April 2022

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

38th Annual Women in STEM Held at BGSU

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Over 335 students from northwest Ohio middle schools attended the 38th annual Women in STEM program on April 12th at Bowling Green State University.

The theme of the event was “Invest in our Planet” with a focus on the earth. Students spent the day exploring and performing experiments and hands-on activities in psychology, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, and technology as they learned about the STEM fields and what STEM has to offer in high school and beyond. BGSU STEM faculty along with presenters from a wide range of STEM professions offered breakout sessions and hands-on workshops throughout the day.

The day began with a keynote presentation from Diana Patton, a local author, attorney, and motivational speaker.

One student stated, “Women in STEM really opened my eyes to the opportunities and jobs I could do in STEM. I loved the fun activities that we did!”

Workshop session titles included: Chemists Celebrate Earth Week 2022: “The Buzz about Bugs: Insect Chemistry”, Ohio’s Wildlife Timeline, Water Quality Testing Student Watershed Watch, and Sheep Brain Dissection”.

When asked about her perception of the impact of the event, one presenter stated, “One of the best days of my year. I thoroughly enjoy working with the girls and supporting this event!”

Another one of the over seventy presenters stated, “From my experience, “Women in STEM” plays a significant role in developing students’ interest in and identity as scientists and engineers not only by exposing them to a variety of career options but by providing in-person experiences with STEM careers. It makes learning fun, accessible and provides students with real-life applications for STEM.”

The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development (NWO) annually organizes the event. NWO is a partnership with area universities, K-12 schools, and community organizations that have a mission to advance STEM education for people of all ages. Sponsors for the 38th annual Women in STEM program were BGSU, The Anderson’s, Lubrizol, PPG, and NWO.

Susan Stearns of NWO stated, "Women in STEM is a program that showcases careers in the STEM fields, demonstrating to students it's achievable to major in STEM fields in high school and college. We are thrilled to hold this event every year, demonstrating to this age group a rewarding career in STEM is more than possible."

For more information and photos of the event, please see the website at: https://www.bgsu.edu/nwo/programs/women-in-stem.html

Community STEM in the NEWS

Battelle funding STEM grants for local schools

‘You will be surprised what these kids can do on technology’

By Dean Brown - dbrown@limanews.com

LIMA — The Ohio STEM Learning Network will reach 51,000 Ohio students through grants funded by Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus. Locally, Shawnee Elmwood Elementary received two grants. Also receiving grants in the area were Spencerville Middle School and Ottawa-Glandorf High School.

Sara Bonifas, Elmwood kindergarten teacher, explained that right now our technology for our students is a Chrome book. The students are required to use the mouse pad to drag and click items. In kindergarten they don’t really have the hand-eye coordination nor the fine motor skills to be able to do that well, Bonifas said. Students are used to using Mom or Dad’s phone, tablets and things like that, which are all touchscreen.

Bonifas said, “So what I wanted for the grant is touchscreen technology. Just to take away the obstacle of the mouse pad. I will continue using the same websites, a lot of STEM websites where they build things. But it will just be easier for them to be able to move items across the screen on a touchscreen tablet.”

Jamie Meredith, a second-grade teacher, shared that her proposal was actually student-generated. “I actually had a student come to me concerned with the amount of waste that was being thrown away in the cafeteria at the end of lunchtime.” Her proposal was a grant for composting. The second-graders are going to start a composting club. They will be using tablets to analyze data. Students reach out to engineers with the data who will help build a compost bin for the school. Elmwood has three gardens currently at the school, and students are going to use the compost to fertilize the gardens around the school.

“You will be surprised what these kids can do on technology. They can actually set up a Google meet, so they can virtually talk to people in the community. So they will reach out to engineers that way. They know how to set up a slide presentation so they can go into other classrooms in the building and present the project to them up on the screen. Iit’s pretty wild what they’re capable of if you give them the opportunity,” said Meredith.

The teachers said the grant process was easy for them. The past superintendent, Jim Knable was able to take their ideas and then gather all the other pertinent information from the district as far as the demographics. He submitted the proposals.

Spencerville Middle school has a STEM Club. The club invites seventh- and eighth-graders with an interest in science. STEM club offers its members a great place to take initiative and discover engineering through the engagement of hands-on projects. The grant will be used for materials, maybe a 3-D printer to enhance student projects.

“Our focus is hands-on projects which go above and beyond the curriculum. Our goal is to introduce our students to a variety of STEM fields and inspire them to look into different careers,” said Rachel Munshower, science teacher.

Ottawa-Glandorf High School will use the grant to enhance the E-Technology class taught by Justin Closson and Cody Vennekotter. The grant will pay for drone parts, laser cutters and flight controller boards. Students will build and fly drones as part of a class assignment.

STEM Opportunities

Ignite STEM Camp

Bowling Green State University | June 25-July 1 and July 25-29

Students who will be in 3rd to 5th grade in the fall of 2022 are invited to attend the Ignite STEM Camp the week of June 25th -July 1st. With 6th to 8th grades being invited to the camp the week of July 25th -29th.

