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Upward Bound 25th Anniversary Celebration

Upward Bound at Montana Tech is 25 years old! And to celebrate, we are having a party! Current students will have a banquet featuring an alumni panel on Tuesday, July 2 at 5:30 PM, followed by a 7 PM reception for former students, staff and stakeholders.

Also this summer, TRIO Upward Bound (MTUB), Unite, and Montana Tech are teaming up to host the TRIO MTUB Scholars’ Summer Academy. Montana Tech provides office space, technology, and utilization of the residence halls and food service to host this exciting five week, pre-collegiate summer experience for 54 talented high school students from SW Montana who have historically been underserved in STEM. Upward Bound and Unite encourages students to pursue college majors and careers in engineering and other STEM-related fields through a program of focused hands-on rigorous academics, enrichment, and career exploration.


Twenty-two Butte High School Students have been accepted into Montana Tech’s new Unite summer program. Unite is a five-week, pre-collegiate summer experience for talented high school students from groups historically underserved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The scholars are; Aaliyah Andersch, Rhiannon Anderson, Mekia Best, Jessica Bleile, Amanda Brooks, Kazmyrn Criscoulo,  Kaden Dean, Alysa Deweert, Jordan Dupris, Kadden Littlefield, Madison Mckernan, Hogan O’Donnell, Sydney Olsen, Trevor Phillips, Katherine Radoicich, Taylor St. Pierre, Valerie Williams, Brenda Fode, Abbigale Pesanti, Penelopy Littlefield, and Ashley Maloney.

 As one of 18 host sites nationwide, Montana Tech will have a total of 54 students working with faculty on campus this summer. The summer program is funded by a grant from the Army Educational Outreach Program. Unite encourages students to pursue college majors and careers in engineering and other STEM-related fields through a program of focused hands-on rigorous academics, enrichment, and career exploration.

 Staff members from Montana Tech’s Institute for Educational Opportunities identify and recruit students from Butte, Anaconda, and Helena into the program. “We offer a program that encourages the scholars to pursue college majors and careers in engineering and other STEM-related fields through a program of focused hands-ion rigorous academics, enrichment, and career exploration,” noted Amy Verlanic, “We are pleased to see such a high number of local Butte students accepted into the program.  ”Executive Director of Montana Tech’s Institute for Educational Opportunities.    

From June 17 through July 18, the students will spend four hours/day conducting research with Montana Tech faculty members and the remainder of their time in the classroom learning. On Friday, July 19, students will present their research findings and poster at a mini-symposium in the Montana Tech HPER.

 The sponsoring Montana Tech faculty members and their course descriptions are as follows: 

·         Montana Tech Assistant Professor Joel Graff will instruct students on ecosystems.  In the Graff lab, students will be building and monitoring small-scale ecosystems with the goal of producing a crop for harvest

 ·         CFWEP Program Director, Rayelynn Brandl, and Chris Doyle, Program Coordinator for the Institute for Educational Opportunities, will explore the CFWEP Summer Unite Beaver Mimicry project. This project engages students in learning about overall watershed health, specifically as related to global climate change and water storage. 

 ·         Montana Tech Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Bryce Hill will teach students about Audio Digital Signal Processing.. In this research, students will record audio sounds use MATLAB software to learn to code schemes to manipulate those signals. Students will make musical recordings as well as analyze the signals incorporated into the sounds they record.

 ·         Associate Professor, Stella Capoccia, will help young scientists develop their interests as naturalists, particularly as it relates to vertebrates in Montana. Students in this section will learn the basics of Montana’s wildlife and understand the different habitat unique to this region.

 ·         Environmental Engineering Department Head and Assistant Professor Katherine Zodrow and Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Dario Prieto’s project aims to identity local sources of biomass (wood, grasses, pinecones, etc.) that could be used to adsorb soil and water pollutants typical to the area. Students will learn the basics of material sampling, leaching from rocks, and adsorption.

 ·         Metallurgical Engineering Department Head and Professor, Jerry Downey, and David Hutchins will help students explore the real-world challenges of keeping mining waste safely out of surface waters via plastic encapsulation. This project will include all phases of the research including field sampling, polymer material science, environmental engineering, and analytical chemistry.

 For more information, please visit https://www.institute.mtech.edu/upward-bound-1The Upward Bound Math and Science program is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students. The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in math and science and to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science, and ultimately careers in the math and science profession.

Program services include: summer programs with intensive math and science training; year-round counseling and advisement; exposure to university faculty members who do research in mathematics and the sciences; computer training; and participant-conducted scientific research under the guidance of faculty members or graduate students, who are serving as mentors; education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students; and programs and activities previously mentioned that are specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students who are in foster care or are aging out of foster care system or other disconnected students.



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Montana Tech
Health Science Building 203
1300 West Park
Butte, MT 59701
Fax: (406) 496-4696