January 2021

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

2019-2020 Teacher of the Year for Springfield Schools

The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU (NWO) congratulates Kristy DiSalle, a 4th-grade teacher at Dorr Elementary of Springfield Local Schools, for being named the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year for Springfield Schools. Kristy is a frequent partner in STEM education grant projects and initiatives with NWO and received multiple nominations from her colleagues who stated she offers much to the district and teaching profession, describing her as a leader, mentor, and Master Teacher with the following attributes:

  • Her knowledge of best practices in science education has been shared throughout the state of Ohio.
  • She helped secure certification for Dorr Elementary as a “Project Wild” school site.
  • Students have a greater understanding of how important it is to protect wildlife and natural resources because of her.
  • Thanks to her, in conjunction with the Toledo Zoo, Dorr students now participate in the Monarch Watch program.
  • She introduced Dorr’s Prairie as a living outdoor science lab.
  • Her students go into her classroom excited for an engaging science lesson.
  • She has instilled citizen science research skills in the hearts of the hundreds of children she has taught over her many years in education.


Community STEM in the NEWS

New leader of the Ohio Afterschool Network talks plans, priorities, and STEM 

Posted on Ohio STEM Learning Network website

The challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic for everyone involved in traditional PreK-12 schooling in Ohio – including administrators, teachers, students, and parents – have been well-documented in the news media. But what about those who run after school programs? How have these educators fared during the past 10 months? Some have considered this difficult period as an opportunity for change and growth, says Michele Ritchlin. The recently appointed executive director of the Ohio Afterschool Network, which is based in Delaware, says her organization continues to reach out to students and their families to provide many kinds of assistance. To find out more, we posed some questions to Ritchlin, who told us about her organization and its recent efforts:

Read the full story on the OSLN website at https://osln.org/2021/01/new-leader-of-the-ohio-afterschool-network-talks-plans-priorities-and-stem/


STEM Opportunities

Ohio Junior Science & Humanities Symposium March 11-12, 2021  

JSHS is a Tri-Service - U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force −program that encourages high school students to conduct original research in the STEM fields. JSHS is a collaborative effort between the research arm of the Department of Defense and nationwide colleges and universities. JSHS aims to prepare and support students to contribute as future scientists and engineers, conducting STEM research on behalf of or directly for the Department of Defense (DoD), federal research laboratories to help advance the nation's scientific and technological progress. Registration for OJSHS to take place virtually from the campus of Bowling Green State University is now OPEN!

Registration is now OPEN: https://cvent.me/AxDlmW 


Believe in Ohio

The Believe in Ohio program has online STEM Professional Development Workshop Opportunities for STEM and Business/Economics teachers. Believe in Ohio provides the program curriculum in a Google Classroom for teachers. These workshops will familiarize teachers with the concepts of entrepreneurship and design-thinking ideation by engaging teachers in the resources to utilize with students to develop a STEM business or commercialization plan. Through this process of engagement, the workshop will provide instruction and activities to increase teachers' conceptual knowledge of the entrepreneurial mindset, design-thinking, and the relationship between STEM and innovation. For more information, contact: Jenna Pollock: jpolloc@bgsu.edu and the website at: www.BelieveinOhio.org.


RemotEDx Exchange

The RemotEDx Exchange, powered by INFOhio, is now available to parents and educators looking for easy access to all the supports, services, and resources available through RemotEDx. This includes assistance from the Connectivity Champions, powered by the Management Council and from the Support Squad Concierge Team offered by Ohio’s Educational Service Centers. The Exchange showcases high-quality, remote education tools and platforms, standards-aligned instructional materials and curricula, use-case scenarios and exemplars, and professional learning supports for remote, hybrid, and blended learning environments. https://remotedx.infohio.org/


FREE Virtual Math Teacher PD Opportunity Fall 2021

The 2021 sessions will be virtual and are FREE* and open to K - 12 math teachers and college faculty/staff in northwest Ohio.

Participants will receive:

  • Great professional development.
  • Networking with mathematicians, higher education faculty, and other classroom teachers.
  • Contact hour certificate.

Black Swamp Math Teacher Circle meetings will be on the following dates and times:

Monday, January 25th, 2021, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Topic: The Mathematics of Amusement

Join Zoom Meeting: https://bgsu-edu.zoom.us/j/84936847928?pwd=YzJsWWlMRTJ4UytkZ3U2NlM4Wkk3UT09

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Topic: TBD

Join Zoom Meeting: https://bgsu-edu.zoom.us/j/85956117758?pwd=enA3MDJwUDRwOEdBYWU1YzF1YVNtZz09

If you would like more information, please contact Gabriel Matney, Bowling Green State University, at gmatney@bgsu.edu.