A fun-filled, week-long camp at BGSU, students will engage in thought-provoking experiences about teamwork, problem-solving, and the connections between STEM and the real world. They will get to know other students around the state, build connections and engage in fun mathematical and problem-solving activities. The camp curriculum aligns with the Ohio Learning Standards for Mathematics in fun and exciting activities.

  • The date of Ignite Math Camp for this summer is June 25th- July 1st and July 25th-29th
  • The camp is a week-long, the camp goes from 8:00 am till 4:30 pm daily. With before and aftercare provided for an additional cost of $15.
  • The cost of the camp is $150 per camper. This includes lunch on one of the days and all materials necessary for the camp.
  • Students will participate in specially-designed tasks that encourage STEM thinking, teamwork, and critical thinking
  • If students have any dietary restrictions, please reach out to the email provided below. Enrollment is limited to 45 students for each camp. If you have questions about the camp, please reach out to Camp Coordinator hherrer@bgsu.edu

Ohio STEM Learning Network Design Challenge

This year’s challenge invites students to consider how they can improve their school, community, or world by reimagining an existing physical space, system, product, or service so that it is more equitable, accessible, or efficient. Through the challenge, students build skills in thinking, analyzing, ideating, and creating solutions to real-world problems.

Please make sure to complete the registration form at our portal: https://designchallenge.osln.org/The deadline is April 21.

MMetroParks of Toledo Outdoor Expo!

Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. | Side Cut Metropark. 1025 W. River Rd. Maumee, OH

Discover Your Outdoor Passion
Mobile Rock Climbing Wall • Tree Climbing • Archery • Kayaking • Stand Up Paddleboarding • Mountain Biking • Kidz Zone • and much more

Metroparks outdoor skills experts will be on hand to guide you as you discover your next outdoor passion – regardless of ability. This is an inclusive event and staff are trained and ready to make accommodations. Adaptive equipment will be readily available.

For more information visit MetroparksToledo.com

Click here to download a flyer (pdf)

Education Project’s Crystals, Candy and Clinker Workshop

Sat., May 14, 9 am to 4 pm | Sylvania, OH

This workshop will introduce teachers of middle school science, Chemistry, Earth Science/Geology, and Environmental Science to materials sciences. A review of nine labs will help students see various applications of materials in everyday life.

Participants will hear from industry experts about careers and real-world applications during lunch. All participants will receive a materials science classroom kit ($250 value) and .7 CEUs, as well as the opportunity to apply for replacement supplies through a kit grant option.

Addresses standards in chemistry, physical science, environmental science, and physical geology. Register now; spots are limited!

Click here to register!

OSLN Computer Science Professional Development From elementary to AP, teachers can learn to teach Computer Science in Ohio

Join the 2022-2023 cohort of Ohio teachers as they prepare to become computer science educators. We offer experiences for all grade levels. Educators will explore the Code.org curriculum and tools for teaching and learning computer science standards, engage in teaching strategies targeting the development of computational thinking, and connect with a community of computer science teachers. The priority deadline for all four programs is May 6, 2022.

OSLN Travel Grant Program

Travel costs can prove an insurmountable barrier for many educators who want to learn, especially those from rural communities. This summer, Ohio STEM Learning Network is proud to offer new support to help bridge that gap.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grant Program supports educators interested in attending professional learning programs and student-centered events delivered by OSLN. The aim of this grant program is to assist educators with travel and/or lodging costs associated with these events.


Citizen Science Month

April is Citizen Science Month.

Join the celebration by collecting data, analyzing results, and helping scientists solve real-world problems. Visit the websites below to find out how to take part in NASA science.



Girls Who Code FREE Virtual Summer Programs 

Girls Who Code empowers students to learn, connect and make an impact through free, virtual Summer Immersion Program and Self-Paced Program. Girls Who Code’s summer programs are for current high school students. All experience levels are welcome and encouraged to apply! 

Programs are available June 17–Aug.12, 2022

For more information: visit Girls Who Code

NWO STEM Activity

Finding Animals Using Science Tools

This month's activity was brought to you by WGTE PBS Learning media https://wgte.pbslearningmedia.org

This lesson has four phases

Let’s Be Curious

  • I wonder…What tools does Elinor use to find and study animals?
  • Observe pictures from a digital game to discover some tools scientists use.

Let’s Plan

  • Let’s research by observing pictures from the game and collecting data, or information, in our Science Notebook.

Let’s Explore

  • Let’s observe pictures from “Elinor’s Nature Adventure” to research our question.
  • Record data.

Let’s Share

  • Scientists talk about what they learn when they research.

Learning Goals

This lesson will help children to:

  • Build early research and media literacy skills.

        - View media with a purpose for learning.

        - Record and talk about their learning from media.

        - Talk about what they learned from media using science words.

  • Understand that you can learn from playing digital games.
  • Know that science tools help us find and study animals.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Science Notebook pages (T-Chart and Plants printable)
  • Writing tools (crayons, markers, pencils)
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Storytelling cut-outs (from “Comparing Plants: Storytelling Set”)

Click here to download the full activity (pdf)

Updated: 04/15/2022 01:15PM