospace is one of the fastest growing industries in Alabama,” she said. “We looked at what the future work force is going to look like.”

The school received a $50,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Education to launch the engineering program.

Hughes said many of her students are interested in aerospace engineering as a career path.

Hayel Shamsuddin, a 17-year-old junior, hopes to study structural engineering at the University of Alabama. He said the class has helped him with basic engineering principles.

Hill wants to be a medical missionary, but she has still enjoyed the class.

“I’m always interested in the ways things work,” she said. “I love building things. It kind of makes me amazed at everything God has created.”


source: http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com/2012/09/18/chs-engineering-program-awarded-15000/

Michigan begs for $100,000 engineers after auto industry rebound
Andrew Watt says he figures the shelf life of an auto engineer looking for a job in Michigan is about three days. Companies that wait longer than that will have to get back in line for the next candidate.
"If their skills are even on the edges of automotive, they can get a job," said Watt, whose iTalent LLC in Troy finds engineering and information technology workers for companies in nine states. "There's an extreme shortage. There's way more demand than supply."
Michigan's unemployment was the worst in the U.S. at 14.2 percent in August 2009, shortly after General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC emerged from a U.S.-backed rescue. That rate has since plunged to 8.6 percent, roughly in line with the national average. Employment in skilled positions is rising, reversing a decline under way since the turn of the century.
Recruiter Watt said the demand for engineering and IT workers is requiring additional pay and bonuses, with the normal pay range of $80,000 to $120,000 commonly stretching toward the high end. A recent recruit got a $17,000 raise and bonus of as much as 20 percent to move from Tennessee to Michigan, he said.
Engineers who design cars and parts and need specific — and, in some cases, advanced — degrees, have been in demand throughout the U.S. for years. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said part of the problem has been a gap between what companies need and what the educational system produces.
"We've had kind of a dumb system in our country," Snyder said in an interview. " … there's no strategic perspective to say, 'Let's match supply and demand.' "
Even so, Michigan's situation today is notable for such a dramatic change in such a short time.
Graham Fletcher, 24, a December graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said he had one job offer already on the table and three in progress when he decided to accept another position with tire and auto parts maker Continental AG that started May 2 at the supplier's Auburn Hills office. He'll train in Germany and Shanghai over the next 14 months before returning to Michigan, he said.
"I'd never set foot in Michigan until I came for the interview," said Fletcher, who also considered jobs in Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts and California. Continental had the best offer and most friendly hiring approach, he said.
He's already recruiting other Georgia Tech students and will participate in job fairs for his new employer, he said.
The scarcity of technical talent is why Nissan Motor Co. is extending job search efforts to Ohio and Indiana to find engineers for 50 open jobs at the Yokohama, Japan-based, automaker's technology center in Farmington Hills, said Carla Bailo, senior vice president of research and development for Nissan Americas.
The company plans to hire as many as 150 engineers this year, primarily for the 1,200-employee technology center, she said. Nissan has about one candidate right now for every two openings, she said.
The company more than doubled the size of its internship program this year to 45, from 20 in 2011, to increase the flow of trained engineers, Bailo said.
During the automotive industry downturn, employment at the technology center dropped to about 750 from 1,000 because Nissan didn't fill jobs vacated by retirements and people who left for work in other industries.
"We saw a lot of that in the auto industry, people saying they were done with autos," Bailo said. "Now we've got to get those people, those car lovers, back."
The improving fortunes in the state are in contrast to the U.S., where unemployment has persisted at more than 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch at that level since monthly records started in 1948.
Michigan has had the fastest-improving economy in the U.S., after energy-rich North Dakota, from the third quarter of 2009 through the first quarter of this year, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States, which tabulates economic recovery from employment and home values to performance of public companies.