BGSU Virtual Academic Enrichment Camps Open Registration

The BGSU Academic Enrichment Camps are back for 2021 and have been redesigned to meet the needs of students in grades 3 through 8. Every day for two weeks students will be engaged in interactive learning in a variety of content areas. Students can select to enrich their learning in mathematics, reading, science, and now social studies. These courses are taught and designed by trained teachers who are experts in their content. During the camps, students will work directly with their camp instructor and same-age peers, enjoying a variety of activities to pique their interest in learning and deepen their knowledge.


  • Session 1: June 14th – 25th, 2020 
  • Session 2: July 12th – 23rd, 2020 

 For more information visit: Academic Enrichment Camp Main Website: www.bgsu.edu/academicenrichmentcamp


Microsoft FREE STEM Resources

There are several resources available for free for educators to choose to bring STEM curriculum into the classroom, including Minecraft educationMake Code, and Hacking STEM. Educators can find guest speakers, engage in free training online through courses offered, and explore Microsoft partners such as Micro:bitKano.



Educators can explore the resources available on the Spinndle website at: https://spinndle.com/resources for implementing project-based learning (PBL), design thinking, social-emotional learning (SEL), and STEAM-related activities into the classroom. Spinndle provides free downloads for student-led learning experiences related to passion projects, STEAM activities, and inquiry-based learning.


The Toledo Zoo Virtual Programs

Toledo Zoo is providing virtual learning experiences to connect classrooms to Zoo educators and animal ambassadors through tours & classroom lessons. Each lesson also comes with a packet of activities for the student to do at home.

Register for a custom session with up to 75 participants for $50. Contact: education@toledozoo.org for details. 

Classes are also open for individuals on select dates. Pricing and schedule: https://www.toledozoo.org/virtual


NASA Resources for Rover Landing

Teachers - don't miss the exciting landing of NASA's Mars Perseverance rover on Feb. 18, 2021. As NASA gets ready for the rover to touch down on the Red Planet, explore NASA resources about its upcoming mission.

Spark student excitement about the landing with STEM resources, videos, and activities found in the Mars 2020 STEM Toolkit

Visit the Watch Online page to see the rover landing trailer and to learn how you can watch live coverage of landing events.

Check out the mission's Landing Toolkit for posters, stickers, fact sheets, education resources, and more.


Engineer Girl Writing Contest

Time is running out to submit a piece for the 2021 Engineer Girl Writing Contest! This year’s theme is “A Salute to Engineering.” COVID-19 pandemic profoundly changed how people work, learn, and play. Making these changes were – and continue to be – an immense challenge. Fortunately, this is the kind of challenge that engineers are made for. For this year’s contest, the National Academy of Engineering is asking students to submit a piece of writing that salutes engineering’s role in meeting and defeating the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

Please see the website at: https://www.engineergirl.org/134518/2021-rules-and-regulations for details.


NWO STEM Activity

Cloud in a Jar

Brought to you by giftofcuriosity.com

Don’t you just love looking at clouds in the sky? But how do they get there?

A cloud is formed when water vapor condenses into water droplets that attach to particles (of dust, pollen, smoke, etc.) in the air. When billions of these water droplets join together, they form a cloud.

What You Need

  • A jar with a lid
  • About 1/3 cup hot water
  • Ice
  • Hairspray

What To Do

  1. Start by pouring the hot water into the jar. Swirl it around a bit to warm up the sides of the jar.
  2. Turn the lid upside down and place it on the top of the jar. Place several ice cubes onto the lid and allow it to rest on the top of the jar for about 20 seconds.
  3. Remove the lid, quickly spray a bit of hairspray into the jar, and then replace the lid with the ice still on top. Watch the cloud form.
  4. When you see a good amount of condensation form, remove the lid and watch the “cloud” escape into the air.

How Does It Work?

When you add the warm water to the jar, some of it turns to water vapor. The water vapor rises to the top of the jar where it comes into contact with cold air, thanks to the ice cubes on top. Water vapor condenses when it cools down. However, a cloud can only form if the water vapor has something to condense on to. In nature, water vapor may condense onto dust particles, air pollution, pollen, volcanic ash, etc. In the case of this activity, the water vapor condensed onto the hairspray.

Click here to see this and other at-home STEM activities

Updated: 04/06/2021 11:16AM