June 2021

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

New Project at BGSU to address diversity in education

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The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has recently announced the awardees for its new Diversifying the Education Profession Grant program. Twenty districts from all over the state will engage in this work to implement strategies to address the diversity needs within their faculty and staff over two and a half years.

Washington Local Schools, together with partner Bowling Green State University’s Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education, was selected as an awardee for Lucas County District 2 and will implement a Project with a mission to increase teachers of color. This project will focus on creating cohorts of diverse middle and high school students and is designed to place the cohorts of students on a meaningful and impactful pathway to becoming an educator. Students will explore careers in education and connect to positive role models and mentors in education and will also participate in after-school clubs and activities.

Dawn Shinew, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at BGSU stated, “This project recognizes and addresses the critical need for increased diversity in the teaching profession. We are excited to begin this very important work with partner Washington Local Schools and look forward to its outcomes and the positive impact on our community.”

Kadee Anstadt, Superintendent of Washington Local Schools, is similarly pleased with the grant award, as it builds on work already begun in the district through the Whitmer Career and Technology Teaching Professions Program, which identifies and recruits teachers of color, as well as a Teachers of Color after-school club. “Employing teachers who look like and have similar experiences as students in our district is a priority,” Dr. Anstadt stated.

The grant opportunity, released earlier this year, was in response to 2019 Diversifying the Education Profession in Ohio Brief and Taskforce Recommendations Report, which resulted from a 2018/2019 convening of the Diversifying the Education Profession in Ohio Taskforce. The Taskforce consisted of approximately 40 individuals who represent various education stakeholder organizations across the state and developed a set of recommendations for implementing initiatives and programs to diversify the Ohio education workforce. As Ohio recognizes the critical importance of a diverse educator workforce, this program is one of several initiatives and projects that the state is undertaking as a direct result of these recommendations.

For more information on the ODE Taskforce and Diversity in Education and its initiatives, please see: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/I-educate/Diversify.

For more information on BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, please see: https://www.bgsu.edu/education-and-human-development.html and its Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education: https://www.bgsu.edu/nwo/.

For more information on Washington Local Schools: https://www.wls4kids.org/.

Community STEM in the NEWS


Local STEM Director Named STEM Advocate of the Year

Ohio STEM Learning Network recently recognized four supporters of high-quality STEM education as leaders in providing experiences that inspire and educate the next generation of Ohio innovators.

These dedicated educators go above and beyond to advance STEM education in our state. Nominations for the 2021 annual awards opened in February.

STEM Advocate Award

The Ohio STEM Advocate Award recognizes an Ohioan who has demonstrated a passion for STEM education through public advocacy and participation in leadership organizations that advance STEM for all.

Thomas Burnworth is the Executive Director of the Sylvania STEM Center in Sylvania, Ohio.

Thomas focuses on bringing industry-level science and technology to student experiences. Through his work, thousands of local young people experience the design cycle. Recently, students in Thomas’s program tackled the Lake Erie Algae Blooms. Students designed, built, and tested a 3D-printed water container that combined UV light and commercial filters. Follow-up testing by a lab at the University of Toledo proved lake water treated by the students’ device was even cleaner than local tap water.

For more information on the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s STEM Excellence awards, please see: https://osln.org/2021/05/2021-stem-excellence-awards/

STEM Opportunities

Ohio STEM Learning Network

Announcing our next challenge: #STEMbuildsOhio

The pandemic has reshaped the way that Americans think about almost everything from business, to school, to shopping. Families, retailers, schools, and governments pivoted to persevere through a completely new experience.

The pandemic had devastating effects from lives lost, social isolation, and economic upheaval. It also resulted in countless innovations and a renewed focus on equity, opportunity, and community.

We can reimagine and rebuild our communities to be more equitable, more accessible, and more efficient. Who better to lead that reimagining than Ohio’s young innovators?

Ohio students, we invite you to join the 2021- 2022 #STEMbuildsOhio Design & Entrepreneurship Challenge. Ready to sign up your school or program?

Visit designchallenge.osln.org/participate and complete a brief pre-registration form.

“No Kids Allowed” camp experiences

An adult summer camp experience!

Unleash your inner child at these camp experiences just for adults while school is out. The summer season is here and with it comes memories of summer camps gone by. Relive the fun times in your beautiful Metroparks as you try new activities, make new friends, and of course enjoy snack time. Biking, kayaking, survival skills, archery, tree climbing, hammocking, and of course overnight camping are just some of the activities we have geared toward these big kids.


The NASA Langley’s GLOBE Mission Earth team is recruiting educators for the 2021-2022 virtual ENGAGE Mission Earth cohort

The ENGAGE GLOBE Mission Earth program provides an opportunity for in-service middle and high school educators to participate in a year-long virtual program including professional development and ongoing support from a NASA mentor. It focuses on Earth Science and data literacy using NASA resources and incorporates the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program and My NASA Data. Educators will use the resources and training to facilitate student projects which will be shared with NASA scientists during a May 2022 showcase. Support for educators will be provided throughout the school year including collaboration opportunities, subject matter expert connections, and student project support. Each educator will receive one infrared thermometer and one calibration thermometer.

For more information see the flyer and online application.

Applications are due by June 25, 2021

Education Projects Ohio PD

Workshop (in-person)
June 29-30
Global Impact STEM Academy
700 South Limestone Street #B
Springfield, OH

This in-person workshop introduces teachers to the ways biotech skills are incorporated into agriculture through food science activities and biofuels labs. For teachers of Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.

The Science of Food and Fuel: A Nourish the Future Ag Biotech Workshop (virtual)
June 29-30

This virtual workshop introduces teachers to the ways biotech skills are incorporated into agriculture through food science activities and biofuels labs. For teachers of Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science.

Rural science teachers: New opportunity from OSLN!

Agriculture is a big business in Ohio. It is the number one industry in our state— contributing $128 billion annually to Ohio’s economy, and employing 1 in 8 Ohioans as of 2019. It is important for Ohio students to understand the vast number and variety of job opportunities in the agriculture industry as they consider their future careers. Likewise, it is important for teachers to understand this too, as teachers are influential in helping students make decisions about careers.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network and Education Projects & Partnerships were recently awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the agriculture workforce development pipeline. Our approach to solving the agriculture workforce shortage is to help teachers connect their existing science lessons to real-world agriculture needs so that students will begin to make connections between classroom content and future careers.

The Ohio Rural Educators Program will engage 20 middle and high school science teachers from rural schools in a year-long professional learning cohort.


NWO STEM Activity

Baking Soda Powered Boats Science Experiment

This month's activity brought to you by: https://www.123homeschool4me.com/baking-soda-powered-boats-science_99/

What you need:

  • small soda or water bottle
  • construction paper, straw, etc. to decorate your boat
  • scissors and tape to affix decorations
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  •  paper towel
  • ·8″ or more deep bin of water

What to do:

  1. Decorate the water bottle so it looks like a boat when you hold it horizontally.
  2. Make a small hole in the non-lid side and insert a straw that has the bendy part stick out. Now tape around the hole so that only the straw is coming out of the hole.
  3.  Fill the bottle with 1/2 cup vinegar. Make sure you have a bin, kiddie pool, or bathtub with 8″ or more water. 
  4. Pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a paper towel square and roll it up. Now quickly put the baking soda roll in the bottle and put the lid back on and set in water.

Click here for more information and to read about other activities.

Updated: 06/15/2021 12:22PM