December 2021

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

­Artist + student collaboration at McKinley STEMM Academy to be displayed in downtown Toledo


From Ohio STEM Learning Blog

“As an administrator, it is important to allow teachers to take risks,” says Christina Ramsey, principal at McKinley STEMM Academy. Not all risks pan out. But when a project comes together: “that is truly where the magic happens,” she says. Students at the academy, part of Toledo Public Schools, recently benefited from collaborations with two out-of-state professional artists who visited the academy and conducted workshops with students. To find out more about the collaborations and the artwork that was produced, we contacted Ramsey and McKinley art teacher Erin Clinton:

Q: Tell us about McKinley STEMM Academy and how it fosters STEMM education. Is there a unique approach toward STEMM at the academy?

STEMM Academy is an urban community school that serves 275 students, of which 80 percent are minorities and 100 percent are on free/reduced-priced lunch programming. The mission of McKinley STEMM Academy is to provide innovative experiences in STEMM to cultivate lifelong learning and to help students become critical problem solvers in the 21st century.

We believe that all students learn differently and that by offering a STEMM project-based learning (PBL) curriculum that allows differentiation through the various learning styles, all of our students can show success in their academics as well as have opportunities to engage in STEMM-related concepts that will generate interest in STEMM-related college or career paths.

McKinley STEMM Academy has an additional “m” that stands for “medicine.” ProMedica, a northwest Ohio healthcare system, has been a dedicated partner with Toledo Public Schools for years and provided funding for our STEMM catalyst lab as well as for a mural that will be painted on our playground.

At McKinley STEMM, we are always looking for ways to engage our community in our PBL projects, and our students are in frequent contact with experts such as artists, doctors, scientists, etc., to find answers to their driving questions.

Q: How does the school’s art curriculum fit in with STEMM lessons?

A: Art and music are embedded in our PBLs and the STEMM curriculum throughout all grades. Our specialists meet regularly with our general education teachers during teacher team meetings to plan PBLs that incorporate the arts.

In art, students have the opportunity to create, design, engineer, think critically, and reflect on what they know and/or have learned about in their core classes. Art class provides an opportunity for students to naturally create a public product, which is a huge component of the PBL curriculum.

Click here to read the full story!

Community STEM in the NEWS

Falcon BEST robotics competition at BGSU showcases future robotics engineers

Northwestern Ohio high schools compete in ninth annual event at University

By Bob Cunningham ’18

Bowling Green State University hosted its ninth annual Falcon BEST robotics competition on Nov. 6 at Perry Field House.

The event — the only one of its kind in Ohio, Indiana or Michigan — featured high school student-led teams who were challenged to design a remote-controlled robot, ultimately competing against one another at Falcon BEST — Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology.

Those teams also were judged on their marketing presentation, project engineering notebook, team entrepreneurship interview and additional categories such as video and website design and robot modeling.

More than 150 students from northwestern Ohio high schools competed in a sports-like atmosphere on the Bowling Green campus. Last year’s competition was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Falcon BEST returned to an in-person event this year, teams had to follow protocols, which included limiting the number of fans per team member at Perry Field House and wearing face coverings.

Maumee Valley Country Day School of Toledo was the Falcon BEST overall winner, followed by Eastwood of Pemberville in second place and Wayne Trace of Haviland in third place.

“In spite of the challenges we have been facing for the last couple of years, we are so glad that we were able to host an in-person event this year,” said Resmi KrishnankuttyRema, Falcon BEST hub director and assistant teaching professor in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering. “All the teams’ participants appreciated an opportunity to compete in-person, build the robots and get the hands-on experience this competition is known for.

Click here to read the full story!

What's Happening at NWO?

AmeriCorps Project

NWO is collaborating on a new AmeriCorps grant through Serve Ohio, called Project TOPSS (Toledo Partners for Student Success). TOPSS Partners include four non-profit organizations: Partners in Education, Junior Achievement, Tutor Smart, and Read for Literacy. Eleven Members are currently serving with these TOPSS partners, including seven BGSU students. Members serve part-time hours on-site at the partner locations assisting with education event planning, tutoring, mentoring, and classroom programming for K-12 students in the Toledo area. 

AmeriCorps unites communities through service and is committed to bridging divides by bringing people together. AmeriCorps projects connect individuals and organizations to help communities tackle their toughest challenges. The TOPSS project focuses on educational initiatives and K-12 students with an emphasis on literacy tutoring and mentoring in academics as well as social-emotional aspects and college/career readiness conversations. The TOPSS members are making a difference in our surrounding Toledo neighborhoods and directly impacting students' lives through their service.

STEM Opportunities

Women in STEM at BGSU - Call for Presenters!

Tuesday, April 12th

We invite you to facilitate a hands-on session (45 minutes) for a group of 15-20 students to highlight a STEM topic and/or career in order to instill awareness, excitement, and passion for STEM disciplines!

The goal of the Women in STEM program at BGSU is to provide a rewarding experience for 6th - 8th-grade girls that connects STEM education to the real world and sparks an interest in pursuing STEM majors in high school and beyond and ultimately STEM careers.

Women in STEM provides young women with a positive experience at BGSU and offers them a variety of engaging hands-on activities that allows them the opportunity to learn and interact with a wide variety of successful STEM role models. 

The day will begin with a keynote presentation followed by breakout sessions that provide hands-on, fun-filled, critical thinking/learning activities. Women in STEM will help young women recognize the wide array of options available in STEM fields, inspiring them to take classes in the STEM fields throughout their educational careers.   

There will be groups of approximately 15 -20 girls with adult supervision in each break-out session. Sessions should include innovative and creative hands-on activities that are fun-filled and engaging. We would like to foster a collaborative growth-minded atmosphere in the breakout sessions that gives students opportunities to interact with one another and YOU as a STEM academic/career role model. 

