August 2022

What’s happening at NWO?

NWO to host 2nd Annual BioBlitz BG!

Together with partners, BG Park & Recreation, the Toledo Zoo, & Xcite Learning, the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) will hold a 2nd annual “BioBlitz BG” event on a natural habitat prairie for local students from Bowling Green and Washington Local Schools.

“BioBlitz BG” will be held at Wintergarden Park and teaches participants how to observe nature and be active citizen scientists to help preserve local natural habitats. During this event, students will document as many living organisms as possible (both plants and animals) encountered in the Wintergarden Park prairie. The event will culminate with a recorded tally of all the organisms the students encountered during the BioBlitz. The student-collected data will then be uploaded to the iNaturalist platform, a learning application dedicated to citizen science and inquiry-based discoveries in nature that is useful for scientific data collection and conservation.

Students will also participate in the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation of the Environment) Program by observing clouds and measuring air, surface, and soil temperatures to compare prairie habitats. These data will be uploaded to the GLOBE Program database and shared with scientists who use GLOBE data to better monitor the earth.

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Perrysburg Students Conduct Research at Stone Laboratory

Perrysburg Junior High School’s Girls STEM Club took a field trip to Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory at Gibraltar Island, with funding from the Perrysburg Schools Foundation.

The students saw glacial grooves illustrating how the Great Lakes were formed and how changes occur over time. They had an opportunity to search for macroinvertebrates in the lake to test Lake Erie's water quality and learned about the different types of fish that live in Lake Erie. The team then studied the anatomy and physiology of larger organisms like perch and walleye. Finally, the students joined in on action research aboard the research vessel, Gibraltar III, where the students took part in gathering water samples with phytoplankton and zooplankton, which they were then able to study under microscopes.

The students, along with their teachers were excited to engage in the opportunity.

Community STEM in the NEWS

NWO Holds First Innovative Educator Summit


The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at Bowling Green State University (NWO) and the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) hosted a day-long event focusing on the counties of Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Putnam and Van Wert in the southern region of northwest Ohio.

Participants explored resources, events and STEM education initiatives from NWO as well as OSLN resources, grants and programs. Through the generous support of the State of Ohio, the summit was held at no cost to the over 60 participants.

The day began with the introduction of the question: How can OSLN and ODE support the creative and innovative work being done in your classroom and school?

Participants were asked to put their creative and innovative ideas to the test by forming groups and working on a mini-design challenge to design a water bottle sticker. This lesson was designed to allow educators to immediately implement it in their classroom as a way to engage students in the design thinking process.

Mitch Magdich, Curator of Education from the Toledo Zoo, presented information on the Wild Toledo Prairie Initiative Project PRAIRIE (PRAiries that InvigoRate Inquiry LEarning), an inquiry-based education program that trains students and their teachers to use native prairie habitats for citizen science projects that contribute to a larger body of global research to make a difference in the natural world.

Other speakers included Sandy Guinto, STEM Relationship Manager at OSLN and

Janna Mino, STEM Education Program Specialist with the Ohio Department of Education, who spoke about the STEM school designation process. Also, the OSLN Design Challenge for 2022-23 was announced with the theme of “STEM Secures Ohio”, a challenge which asks students to Identify a focus and develop a plan, product or system that provides or improves security for someone or something.

For more information, please see:

STEM Opportunities

Women in STEM at BGSU Call for Presenters

NWO will resume the fall date for Women in STEM on November 1, 2022, and seeks STEM professionals to present hands-on, inquiry based workshops and presentations for 6th – 8th grade students.

Please see the NWO website for more information and to register as a presenter for this impactful and engaging program:

MetroParks Toledo BUGFEST

Saturday August 27th • 10am – 2pm

Experience the incredible, unforgettable BUGMAN show along with other community partners to entertain, educate and amaze everyone with all things bugs!

This program is for all ages, and includes bug videos, live demonstrations, and an observation station.

For more information, please see:

STEM Rural Ohio Fellowship

Educators know that learning is at its best when students can find a personal connection to their work. The year-long STEM Rural Ohio Fellowship uses a cohort model to help members learn about, reflect upon, and inform their local STEM educational landscape. Through the study of place-based learning, teachers will develop targeted solutions that build upon local resources and address current challenges within their own communities.

