January 2022

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

­BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development to hold Winter Virtual Conference


Project IMPACT (Improving Motivation, Pedagogy, Assessment and Collaboration for Teachers), a five-year grant project in the College of Education and Human Development (EDHD) at BGSU, will hold a virtual winter conference on January 22nd. Project IMPACT programming is designed to prepare, mentor, and develop highly qualified teachers, while also offering professional development opportunities for area teachers, administrators, and teacher candidates.

The Winter Virtual Conference centers on reaching all learners by understanding the needs of the learners and strategies to promote inclusion and equity. The conference will feature a keynote address by Melissa McClain of Akron Children’s Hospital that focuses on helping educators deal with compassion fatigue. 

The conference is open to pre-service teachers, K-12 teachers and administrators, and college faculty. Project IMPACT is committed to equitably and effectively educating each child through meaningful P20 partnerships focused on facilitating high-quality, relevant professional development that supports and empowers pre-service and in-service educators.

There will be two sessions following the keynote, including “Using Social Justice with Math & Science Frames to Integrate Students’ Critical Reflection Skills: A TS4A Lesson Study”.

For detailed conference information, please see the Project IMPACT website at: https://www.bgsu.edu/education-and-human-development/teacher-education-program/project-impact/professional-development-opportunities/WinterConference.html.

Project IMPACT is a five-year, $4.5 million, teacher education program to promote teacher preparation and effective instruction in three local districts — Toledo Public, Springfield Local, and Perrysburg schools — and a public charter school, Toledo School for the Arts. Each helped decide which areas the project would emphasize in its schools, from culturally responsive teaching to universal design for learning.

Through participation in Project IMPACT, teacher candidates can distinguish themselves from others through training in partner-identified areas of need, receiving field coaching, and supplementing classroom instruction with project modules.

Community STEM in the NEWS

BGSU researcher chosen for PITCH X video series

Northwestern Ohio high schools compete in ninth annual event at University

From BGSU News, Dec. 2021

Dr. Alexis Ostrowski’s hydrogel technology is on track to move from lab to commercialization

Dr. Alexis Ostrowski’s hydrogel technology is on track to move from her Bowling Green State University chemistry lab to commercialization. While it is not yet a done deal, the process has given her some insight into how research might be able to move from the lab to prototype to market.

As the private company Applied Environmental Solutions explores the commercial viability of the hydrogels, Ostrowski, an associate professor of chemistry, was one of just nine people selected for the PITCH X: From Lab to Market video series announced by Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Ruth Milligan, PITCH X project manager, said Ostrowski’s idea “stood out as uniquely impactful across a robust and competitive field of nominees” that represented nearly every research institution in Ohio.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to include her in this new initiative and grateful for her willingness to share her remarkable science not only with all of Ohio, but also potential partners, investors, and curious minds across the globe,” Milligan said.

“The hydrogel research of Alexis Ostrowski’s lab is a perfect example of BGSU’s commitment to being a public university for the public good,” said Dr. Michael Y. Ogawa, vice president for research and economic engagement. “Her research, which is focused on improving water quality issues, has real-world and practical applications. She worked with Mark Fox, director of Technology Transfer and Services, who helped guide her through the process."

PITCH X is part of the recently launched Ohio I.P. Promise, a partnership between Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and the Inter-University Council of Ohio to make Ohio universities more attractive to innovators and entrepreneurs. Through the Ohio I.P. Promise, 16 Ohio universities are working to establish a clear path for licensing the institutions’ cutting-edge-of-science breakthroughs that could change the world forever.

PITCH X will let Ohio share its research discoveries with the world in a way that anyone can access. The virtual presentations, three each quarter, will be shared on the InnovateOhio website, YouTube, and through social media and other platforms.

What's Happening at NWO?

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.

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: nwo@bgsu.edu with any questions.

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

Registration link: https://forms.gle/YazqQ8r8j332CFDD9

All who wish to attend Women in STEM are welcome regardless of their gender.

STEM Opportunities

NWO STEM Collaborative

Tuesday, April 12th

Please join us for our next 2021-2022 Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative. This session is the third of a four-part series. You can still join this session even if you did not attend the first or second.

This series is facilitated through a partnership between the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West and Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at Bowling Green State University. All STEM enthusiasts are welcome and encouraged to attend! 

For more information: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eixet7d07b7c46e8&oseq=&c=&ch=

MetroParks Toledo Outdoor Class

Meet the Squirrel Squad! Metroparks Toledo is home to five different kinds of squirrels. Which are most likely to show up for you on this winter search? This outdoor class illuminates how certain adaptations allow this family of species to reduce competition among each other while they fill specific niches or roles in nature. Have some fun exploring their habitats and behaviors as you chart observations that help answer the question, “What are they doing this time of year?”

Contact Jennifer Elsworth jennifer.elsworth@metroparkstoledo.com for more information on how to get your students involved.

BGSU Academic Enrichment Camps

Free camps are once again being offered remotely to give students in grades 3 through 8 the flexibility to learn without coming to campus. Student participants will enjoy engaging lessons related to content material to help prepare them for the upcoming school year. Every day for two weeks, students will engage in online interactive learning taught and designed by trained expert teachers. During the camps, students will work directly with their camp instructor and same-age peers, enjoying a variety of activities to peak their interest in learning and deepen their knowledge.


  • Session 1: June 13-24, 2022
  • Session 2: July 11-22, 2022


Students can select two free sections to enrich their learning every day for two weeks. Additional sections are available for $59 per section.