Michigan announced that it's eliminating 177 temporary workers and as many as 225 full-time workers at the Unemployment Insurance Agency after claimants fell to 187,000 in April 2012 compared with 537,000 in June 2009, spokesman Mario Morrow said.
GM, Chrysler, Ford Motor Co., Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers have pursued plans to seek new engineers for jobs in Michigan in the past several months. That has led to a spike in job openings on the website of SAE International, said Martha Schanno, SAE recruitment and sales manager.
Normally, fewer than 100 jobs are posted. That has swelled to more than 400, with about 300 from Chrysler alone, Schanno said.
The balance of power at the SAE career fairs has shifted, too, with about 300 job seekers at an April fair attended by 60 companies, compared with 1,200 to 1,500 job seekers competing for openings at 12 companies as recently as 2009, Schanno said.
There have always been some shortages of engineers, particularly for "specific, targeted niches," she said. The current shortage is made more acute than those she said she experienced in the past because of the lack of graduates to fill the pipeline.
Engineer was the most difficult job to fill in the Americas in 2012, up from fourth in 2011, according to Manpower Inc.'s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey of 10,232 employers in North and South America. Engineer was the second most difficult job to fill globally, according to the annual survey.
In Michigan, companies are also hiring college students practically right off the parking lot from SAE's student competitions, where they create and run race cars and off-road vehicles, Schanno said.
Continental, which has U.S. engineering centers in Michigan as well as in the Chicago area and South Carolina, sent both human resources personnel and engineers to an SAE competition in May, said Trisha Boehler, a recruiter for the supplier in Michigan. Her job, senior employer-branding specialist, was created in March to help the Hanover, Germany-based parts supplier raise its profile with job seekers, she said.
As a result of the event, Continental received eight resumes and 200 additional Facebook likes. Two applicants will start this month, Boehler said.
With less than one applicant available for each job opening, the tire and auto parts maker has no choice but to make every effort to find new workers, said Ann Baker-Zainea, who heads North American recruiting for Continental.
Ford is advertising in local newspapers to help fill about 100 engineering jobs in Southeast Michigan, John Fleming, Ford's global manufacturing chief, told reporters this month.
"The market is very tight generally for engineers and for technically qualified people," he said.
Toyota is adding about 150 engineering jobs at its Ann Arbor-area facilities, Bruce Brownlee, a company spokesman, said in an interview. The automaker increased its intern and co-op program to 120 this year from about 50 in previous years.
"Clearly, we have a lot of competition for the engineering talent," he said.
With national news stories about crime in Detroit and other negative stereotypes about the region, employers also have to convince prospects that the area has plenty of positives.
GM sends interns on tours of the city to see things such as popular restaurant Slows Bar BQ, Eastern Market, urban gardens and the riverfront area, said Sean Vander Elzen, senior manager for global talent acquisition at the automaker.
"Those things are exciting to certain people," he said. "We let the city speak for itself."
Snyder said he wants to change state liability laws to make it easier to give tours of auto factories and change perceptions of factory work.
"We need to give kids and parents the opportunity to see a plant floor today," he said. "You walk into most manufacturing facilities today, and it's like going into a clean-room environment. It really is that clean. It is a high-tech industry, and we should be proud of that."
Although Michigan doesn't specifically track automotive engineering jobs, highly skilled categories associated with the industry are showing gains for the first time in years, said Bruce Weaver, an economic analyst at the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
Jobs that include architectural engineering, computer system design, scientific research and development, and related services have risen 9.1 percent, adding 10,100 positions from the end of the 2009 through last year, Weaver's data showed. Those same skills lost 38,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of the total, from 2001 to 2009, he said.
In Lyon Township, about 40 miles northwest of GM's Detroit headquarters, several companies can't find enough skilled workers, and in some cases, it's restricting expansion, said Michelle Aniol, economic development coordinator for the township.
Outbound Technologies Inc. bought an 8,000-square-foot building in Lyon Township three years ago to expand engineering work on designs for factory-equipment controls, said Chris Tury, 61, the company's senior partner. The engineering services company, with locations in Indiana and Ohio, has a dozen desks in Michigan still empty and is turning away work, he said.