Focus areas:
Place-based Learning, Community Partnerships, Teacher Supports, STEM Integration, Family Engagement

Strategies and outcomes:

  • Connect your teaching practice to local needs in STEM by creating a new place-based unit built around your region
  • Get support by joining a cohort of peers within your region to support each other and promote local place-based learning
  • Connect students to local jobs and local STEM opportunities by building key local contacts for STEM learning within your community

Deadline: The 2022-2023 cohort is limited to 30 participants. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2022 or until the cohort is filled. Participants will be notified on or before October 10, 2022. 

Click here for more information

Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative

The NWO STEM Collaborative aims to connect with area STEM community members, educators, and administrators interested and invested in STEM education to share resources, methods, and ideas to enhance STEM instruction.

The STEM Collaborative encourages participants to learn from peers and local experts and grow as active STEM community members

Date: September 15, 2022

Time:  3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Location: Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, 2275 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, Ohio 43620

Cost: Free

Questions: Please contact Natalie Crotte with any questions regarding the NWO STEM Collaborative.

Registration: Please use the button below to register. Contact Lisa Peluso with any questions regarding registration.

Upcoming sessions will be held at the ESC of Lake Erie West from 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm on November 17, and at BGSU's Levis Commons Campus (Perrysburg) on January 19, and March 16

SESSION 1 Registration September 15

The Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grants

OSLN is pleased to announce a new grant opportunity for K-12 STEM classrooms in Ohio.

The goal of the grant program is to foster the creation of new, sustainable STEM education programming in classrooms by investing directly in K-12 teachers and administrators. Thanks to philanthropic funding from Battelle, educators can now apply through the Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grant Program for up to $5,000.

Projects should align to one of the following focus areas:

  • Community Problem Solving
  • STEM Career Exploration
  • Building STEM Mindsets
  • Design Thinking and Security

Deadline: October 10 see OSLN website for more information:

NASA GLOBE Land Cover Challenge 2022

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program invites educators and their students to document current land cover in your area and to help identify evidence of land cover or land use change. Use the GLOBE Observer app to submit photos of the landscape around you, especially places that have changed (or where change is coming), and add field notes about the reasons or timing for that change. 

Those who contribute 25 observations between July 26 and Aug. 26, will receive a digital Landsat image of one observation. Contribute 50 or more observations to receive Landsat commemorative materials in the mail.

Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grants

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grant Programs supports educators interested in attending professional learning program 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.

Applications close on a monthly basis. Apply here.

NWO STEM Activity

Sunscreen Handprints

This month's activity was brought to you by NASA Space Place:

Find more fun activities at

The sun is a big ball of energy that constantly sends heat and visible light toward Earth. This keeps our planet warm and comfortable for living things. But the sun also sends energy toward Earth in the form of ultraviolet light.

You will need:

  • Construction paper (red or green work best)
  • Sunscreen (a brand that is at least SPF 30 and doesn’t contain metal oxides works best)
  • Rocks or other small, heavy objects
  • A sunny spot outside

What to do:

  1. Open the sunscreen and squirt a pea-sized amount onto your hand.
  2. Rub the sunscreen all over the palms of your hands and the surfaces of your fingers. Don’t rub it in so much that the sunscreen all absorbs into your skin. You should still barely see the thin layer of sunscreen on your hands.
  3. Place your hands firmly on the construction paper. Be sure to press down all of your fingers and the palms of your hands.
  4. Place the piece of construction paper outside in a sunny spot. Make sure that the spot you choose will have constant sunlight for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Place a small rock on each corner of the sheet of paper. This will prevent the paper from blowing away in the wind.
  6. Leave the paper out in the sun for 3 to 4 hours.
  7. After the long wait is over, go outside and look at your paper. You should notice that the sun’s UV rays have faded the color of the paper. However, the areas that were protected from UV rays by the sunscreen still have the original bold color.

Click here to download directions with images (pdf)

Updated: 09/14/2022 01:40PM