April 2020

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

BGSU names Regional Finalists of the 57th annual Ohio Junior Science & Humanities Symposium

The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) at BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development coordinated and implemented an online Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (OJSHS) to select the five regional finalists from Ohio to advance to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. NWO worked with the students, teachers and judges and implemented updated guidelines for students to present their original scientific research projects in an online presentation format, as the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. OJSHS is an annual event wherein students from all over the state of Ohio present their original scientific research projects to earn scholarships from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as an opportunity to compete in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium for additional scholarships.

The student regional finalists and the schools they represent from Ohio are listed as follows:

1st place: Aditi Kumari, Olentangy High School, “Investigating the Role of Thrombospondin-2 in Extracellular Matrix Formation and Fibroblast Migration in Diabetes”, awarded a $2,000 College Scholarship sponsored by the United States Amy, Navy and Air Force.

2nd place: Anya Razmi, Hathaway Brown High School, “Impact of Haltere Removal on Gravitational Perception and Takeoff in Dipteran Insects”, awarded a $1,500 College Scholarship sponsored by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force.

3rd place: Kavita Parikh, Ottawa Hills High School, “The Quest to Conquer Thermal Expansion: Non-hydrolytic sol-gel synthesis and characterization of Al 2-xInxW3O12 Negative Thermal Expansion Materials”, awarded a $1,000 College Scholarship sponsored by the United States Army, Navy and Air Force.

4th place: Nathan Mu, University School, “Developing EDTA-polymerized Cyclodextrin as a Drug-Delivering Polymer For Use in a Coronary Drug-Eluting Stent Coating”.

5th place: Shruthi Ravichandran, Hathaway Brown High School, “Site-Specific Delivery of Immune Agonists for Antitumoral Response of the Tumor Microenvironment”.

1st Alternate: Sohum Kapadia, University School, “Dimensions and Geometry of the Mitral and Tricuspid Valves in Normal and Diseased States”.

2nd Alternate: Dawei Liu, Sylvania Southview High School, “The Enhancement of Doxorubicin-Induced Apoptosis in U2OS Cells in the Presence of Hyperthermia”.

The top two regional delegates are invited to present their research in a virtual paper format at the 58th annual National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), which will be held virtually April 16-17th. The third, fourth and fifth place regional delegates are invited to present their research in a virtual poster format at the National JSHS during the same time.

A total of $192,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships is presented to the top three finalists in the National JSHS research paper competition in each of the subject categories.

  • Each of the 1st Place finalists receives $12,000
  • Each of the 2nd Place finalists receives $8,000
  • Each of the 3rd Place finalists receives $4,000

A cash award will be presented to the top finalists in the National JSHS research poster competition in each of the subject categories. For more information on the National JSHS, please visit: https://www.jshs.org/national-symposium/.

Also, each year an outstanding teacher is recognized as part of OJSHS. This year, Jeremy Nixon of Ottawa Hills High School was the selected as the recipient of the Colonel George F. Leist Distinguished Teacher Award for OJSHS 2020.

This award is presented each year to the teacher who has provided outstanding help and inspiration to their students. Mr. Nixon will receive a plaque to be displayed in his school and, through contributions from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, will be awarded $500 to purchase books, supplies and equipment for his school.

This award is named after Colonel George F. Leist. An Ohio native, Colonel Leist is the founder of the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

See www.ojshs.org for information on the Ohio program.

Community STEM in the NEWS

Local STEM Teacher leads Area Schools Help with Personal Protection Effort  


Jason Hubbard, a STEM teacher at Hull Prairie Intermediate in Perrysburg, and other local teachers have been 3D printing headbands with 3D printers that are designed to hold face shields for health care workers on the front lines.

As we have all learned in recent weeks, our local health care providers have a demonstrated need for personal protective equipment (PPE), mostly additional face shields. The teachers have committed to running 3D printers 24/7 to create 200+ headbands per week that will be distributed to local hospitals in northwest Ohio.