"In order to grow, I need to hire, and I can't find enough engineers," said Tury, who has run the company for 18 years. "It's absolutely throttling our growth."


source: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120815/FREE/120819950 


Macomb Community College engages and inspires younger students through STEM programs and activities
Studies continue to point to a significant gap in competency when K-12 students in the U.S. are compared to their peers in other countries in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Research also indicates the lack of proficiency in STEM education is even greater in Michigan.
In 2009, Michigan fourth- grade students ranked 38 out of 51 states (including D.C.) in national math test scores according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  In 2011, the percentage of students in Michigan who performed at or above the National Assessment of Educational Progress Proficient level in math and science was only 35 percent.
Statistics like these and many others, along with a sharp focus on education and training for STEM-related careers, has sparked a series of new and innovative programs for pre-college students at Macomb Community College to expose them to engaging STEM educational experiences while demonstrating the great potential of science and technology careers.  
Macomb is participating in a first-of-its-kind summer education program for elementary and middle school students.  Through its Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) and its College 4 Kids program, Macomb is presenting the bulk of academic-based offerings for Velocity Jr., a new STEM-focused summer camp featuring fun, hands-on learning projects at Michigan’s first dedicated STEM education center in Sterling Heights.
As part of Velocity Jr., Macomb is providing five one-week courses for kindergarten through eight-grade students in the areas of industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, robotics and math.
Courses include: 
• Lego Fun-gineering, building advanced machines using Legos
• Roamer the Robot, programming a robot to navigate an obstacle course and other challenges
• Electric Vehicle Bumps and Jumps, engineering electric model cars including design and build, while learning more about alternative energies
“Our ongoing interaction with industry indicates that we need to expose area youth to STEM-related careers today in order for them to be prepared to compete for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology, Macomb Community College. “Our strategy for encouraging young people down this path is simple: spark interest when students are young by providing fun, exciting and interactive learning opportunities that demystify science, math and technology and illustrate the potential of careers in advanced manufacturing and technical fields.”
As part of its goal to cultivate the emerging advanced automotive technology industry by preparing students for future careers in this field, Macomb’s CAAT, is sponsoring this unique summer education program by providing the full funding for Macomb’s courses offered including supplies, lunches and t-shirts for the students. 
The Velocity Jr. Summer program begins the third week of June.  Call 586. 797.6900 or email c4k@macomb.edu for more information.
Macomb also created an innovative pilot program to introduce STEM concepts to pre-K students through a collaboration of students and faculty in its science and early childhood studies programs.  Since April, the college has hosted a series of “Physics Playground” events for Head Start, Great Start Readiness and Macomb Intermediate Schools preschoolers designed to teach essential concepts of the physical sciences. 
“There are some staggering statistics that place Michigan’s elementary students toward the bottom of the pack nationally in the areas of science and math,” said Kate Cole, faculty, early childhood studies at Macomb.  “We believe that if these important concepts are introduced at an early age in developmentally appropriate ways, we can jump start our children’s exploration into the important fields of science, math and technology.”
The program involves a series of fun experiments such as testing buoyancy of various objects in water and exploring the forces of sound through vibrations. 
Supporting learning materials for preschool instructors were also developed to reinforce in the classroom the concepts learned in the playground experiments. To date, more than 300 children have attended these events along with parents and educators. 
For the past few years, Macomb has also hosted Robotics, Engineering and Technology (RET) Days, an event designed to excite and interest high school students in technical careers.  Cosponsored by U.S. Army TACOM and Utica Schools, the 2 ½- day event engages high school students from the region in activities such as building, programming and controlling robotic systems and vehicles, and illustrates career opportunities and their educational pathways.
Last year more than 1,600 students attended, with some coming from as far away as Genesee County.  The 2012 RET Days are scheduled for the first week of December this year at the Sports & Expo Center at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren.
“To have a real impact, collaboration is essential, and Macomb has embraced partnership to develop and present nearly all of our youth-focused STEM-related programs,” said Petrosky.  “From Macomb Community College’s perspective, building interest and proficiency in STEM-related education is vital to enhancing sustainable job opportunities and promoting long-term, positive economic growth.”  


source: http://www.macomb.edu/News/Macomb+STEM+Focus.htm

STEM camp immerses Michigan kids in high tech
Deniece Thibodeaux has sent her 9-year-old son, Aubrey, to summer camp so he can interact with other students and have a little fun.
But for the first time this year, Thibodeaux enrolled her son in a camp specifically geared to providing him with an enrichment experience in science, technology, engineering and math, often known as "STEM."
The camp, hailed as a first-of-its-kind initiative in Michigan, is a public/private collaboration with several universities, aimed at shaping a future work force capable of filling high-tech jobs that will help the state's economy grow.
Too often, youths are afraid of science and math and that carries over into adulthood, experts say.
Increasing literacy in STEM at a young age and making it fun can diminish that fear, and also help the nation become more globally competitive.
"If we want to compete as a country against all of the nations in the world that are really focusing on math and science and preparing their kids — and many of them go to school year-round — we've got to focus on that, we've got to prioritize that," said Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology at Macomb Community College. "This is our youth, this is our future."
But for Thibodeaux, the STEM camp in Sterling Heights meant her son could learn and have fun — and it could be a pipeline to his future.
"Science has come a long way," said Thibodeaux, a Rochester resident. "I don't want him to think science is dull, because science is not going anywhere. … Maybe one day, as he gets older, this could help him get into some kind of job in science, or engineering."
As K-12 students continue to fall behind in science, technology, engineering and math here and nationwide, educators and business and political leaders are lobbying to increase STEM opportunities inside and outside the classroom.
Although numerous summer camps have offered opportunities in STEM enrichment for years, the camp in Macomb County is thought to be unique because of its partners. They include Utica Community Schools, the city of Sterling Heights, a Macomb County business incubator, and several higher education institutions, including Macomb Community College, Lawrence Technological University, Western Michigan University and Oakland University.
Known as Velocity Jr., the camp launched last week and continues through August for K-12 students.
It's housed in a vacant elementary school building in Sterling Heights and is expected eventually to operate year-round to focus students on STEM-related careers.
For now, the summer camps include hands-on, problem-solving programs in engineering, computer science and robotics that use tools such as LEGOs, robots and race cars. Some of the camps are one day, while others last a week. Costs vary, but all are under $200.
Organizers are hoping to spur innovation and student interest in science, engineering, technology and math.
"We know that in this region, that's where the jobs of the future are, and we want our students to have all the opportunities to be competitive in the future," said Christine Johns, superintendent of Utica Community Schools.
In recent years, STEM education has become a national focus.
In 2009, Michigan fourth-grade students ranked 38th in national math test scores, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
In 2011, just 35 percent of students in Michigan performed at or above the proficient level in math and science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Often there is not enough time during the school day to engage students in problem-solving, so camps are an excellent supplement, said Gail Richmond, a Michigan State University associate professor of science education and a STEM expert.
"The earlier you can engage kids in the STEM areas, the more likely you are to stimulate an interest in those areas," Richmond said. "We know that by late elementary and early middle school, students make decisions about their own abilities and interests in those areas.
"We want to provide them with opportunities to engage in (them) so they have a better understanding about what these fields are, instead of selling themselves short or cutting themselves out of a career that they might be quite talented in."