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies


  • Students will be engaged in interactive virtual learning sessions on Zoom.
  • Daily subject lessons are approximately 50 minutes long.
  • Access to the internet and an electronic device such as a desktop or laptop computer is required.


  • All campers will receive materials for their program prior to the beginning of camp.
  • Each crate will include program materials related to their registered camp sections
  • Campers will also receive a camp T-shirt. (T-shirts not guaranteed after April 30.)

Click here to download a flyer (pdf)

To learn more or register please visit us online at bgsu.edu/academicenrichmentcamp

Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) Design Challenge Kick-Off

Each year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network hosts a design challenge where students collaborate to create workable solutions to the key issues facing the state of Ohio. Any school may participate. Join OSLN on Thursday, January 27, 2022, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. to:

  • Provide an overview of the design challenge process
  • Explore different formats depending on the time available to implement the design challenge in classrooms
  • Examine differences in the design challenge across different grade levels and subjects
  • Discuss supports available to teachers and students

This session is designed for educators new to the design challenge and our veteran design thinkers! For more information: https://designchallenge.osln.org/


Challenge your students to use STEM to investigate the life cycle of an embryonic chicken egg!

ChickQuest, a Classroom Journey Through the Life Cycle of Chickens, is a 4-H School Enrichment Program that challenges students to use Science, Engineering, and Technology to investigate the life cycle of an embryonic chicken egg. From monitoring living eggs to observing fluffy chicks, these lively activities pique curiosity, encourage collaboration and communication, and provide young scientists with unforgettable experiences. The Ohio Soybean Council, Meyer Hatchery, and OSU Extension are providing this curriculum for elementary teachers in Ohio during the 2021-2022 school year.

For more information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chickquest-workshop-12622-tickets-166841460299https://grownextgen.org/events

59th annual Ohio Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

OJSHS will be held at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio on March 4, 2022.

Student submission deadline: January 28, 2022.

For more information: https://www.capital.edu/news-and-events/annual-events/ohio-regional-junior-science-and-humanities-symposium/

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) DriveOhio

DriveOhio, a new Smart Mobility Ambassador program for STEM early-career and youth volunteers, in collaboration with educators and community partners, to engage students of all ages in conversations about smart mobility career opportunities across Ohio. 

This program will provide high school students with professional development, and mentoring, and networking opportunities, while learning about smart mobility career pathways, sharpening their coding skills, and earning volunteer hours.

DriveOhio will recruit college and high school students to volunteer to become Smart Mobility Ambassadors. We will provide training to STEM volunteers on smart mobility content and interactive STEM coding programs, in preparation for delivery through classroom and virtual platforms, with support from DriveOhio Alliance industry experts.

For more information: https://drive.ohio.gov/about-driveohio/resources/smart-mobility-ambassador

The Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO)

Two free PD events coming up in 2022:

  • “Science in the City” DEI book study
  • Grid Method PD - now open free to everyone

“Science in the City” DEI book study – info and registration

This book has powerful insights relevant to science education in any setting. In Science in the City, Bryan A. Brown examines how language and culture matter for effective science teaching. The book illustrates how science education can flourish if it is connected to students’ backgrounds, identities, language, and culture.

The book study includes five one-hour virtual sessions, with contact hour and graduate credit options. The first session is on January 12, 2022, from 4:00-5:00.

  • More info and registration here.
  • The Science in the City website here.
  • See the book on Amazon here.

Grid Method PD series – info and registration

The Northwest Ohio area Grid Method PD is now open free to everyone, not just SECO members. This series will consist of an in-person meeting at Springfield High School on Saturday, January 22nd, and two follow-up virtual sessions spread throughout the winter of 2022. Contact hours and graduate credit are available.

As part of the grant funding for this series, participants will get limited-time free access to all TeachBetter Team online courses!

Click here for more info on this winter PD series. Scroll to the bottom to register for one of three regional in-person meetings in January or February.

Girls Who Code Informational Webinar

Join fellow Girls Who Code Community Partners for a webinar on Monday, January 31, at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET. Girls Who Code will review updates to HQ, as well as share all the resources needed to support eligible students applying to our 2022 virtual summer programs!


NWO STEM Activity


This month's activity was brought to you by 4-H at HOME. visit: 4-H.org/4HatHome

Explore the power and mathematics of gears in this fun at-home STEM activity for kids.

About the Activity

In this activity, kids will assemble and test different gear sets to see how small actions can create big movements. Along the way, they will learn how to determine the direction of gear rotations, how to build compound gear trains, and the mathematics and importance of gear ratios.


These simple supplies are all you’ll need for this activity:

  • Set of plastic or homemade cardboard gears
  • Gear axles
  • Cardboard box
  • Hole punch
  • Pen and paper

Grades: 3 - 8

Topic: STEM, Engineering, Crafting

Time: 40 minutes

Activity Steps

To complete this activity, you’ll need to have or buy a pack of plastic gears (like those included in our Junk Drawer Robotics Kit); they can be simple plastic gears meant for smaller kids (that often come with magnetic whiteboards) more builder-minded products like Legos, or anywhere in between. If you want to build your own gears out of cardboard, download our guide, ‘How to Make Cardboard Gears.’

Either way, you’ll need the gears and something that enables them to turn – that can be a whiteboard or axles that run through the gears and are suspended in an architecture.

For this activity, we will assume you are not using a magnetic whiteboard.

Click here to download a complete pdf.

Updated: 01/14/2022 08:56AM