The CEO of Robex (Jon Parker) in Perrysburg heard about this effort and put machines from Robex and manpower behind the operation. We asked Mr. Hubbard how the effort began and he gave this enthusiastic response:

"It all started when a friend of the family named Kelly Vetter (who works for Promedica in therapy) (re)connected to a local maker Greg Huber who was printing a face shield design and donating them through this Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/252565389107927/).

I downloaded the design and asked Perrysburg to let me back in the school to begin printing them. After receiving permission to be in the school to print, I spent a couple days there to run off about 10 per day. I was able to get them in the hands of Kelly Vetter for her therapists and soon after, my inbox became flooded with tweets, Facebook messages, phone calls, texts, and emails of folks on the front lines caring for others who had very limited face protection or NONE at all.

Local friends and STEM teachers in Perrysburg, Springfield, Maumee, etc. began joining in the printing. By connecting with STEM advocates in our area, and an email chain a mile long, I was eventually contacted by the CEO of Robex LLC, Jon Parker. Jon was fantastic and said he was committed to channeling their resources at Robex toward the effort with the hopes of producing around 200 shields per week! I asked Jon if they would consider becoming a centralized hub for both dropoff of shields (by local makers/STEM folks) as well as an organized pickup for Promedica, Mercy, and other healthcare agencies.

Jon immediately sprang into action and repurposed employees to undertake this big job. It has been mind-blowing. I’m only able to print around a dozen a day from my home and have healthcare personnel and their family members doing pickups in my driveway daily, but Robex is really making the effort come together! All of the above came together in about 48-72 hours last week. Robex will take any printers that anyone is willing to loan in order to maximize shield production 24/7 at their hub.

This is a testimony to the 21st Century Learning Skills’ 4 C's (Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication) in action...REAL STEM in the REAL world. It has been an inspiration to my students, who continue to impress me with their design ideas and thoughts they are sending in. The stories that are daily stacking up of lives touched are too many to mention. When the dust clears from all this, we will see (and far beyond our little corner of NW Ohio too) that people really came together and loved and served one another in very unique ways".

To become involved, donate 3-D printers or request the shields for healthcare/first responder personnel, email Julia Parker at shields@robex.us.

twitter.com/greghuber - Greg was a BIG help!


STEM Opportunities

Carolina Biological Supply Company is committed to supporting parents, teachers, and school districts with learn-from-home resources during this challenging time. Explore the resources below for elementary and middle school students from Carolina’s Building Blocks of Science™ 3D, Innovators in Science, and Smithsonian Programs. https://www.wgbh.org/distance-learning-center
Ohio STEM Learning Network At-Home Resources
Battelle’s education team, which manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network, has pulled together a list of excellent education resources.


Toledo Zoo Virtual Field Trip

Looking for something fun for your child to pass the time at home? The Toledo Zoo is bringing the zoo to you! Our virtual learning experiences will connect you with educators and animal ambassadors here at the zoo through tours & classroom lessons. Children and family lessons come with a packet of activities to do at home. Register now at https://www.toledozoo.org/virtual

Programs will take place on the platform, Zoom, which is free to access here:https://zoom.us/

 You need an internet connection and a device to access Zoom

  • You will receive an email invite and link the day before the program to connect with the Toledo Zoo
  • This program will be about 20-30 minutes long with opportunities to ask questions to Zoo staff
  • Programs for multiple ages are available
  • The Zoo will not provide technical support before or during the program


Imagination Station Stay at Home Science

Visit Imagination Station's Stay at Home Science page. New experiments are added every week, so keep checking back!


National Science Foundation STEM Education Online Resources

This collection of online learning activities, tools, and tips has something for every grade level, and you can filter by discipline and grade levels: http://cadrek12.org/online-learning. These resources were developed by National Science Foundation-funded education researchers.


Girls Who Code at Home

In an effort to support the larger community, Girls Who Code has committed to creating and sharing weekly https://girlswhocode.com/code-at-home/ activities, free for download. Plus, each activity includes a feature of a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology.


STEMx Parent's Guide to STEM

The STEMx network released a new resource for parents as many families adjust to life at home. STEMx is a national coalition of state STEM organizations, also managed by Battelle.