More Than 1,800 Inner City Students to Participate in STEM Programming

Beginning June 18 and over the next seven weeks, more than 1,800 elementary and middle school students across the country will become immersed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they participate in the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program. SEEK was coordinated through a partnership between SAE International and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and will expose inner city students to hands-on projects and a valuable career path.

 "This engaging and educational program has shown a tremendous impact on the communities it reaches," said Matt Miller, director, SAE Foundation and Pre-Professional Programs. "Students will become engineers as they work in teams, think through challenges and create projects. Many of these students are experiencing new opportunities that are helping to shape career paths in STEM fields."

The SEEK program will be led by NSBE engineering students and technical professionals, using the National Science Board Award-winning curriculum, A World in Motion® (AWIM). AWIMwas developed by SAE International and allows students to work in teams to solve problems and create products while discovering the underlying math and science principles involved in the process. The program and curriculum are made possible through funds from major sponsors, like Caterpillar.

"College students from across the country will spend time with these students to become mentors for three weeks, but will make an impression on these kids that will last much longer," said Dr. Carl Mack, executive director of NSBE. "These kids are seeing positive African American role models that are building bonds and investing time in each one of them. The mentors are helping to guide the next generation of aspiring engineers."

Each week of the program, students will take on a new STEM project, present their final designs to a panel of local judges and participate in friendly competitions. This free program is offered to students in 3rd – 5th grade as well as 6th – 8th grade. It begins in San Diego on June 18, continuing for three-week-long sessions across six locations. The schedule is as follows:

  • San Diego, CA (San Diego State University) June 18 – July 6 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) Sponsors: Accurate Engineering, Caterpillar, Life Technologies, Northrop Grumman, San Diego Gas & Electric, Solar Turbines and US MARINES
  • Oakland, CA (Martin Luther King Elementary) June 25 – July 13 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays M-F) Sponsors: Caterpillar, Chevron, INTEL, Northrop Grumman and SD Bechtel
  • Houston, TX (University of Houston) June 25 – July 14 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays M-F) Sponsors: Caterpillar, SHELL and University of Houston
  • New Orleans July 2—July 20 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays M-F) Sponsors: Caterpillar, Chevron and Re-New Schools
  • Washington D.C. (Elementary program: Langley Education Campus; Middle school program: Eliot Hine Middle School) July 2 – July 20 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays M-F)Sponsors: Alcoa, Caterpillar, CUMMINS, GE, Northrop Grumman, ONR, US Coast Guard and US Navy
  • Detroit, MI (Bates Academy) July 16 – August 3 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays M-F)Sponsors: Caterpillar, Delphi Foundation, Detroit Automobile Dealer Association, DOW and Ford Fund

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/18/4570600/more-than-1800-inner-city-students.html#storylink=cpy

 source: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/18/4570600/more-than-1800-inner-city-students.html

GM hosts 11th annual A World in Motion volunteer recognition breakfast
On June 11, A World in Motion® (AWIM) teamGM Cares volunteers from General Motors (GM) gathered at the company's Warren Technical Center to celebrate a successful year of providing students with hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

"This recognition breakfast showcases the tremendous amount of support SAE programming receives from GM," said Matt Miller, director of the SAE Foundation and pre-professional programs. "The AWIM teamGM Cares volunteers are excellent resources for teachers as they bring scientific theories and concepts to life in classrooms. We applaud their efforts and thank them for being an essential part of the AWIM program."
The GM Foundation made an investment in STEM education by providing a $5 million grant to the SAE Foundation to help support the development and execution of SAE's AWIM educational programs that reinforce STEM curriculum and help spark the imaginations of young people to pursue careers in engineering, science and other technical fields.
"Education is a critical focus area for the GM Foundation. Our country's development and economic future is tied to children developing an early interest in educational programs like A World in Motion," said Vivian Pickard, president, GM Foundation and GM Director of Corporate Relations. "The Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that engage youth with hands-on activities that allow them to develop an interest in a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
During his remarks to the AWIM teamGM Cares volunteers, John Calabrese, GM Vice President of Global Engineering, said, "Installing a passion and curiosity for STEM education in young students is crucial for the success of our industry. The AWIM teamGM Cares volunteers are paving the path for a very bright future and enriching our communities by supporting the A World in Motion program."
An additional highlight of the volunteer recognition breakfast included Ms. Dana Mayes and four of her 5th grade students (Damario Jackson, Mikayla Green, Angel Rucker-Sosa, Jamin Montgomery) from Gompers Elementary in Detroit providing candid feedback on how the AWIM program has impacted their classroom. Following the event, the teacher and students were able to tour the wind tunnel facility at the General Motors Technical Center.
Over the last 20 years, AWIM has reached over four million students in all 50 states and Canadian provinces and territories. More than 25,000 engineers, scientists and technology professionals have volunteered in partnership with the AWIM program. GM currently has AWIM's largest company-supported volunteer base of more than 1,600 volunteers.