We rely on the support of our presenters and volunteers like you in order to continue to provide this unique experience for this age group of girls. We are thrilled to host the 38th annual Women in STEM program at BGSU and look forward to your participation!

We invite submission of proposals for presentations at the 2022 Women in STEM on Tuesday, April 12th at Bowling Green State University. 

We provide classroom and/or lab space, AV equipment, and support.

The deadline to register is March 16th, 2022.

We are certainly grateful for your consideration in partnering with NWO to host this meaningful event! Please contact: with any questions.

Please be advised that if necessary, the planned in-person event may switch to a virtual format.

Registration link:

NWO STEM Collaborative

The NWO STEM Collaborative aims to connect, share, learn and grow knowledgeable networking within the local STEM community, while providing high-quality STEM opportunities for K-12 students in Northwest Ohio. 

Upcoming Sessions:

  • Session 3 - February 10, 2022
  • Session 4 - April 7, 2022

Time: 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

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

Contact: Please contact Lori Bolone with any questions.

Ag is STEM: Teaching Science Through Agricultural Systems

Friday, Jan. 21, 8 am - noon


Learn how to integrate agricultural concepts into science courses related to life and environmental sciences! 

Come work with Ohio State University faculty to learn about agricultural concepts and how you can integrate them into ecology-related lessons to meet Next Generation and Ohio science content standards. See how agricultural concepts connect with your science courses related to life and environmental sciences. 

For questions about the workshops, feel free to contact Dr. Alex Lindsey by phone (614-292-3864) or by email (

Teacher Campus Free PD

These courses are open to both educators and childcare providers, completely free of charge, and participants who complete all 4 courses in the series will receive a pack of children's books! Participants much register for each course individually and those who wish to receive their Ohio-Approved hours for the courses must also register for the course on in addition to registering on Full details are available at

12/16 - 1,2,3 Counting Skills: Math Skills & Play with Preschoolers

12/20 - Social Awareness with Drawing with Mr. J

1/04 - Google Slides: More than a presentation

1/04 - Problem Solved! Hands-on Pre-K Math Experiences

Imagination Station

Virtual Tinkering Workshops - these hands-on, in-depth workshops take place with our Extreme Scientists virtually and from the comfort of your own home! 

Think Tank Workshops - craving a deeper dive into science? The Think Tank workshops are small group, in-person workshops at Imagination Station.

Army Educational Outreach Program

Virtual STEM Competition for grades 6-9

Identifying community problems through hypothesis, research, and experimentation.

Lunabotics Junior Contest

NASA and Future Engineers are challenging young innovators to help design a new robot concept for an excavation mission on the Moon. The Lunabotics Junior Contest is open to K-12 students in U.S. public and private schools, as well as home-schoolers. Entries are due Jan. 25, 2022

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries free PBL Unit

Developed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, this project-based learning unit engages students in an authentic study of the science and issues surrounding Southern Resident Killer Whales, a critically endangered species found in the Pacific Northwest. The interdisciplinary, standards-based unit has nine lessons and activities through which students explore the cultural, economic, and ecological importance of Southern Residents; make connections between individual actions and watershed health; understand the limitations and benefits to different types of action, and acknowledge the power of youth for driving change to help protect them.

NWO STEM Activity

Moon Leap

This month's activity brought to you by girlstart

How high could you jump on the Moon? Combine your knowledge of math and science to calculate your official “Moon leap” potential!


  • SCI 6.11 A: The student is expected to describe the physical properties, locations, and movements of the sun, planets, moons, meteors, asteroids, and comets.
  • SCI 6.11 B: The student is expected to understand that gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system.
  • SCI 3.6 C: The student is expected to observe forces such as magnetism and gravity acting on objects.


  • Paper
  • Pencil or marker
  • Ruler
  • Tape

How To:

  1. Tape a sheet of poster board, or multiple sheets of printer paper, on a wall. The bottom part of the poster/paper should be level with your head, while the top part of the poster/paper should be higher than the tips of your fingers on outstretched arms when you jump into the air.
  2. Stand facing the poster/paper on the wall, holding a pencil or marker.
  3. Reach your hand over your head, as high as you can, and make a mark on the paper. This is your starting point.
  4. Take a small step back (no running starts!), bend your knees and jump as high as you can, making a mark on the paper with your marker at the highest point.
  5. Measure the distance between your starting mark and your jumping mark. This is how high you jumped. Write down your measurement.
  6. Multiply your jump measurement by six. That is how high you can jump on the Moon!

STEM Explanation:

Were you surprised how high you would be able to jump if you traveled to the Moon? The current world record for “Highest Standing Jump” is held by Christopher Spell, who can jump 5.83 feet on Earth. On the Moon, Christopher would be able to jump over 34 feet into the air! Cougars can jump 19.6 feet on Earth… on the Moon, this feline species could scale a distance of over 117 feet!

Why can we jump so high on the moon? It’s because of gravity. Gravity is a force that pulls things towards each other. It’s one of the reasons we don’t fall off the Earth! When you jump on Earth, Earth’s gravity pulls you back to the ground. The force of gravity on Earth is higher than the force of gravity on the Moon, though. When you jump on the Moon, there is not as much gravity pulling you down, so you’re able to get much higher in the air! What do you think it would be like to walk on the Moon? What would it be like to play basketball, soccer, or another sport?

Career Connection:

Physicists study the natural world, from the tiniest subatomic particles to the largest galaxies. They do experiments to discover the laws of nature. They study what things are made of (matter) and how things behave. They also learn about energy, studying how it changes from one form to another.


Click here to download a pdf

Updated: 12/15/2021 09:54AM