The STEMx Parent's Guide to STEM offers more than 30 pages of research and interviews examining how to understand STEM education. This guide adapts the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative's Companion Book for Parents for a national audience. Members of the STEMx network and the national labs managed by Battelle also contributed.


Coronavirus Lesson

In this task, Why do we all have to stay home?, students and their families engage in the practice of Developing and Using Models and discussion to figure out how social distancing (and shelter in place) slows the spread of the coronavirus. This task comes from a coronavirus lesson designed to help young children talk about changes they've seen and heard about, learn how the coronavirus is spread, and take actions to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe. The complete lesson and collection of supporting resources can be found on the NSTA website.


PBS Interactive Lessons to Assign for Remote Learning

Use the links below to quickly access interactive lessons for remote learning. These lessons are self-contained and self-paced. https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/ilcoll/


Carolina Free Learning Resources

Carolina Biological Supply Company is committed to supporting parents, teachers, and school districts with learn-from-home resources during this challenging time. Explore the resources below for elementary and middle school students from Carolina’s Building Blocks of Science™ 3D, Innovators in Science, and Smithsonian Programs. https://www.wgbh.org/distance-learning-center


Online Teaching & Learning Support

WOSU Classroom has you covered with a series of free online professional learning opportunities, created in collaboration with the other Ohio EdTechs, aimed at helping educators master Google Apps like Classroom, Sites, and Forms, as well as other popular distance teaching tools.

The free series includes courses on:

  • Basics of Google for Education
  • Setting up Google Classroom
  • Google Arts & Culture
  • Google Classroom for Students
  • Google Drawing
  • Google Earth and Tour Builder
  • Google Forms: Creating A Short Quiz
  • Google on the iPad
  • Simple Sites
  • Using Google Meet for Instruction.


Ohio STEM Learning Network Start a Smile Challenge

Following on the incredible success of the "Name the Rover" essay contest, the national STEMx network offers a new opportunity for K-12 students, in partnership with Future Engineers. The "Start a Smile" challenge will highlight the creativity and commitment of young people. Students, your challenge is:


Submit your solutions here
Submit a photo and short essay (150 words or less) of your solution and be sure to follow the student privacy rules of NO FACES or NAMES in your photo or essay. Your invention could be physical, digital, visual, audible, low tech, or high tech, but it should only use items found around your home.

Entries will be taken through a new Future Engineers portal. This event is made possible by support from Battelle, the nonprofit research and development company which manages the STEMx network.


Grow Next Gen Virtual Farm Trip

Take your class on a virtual field trip to learn more about modern farming and connect with a real Ohio soybean farmer.

  • See the farmer in action!
  • Engage in a live video tour of soybean fields
  • Ride in a tractor and/or combine
  • Ask questions about planting, seed germination, management, and harvest
  • Discover the uses and benefits of Ohio soybeans
  • Understand the challenges farmers face and the decisions they must make
  • Learn about current topics like GMOs, water quality, and nutrient management



NWO STEM Activity

Spaghetti Anyone? Building with Pasta

This month's activity is brought to you NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

About the Experiment
To complete this lesson, students build the tallest freestanding structure they can that will support a marshmallow for at least 15 seconds. Though a marshmallow might not seem like a significant mass to support, students will find the challenge when they are constrained to using spaghetti sticks and tape. The same forces, like gravity and wind, that engineers have to take into consideration when working on Deep Space Network antennas come into play when building a spaghetti structure. In small groups, students will quickly brainstorm their ideas and discuss strengths and weaknesses. Once the group selects a design, they will need to build, test and redesign to make sure it is stable and can support the marshmallow, all within the time limit of 18 minutes.
What You Need
  • Uncooked, thick spaghetti
  • Marshmallows (full size)
  • Brown lunch sacks (optional)
  • 100 cm (1 m) of masking tape
  • Scissors (to cut spaghetti)
  • Science journal
  • Pencil
  • Meter stick or metric tape measure
  • Stopwatch
For the complete set of directions to this activity please visit the website at: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/activity/spaghetti-anyone/

Updated: 06/15/2021 10:13AM