Michigan Teaching Fellowship Brings High Caliber Science and Math Teachers to the State's Neediest Schools

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/13/4558788/michigan-teaching-fellowship-brings.html#storylink=cpy

A fighter pilot, a pastor, a biologist, a sea kayak instructor and others from a variety of backgrounds are rising to meet the challenge of improving the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching in the state of Michigan. The 2012 class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows, announced today, includes a diverse group of both recent college graduates and career-changers with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields. In fact, all of the 2012 Fellows majored in a STEM discipline.

Making a commitment to teach for three years, each of the 74 recipients of the highly competitive WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship (64 enrolling in 2012 and 10 deferring their enrollment) will receive $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master's degree program preparing them to teach in Michigan's high-need urban and rural secondary schools.

Research from The Education Trust, a Kellogg Foundation grantee, has shown that teacher effectiveness is the most important in-school factor in student achievement and that African-American, Hispanic, Native-American and low-income children of all backgrounds are the least likely to receive highly effective teachers. By preparing and placing first-class math and science teachers in Michigan's most underserved public schools, the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship seeks to provide a solution to this disparity. The program ultimately will provide more than 100,000 students with the level of instruction they need to contribute and thrive in Michigan's rapidly changing economy and workforce.

"We know that teacher effectiveness plays a vital role in student learning outcomes, and we must do all that we can to ensure the best, brightest and most effective teachers are in Michigan classrooms," said Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Because improving teacher effectiveness is essential to raising the level of learning for all students, the WKKF launched the statewide program in 2009 with $18 million in support, further reflecting its dedication to innovative education practices. Today, Speirn joined Gov. Rick Snyder and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, to announce the 2012 class of Fellows, who were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 2,000 applicants.

"There is no more urgent national need in education than to get strong math and science teachers into our schools, especially high-need urban and rural schools," said Levine. "This year's group of Fellows is impressive—they are passionate about their fields and, most of all, they are committed to helping young people. We are tremendously proud of them, and we're excited to look ahead to their classroom successes. They will change tens of thousands of lives."

The Fellows will attend Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Western Michigan University.These universities partner with local school districts where Fellows learn to teach in real classrooms from the beginning of their master's work, just as physicians learn in teaching hospitals. The nine partner districts for these clinical placements, up from seven last year, include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Ypsilanti.

"Great teachers and great teaching can make all the difference for our students, their educational growth, future success and quality of life," said Gov. Snyder. "The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship is making tremendous strides toward the goal of providing children across Michigan access to highly effective educators in these critical subject areas, and I commend this work and look forward to its continued role and achievements."

source: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/13/4558788/michigan-teaching-fellowship-brings.html

 Teacher wins premier award


Kate Miller's love of physics helped her win a national teaching fellowship with a five-year, $175,000 award.


That will help with tuition when she moves to Philadelphia in about two weeks to attend graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.


The Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship goes to the nation's premier high school math and science teachers at the start of their careers. Miller is one of two from Michigan (Beverly Bell of Grand Blanc is the other), and 34 nationally.


Miller said her participation in gymnastics sparked her career choice to become a high school physics teacher. "Physics fit well with gymnastics because it explains how I can flip over and how it all works," she said.


The foundation invests five years in each fellow to keep beginning teachers in the profession. "We cannot improve science, technology, engineering and math education without recruiting and keeping excellent STEM teachers like Beverly and Kate in the profession," said Nicole Gillespie, the foundation's director of teaching fellowships.


Nationally, nearly half of all new teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Knowles boasts a retention rate of 95 percent over five years.


U-M physics professor Tim McKay is confident Miller will remain a teacher.


"She is an exceptional student with real dedication to becoming a secondary school physics teacher," said McKay, her thesis adviser. "She worked on a number of teaching programs and she is the most organized person I've ever met."


In college, Miller wrote an honors senior thesis exploring the gender gap in student performance in physics. "Across the nation, we see at the college level, that females are underperforming in physics compared to their male classmates, and we wanted to see if it existed at U-M," she said. "Not surprisingly, we also found it there."

source: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120609/SCHOOLS/206090336#ixzz1xX73IWjI

Grand Blanc teacher named to national teaching fellowship

GRAND BLANC, MI -- Grand Blanc High School Teacher Beverly Bell has been named to a selective group of teachers for a highly-competitive fellowship.

The five-year Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship is for beginning high school teachers of biology, physical science and mathematics and aimed at keeping talented, young teachers in the profession.

KSTF invests $175,000 over five years in each Fellow. This year, 34 teachers from across the country were selected to the fellowship.

“We cannot improve science, technology, engineering and math education without recruiting and keeping excellent STEM teachers like Beverly ... in the profession,” said Dr. Nicole Gillespie, KSTF’s Director of Teaching Fellowships, in a news release. “They join a growing cadre of exceptional KSTF teachers whose knowledge, commitment and leadership are transforming math and science education from the inside.”

Nationally, nearly half of all new teachers leave the profession within the first five years, according to KSTF.

“Teacher turnover is a critical problem that’s hurting our students and our communities, and costing taxpayers a great deal of money,” said Dr. Gillespie in the release. “Instead of investing in the costly cycle of constantly hiring and training new teachers, we need to invest in keeping the best of the best in the teaching profession by providing them with ongoing support and professional development.”

Bell earned an honors bachelor's degree in chemistry and a teaching certificate from Michigan State University.

“I aim to build my lessons around my students’ interests to help them to feel more invested in the material," she said in the release.

source: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/06/grand_blanc_teacher_named_to_n.html

Conference brings together researchers in math, science education

EAST LANSING, Mich. — More than 100 faculty and graduate students at Michigan State University are expected to come together May 8-9 for a discussion about improving mathematics and science education.

The CREATE for STEM Institute is holding the conference on campus in an effort to connect and build stronger collaborations among the many MSU researchers working on projects related to teaching and learning in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), at the K-12 and college levels.

The event begins with an evening reception at the Spartan Club in Spartan Stadium featuring a panel discussion and remarks from James Kirkpatrick, dean of the College of Natural Science, and Donald Heller, dean of the College of Education.

CREATE for STEM, a new research center focused on growing the university's impact in STEM education, is a joint venture of the two colleges with funding from the Office of the Provost.

The second day of the CREATEing the Future of STEM Education conference, held in the Breslin Center's lower level, will include several poster sessions intended to help scholars explore opportunities to work together, followed by a final general discussion about what's happening with math and science education at MSU -- and what can happen in the future.

“My hope is the conference will help faculty learn about the exciting and diverse work that faculty at MSU are doing to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and science K-16 through innovation and research," said Joseph Krajcik, director of the institute and a professor in the College of Education. "I also hope that faculty will build new collaborations to support their work.”

Visit www.create4stem.msu.edu/conference to register online and get more information, including the conference schedule


source: http://presszoom.com/story_175741.html

'Tech-knowledge-y' highlights importance of science, math education

FRANKENLUST TOWNSHIP, MI — The sectors of industry, education and government intersected on Saturday [April 14] as Delta College, 1961 Delta Road, and the Midland section of the American Chemical Society hosted “Tech-knowledge-y.”

The event, focused on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, opened with remarks from Sen. Carl Levin. Levin talked about the importance of protecting science and mathematics education while reducing the federal deficit.

“The challenge we face is how to protect our important priorities while we must at the same time — by law and by common sense — reduce the federal deficit,” Levin said.

Following Levin’s speech, a panel of STEM professionals and educators talked about the importance of getting students interested and participating in math and science.

“STEM is not a spectator sport, you cannot learn math by watching me do it,” said Deborah Huntley, dean of Saginaw Valley State University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

“You have to find that motivating thing for them,” said Ryan Howell, human resources manager for Hemlock Semiconductor.

About 50 people attended the panel discussion. Gina Malczewski, chair for the Midland section of the American Chemical Society, said the discussion was good between the panel members, but they would have liked to have more attendees.

Following the discussion, workshops were held to help job seekers with resume writing, interview skills and using social media to help land a job. 

source: http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2012/04/tech-knowledge-y_highlights_im.html

Kettering University is the First STEM University in Michigan and One of Very Few in the Nation to Offer Fixed-Tuition Guarantee

FLINT, Mich.--Kettering University will offer a fixed-tuition guarantee for all undergraduate students beginning in 2012-13, becoming the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) university in Michigan and one of only a handful in the nation to offer the cost-saving guarantee. Kettering has also eliminated all academically related fees in its all-inclusive tuition package.

The move makes Kettering University a national leader in containing higher education costs in the delivery of a world-class engineering, science, mathematics and technical education.
Kettering President Robert K. McMahan announced the trend-setting change Tuesday, March 13. “I am delighted to confirm that the Board of Trustees has approved our recommendation for a fixed-rate tuition plan that also eliminates all academically related fees, like the thesis fee – for all full-time undergraduate students,” Dr. McMahan said.
See a video and details of the fixed-tuition guarantee at www.kettering.edu.
“For current undergraduate students, the fixed rate applies for full-time study in each remaining term to graduation. For new students enrolling in 2012-13, the fixed rate will apply for up to 10 successive academic terms of full-time study.
“Kettering has taken away the guesswork and removed the risk of preparing for future college costs,” Dr. McMahan said. “Families have been asking for pricing stability and predictably and Kettering is pleased to be among the first to guarantee it.”
Kettering now joins a prestigious and growing group of forward-thinking colleges and universities intentionally helping families plan and prepare for college expenses, Dr. McMahan continued. “In fact, Kettering will be the only university in Michigan and among only a few in the nation that provides a STEM education to offer this extraordinary fixed-tuition guarantee.”
The fixed-tuition guarantee positions Kettering as a national leader among STEM universities in both curbing costs and increasing the number of students preparing for high-paying positions in STEM fields. “One of our jobs as educators is to increase the number of highly capable students in the STEM pipeline,” Dr. McMahan explained. “It is profoundly important to our nation and to our competitive success in the global economy that we do so.”
“The average college tuition bill increased over 8 percent last year. Kettering is now offering a complete picture of tuition costs to our students, instead of a year-by-year peek at the increasing costs of higher education,” he concluded.
Kettering University is a nationally ranked STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Business university and a national leader in combining a rigorous academic environment with rich opportunities for experiential learning and cooperative education. For more information, visit www.kettering.edu.


source: http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20120313006674/en/Kettering-University/fixed-tuition-guarantee/holding-down-higher-education-costs

Educational Technology Leadership Conference in metro Detroit

Registration is still open for the June 21-22 Educational Technology Leadership Conference held at South Redford Thurston High School in the metro Detroit area. The conference is sponsored by MACUL and Wayne RESA with support from C/D/H, DataDirector, Google, Microsoft, MSBO, Sprint the Now Network and TechSmith.

The event will highlight keynote presentations by Karen Cator, United States Department of Education Director of Technology, Jaime Casap of Google, and Liz Kolb of U of M and Madonna University, sponsored by Sprint the Now Network.

The conference will also feature a panel discussion on virtual desktops, led by Paul Hillman of C/D/H.

On Tuesday, June 22 a MSBO Technology Certification workshop on technology policies will be offered, as well as a free workshop on Camtasia Studio and SnagIt.

FREE SB-CEU’s up to 1.0 will be given for the conference.

WIN! An iPad donated by MACUL SIGPL will be given away at end of conference (must be present to win). The lucky winner could be YOU!

In addition to a large exhibits area, the conference will feature presentation strands on Google Apps for Education Edition and Microsoft Live@edu and breakout sessions on these topics:

iPads in Education, GIS Technologies for Michigan Schools, Calculating Contemporary Curriculum for Your Classroom, MI Learning on iTunes U, YouTube, Using Cell Phones in the Classroom, Edublogs in a High School Classroom, Using Google Earth to Show School Attendance Area Boundaries and Changes, YouTube in the Classroom, Jing, Seat Time Waivers and Online Learning, The ActivClassroom: Promethean's Interactive Solution, Purchasing Classroom Technology, Advanced Moodle and Open Source Web Development, Disruptive innovation, Teaching Simple Machines, Force and Motion and Energy, and Magnetism using the LEGO, C-SPAN's Free Online Resources for Teachers and Students, New Ways to Think about Credit Recovery, Designing Interactive Projects With Multimedia Software.

Cost: $85/1 day for MACUL members;
$125/1 day includes membership
$125/2 days for MACUL members
$165/2 days includes MACUL membership

For complete program and more information, follow the links at www.macul.org

Registration direct link: https://register.macul.org/default.aspx?conference=2010_ETLC_conference

Michigan Project Lead the Way

122 Sill Hall
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE FOR SCHOOLS TO REGISTER HAS BEEN EXTENDED School Districts must register online with national PLTW http://beta.pltw.org/getting-started/getting-started by May 1st ,2010 As long as a school completes registration on, or prior to, May 1st., 2010, that school's teachers will be guaranteed a space in the Summer Training Institute TEACHER REGISTRATION FOR THE SUMMER TRAINING INSTITUTE STARTS ON MARCH 15TH Highlights - PLTW Summer Training 2010 PLTW Fact Sheet Register online for the Summer Training Institute: "HOW DO I JOIN?" Summer Training Affiliates reserve the right to cancel any class if enrollment is inadequate. Please contact the institution for class confirmation prior to making flight arrangements. Summer Training Institute - Courses & Schedules Gateway to Technology A (Design & Modelling, Automation & Robotics, Energy & Environment) Middle School Teachers July 05-July 16 Gateway to Technology B (The Magic of a Electrons, Flight and Space, The Science of Technology) Middle School Teachers July 19-July 30 Principles of Engineering High School Teachers July 19-July 30 Digital Electronics High School Teachers July 5-July 16 Intro. to Engineering Design High School Teachers July 5-July 16 Engineering Design and Development High School Teachers July 19-July 30 Important Information * Course fee: $2,300, includes breakfast and lunch each day, does not include housing. * Four semester hours of Graduate Credit can be earned. * On campus housing is available at $700/person * Perkins funding may be used to cover institute costs
For questions, please call or email * Dr. John Dugger 734.487.1832 jdugger@emich.edu * Mr. Al Tessmer, 313.682.7848, atessmer@emich.edu * Dr. Paul Kuwik, 734.487.1165, paulkuwik@emich.edu
Benefits of Joining Project Lead The Way Project Lead The Way (PLTW) benefits: * Parents, * Teachers, * The fields of mathematics and science, * and most importantly, students. Through PLTW, students receive: * An enriched education * An understanding of applications of mathematics and science * Useful career skills * College credit * A jump start on a successful future Students can have a lucrative career in the fields of mathematics and science, achieving personal success and applying their skills and talents where they find the most inspiration. PLTW challenges young minds to reach their full potential through exciting courses and projects with real-world applications of classroom concepts.
Foundations for the Future PLTW takes mathematics and science out of the confined realm textbooks and into the challenges of the real world, demonstrating to students the endless possibilities that are before them. Through the Gateway To Technology, Pathway To Engineering and Biomedical Sciences programs, students are introduced to mathematics and science concepts in a relevant, riveting manner that teaches them to reach beyond their classroom and into the real world. Studies have shown that PLTW students become the prepared, competent high-tech employees U.S. industries need to succeed. Mathematics and science are huge fields, and thousands of career openings are waiting for students with the right skills and dedication to fill those positions and move our national future forward. District on-site visits can be scheduled.



“You like it, Mom?” he asked, donning a pirate costume and a smile across his face.
It was awesome, his mother answered.
Next to the bubbles station was Olivet College’s table. There, Madagascar hissing cockroaches were on display and available for attendees to hold — an opportunity some children jumped at while others cautiously observed from a safe distance.
Ahnika Dotts, an alumna and volunteer at the college’s station, said she brought the cockroaches for one reason. “Spooky Science Saturday,” she said.
Spooky, indeed — the cockroach is known to live for seven days after its head has been cut off.
It was just one of the fun facts hundreds of attendees learned at the free annual event, located on the grounds of Kingman Museum and the Leila Arboretum Society. The daylong program was part of National Make a Difference Day and promoted science, technology, engineering and math curriculum — or STEM — in Battle Creek area schools. Dozens of local organizations put on interactive stations, where children could learn about science through experiments and displays and wear their Halloween costumes a few days early at the same time.
The event was sponsored by Kingman Museum, Inc., the Leila Arboretum Society, the Salvation Army, HandsOn Battle Creek and the United Educational Credit Union. Sharon Ohm, a member of Kingman Museum’s board of directors and the activity chair for the event, said hundreds of other organizations provided financial support, including a $5,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation.
Participating organizations included the Endeavor Charter Academy, the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society and a local Girl Scouts troop. Volunteers from the Enquirer, which is owned by Gannett Co., also participated in the event.
Dotts said she began volunteering at the event after first attending as a student in 2009.
“I like to teach kids not to be scared, because a lot of the time parents can pass on the fear,” she said. “Most of the fear is just not knowing.”
More than 30 interactive stations were at the event, ranging from Michigan geology to fossils to invisible ink. Ohm said it’s the “spooky” part that gets the children interested in learning about science.
“It’s stuff that’s weird and eerie that attracts them to begin with,” she said, “but it also makes them ask ‘why?’ or ‘how come that happens?’ That takes some research and it takes looking into, and hopefully that will bring them back to learn from books and more about science.”
The event also asked for financial donations to help keep the event free in the future, Ohm said, and for educational equipment donations to Dudley School to support STEM education.
For some, the event has become a local tradition. William Comai, a retired orthopedic surgeon, brought his personal collection to the event — including fossils, petrified wood, mammoth teeth and carnivorous plants. Comai said he has been putting the items on display for Spooky Science Saturday since “forever.”
How did he build such an impressive collection? “Years of hard work,” he said.
Comai passed out dinosaur bone fragments to those who stopped by his station.
For Battle Creek resident Heather Wiley, bringing her three children to the event this year was a simple decision — the kids were able to learn about science in an interactive way. She has brought them to the event every year, she said.
“It’s educational and fun,” she said. “A lot of kids can learn this way better instead of listening someone just tell them about it.”