May 2022

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Playground PBL Art Project Opens


The playground outside McKinley STEMM Academy in Toledo has been turned into a vibrant, colorful playground mural complete with hopscotch patterns, a reading zone and Pokémon characters. The project idea began when the McKinley STEMM art teacher, Erin Clinton, remotely connected students with professional artist Kevin Bongang from Atlanta. Erin follows Bongang, a Georgia muralist, on social media and asked him if he would host a Google Meet class during the pandemic with her students to teach them his style, which is colorful, bright, and full of positive messages. He enjoyed meeting the students through Google classroom and ultimately visited them last fall. They helped with the design of the playground utilizing project-based learning strategies. Students learned a lot from him about his work, his artistic style and how he uses murals to spread messages of positivity in communities. Bongang is an accomplished muralist and has created private and corporate sponsor murals throughout Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in May and according to the school’s Facebook page, all who attended were enthusiastic and thankful about making their dream a reality, with the theme, “Dream Big!” Bongang is now working with Dean Davis, lead artist for the Glass City River Wall, to create a mural outside the school, with inspiration from the McKinley students.

Mr. Bongang is quoted as saying, "For me, traveling is very important, getting to touch different places, inspire different kids and just put my mark around the world, it's like one of my goals as an artist, like being able to really not only travel to spread my art but also learn from different communities," Bongang said. "Toledo has embraced me wholeheartedly and it feels like home, so this is a place I could really see myself coming back and doing more projects, hopefully helping adding color to the city."

Community STEM in the NEWS

Local School Earns OSLN Design Challenge Hub Award

Each year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) hosts a design challenge where students from all over Ohio collaborate to create workable solutions to the key issues facing the state of Ohio. Any K-12 school in Ohio may participate. The #STEMbuildsOhio Design & Entrepreneurship Challenge for students this year was, "How can you improve your school, community, or world by reimagining an existing physical space, system, product, or service so that it is more equitable, accessible, or efficient?" The overall goal was to design and/or improve infrastructure, by challenging students to create workable key issues facing their community.

Hawkins STEMM Academy of Toledo Public Schools (TPS) earned the OSLN Design Challenge Hub Award with their project, which was to design and build an inclusive playground at their school, with consult on the architecture from SSOE. The middle school recently partnered with SSOE, an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Toledo, to further their STEM educational goals. Hawkins emphasizes STEM curricula and is a feeder school to other Career Technology Pathway programs at TPS.

During the OSLN Design Challenge Awards Ceremony held on May 12th, the challenge for next year was also announced: How can we secure our data, our environment, our way of life? Identify a focus and develop a plan, product or system that provides or improves security for someone or something. Suggested topics include: Cyber Security, Environmental Security, Energy Security, Shelter/Disaster Security, or Education Security.

For more information on the Ohio STEM Learning Network and its design challenge, please see:

STEM Opportunities

Ignite STEM Camp

Bowling Green State University | June 25-July 1 and July 25-29

Students who will be in 3rd to 5th grade in the fall of 2022 are invited to attend the Ignite STEM Camp the week of June 25th -July 1st. With 6th to 8th grades being invited to the camp the week of July 25th -29th.

A fun-filled, week-long camp at BGSU, students will engage in thought-provoking experiences about teamwork, problem-solving, and the connections between STEM and the real world. They will get to know other students around the state, build connections and engage in fun mathematical and problem-solving activities. The camp curriculum aligns with the Ohio Learning Standards for Mathematics in fun and exciting activities.

  • The date of Ignite Math Camp for this summer is June 25th- July 1st and July 25th-29th
  • The camp is a week-long, the camp goes from 8:00 am till 4:30 pm daily. With before and aftercare provided for an additional cost of $15.
  • The cost of the camp is $150 per camper. This includes lunch on one of the days and all materials necessary for the camp.
  • Students will participate in specially-designed tasks that encourage STEM thinking, teamwork, and critical thinking
  • If students have any dietary restrictions, please reach out to the email provided below. Enrollment is limited to 45 students for each camp. If you have questions about the camp, please reach out to Camp Coordinator

BGSU Summer Enrichment Camp

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 pique 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

OSLN Travel Grant Program

Travel costs can prove an insurmountable barrier for many educators who want to learn, especially those from rural communities. This summer, Ohio STEM Learning Network is proud to offer new support to help bridge that gap.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grant Program supports educators interested in attending professional learning programs 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.

Fostering STEM Institute

The Fostering STEM Institute will help teacher-leaders increase coaching capacity for STEM instructional practices.

Over this year-long program, participants will collaborate with peer educators from Ohio and build solid connections. Coaching approaches that enhance instruction and build STEM culture among students will be shared with the goal to expand quality STEM education to reach more young people.

The Fostering STEM Institute supports the outcomes of other OSLN programs, including the Innovative Leaders Institute, STE(A)M Designation and STE(A)M Redesignation process, and OSLN professional learning series. However, past or anticipated participation in these programs is not a requirement for acceptance into the Fostering STEM Institute. Intended participants come from schools with an established STEM focus but not necessarily from STE(A)M designated schools. Participants will leverage their existing knowledge of STEM pedagogy to gain expertise in effective coaching practices.

Applications close June 17, 2022.

Girls Who Code FREE Virtual Summer Programs 

Girls Who Code empowers students to learn, connect and make an impact through free, virtual Summer Immersion Program and Self-Paced Program. Girls Who Code’s summer programs are for current high school students. All experience levels are welcome and encouraged to apply! 

Programs are available June 17–Aug.12, 2022

For more information: visit Girls Who Code

NWO STEM Activity

Acetic Acid

This activity is brought to you by the Anthony Wayne FFA


To learn how different types of common acids affect food composition.

What You Need

  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Pasta
  • Potato
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 6 jars

What To Do

  1. Obtain the 6 jars and fill 3 with lemon juice and 3 with white vinegar.
  2. Dilute all three jars with 50% water and 50% of the acid (fill jar all the way)
  3. Put pasta in one jar with lemon juice and one with white vinegar, and do the same with the potato and cheddar cheese.
  4. Observe the foods for 8 days while taking notes on how the acid affects each food.


  1. Which food showed the most change in appearance at the end of the eight days?
  2. Which type of acid affected the foods the most?
  3. If you could do this project again what would you change?

Click here to download the full activity (pdf)

Updated: 05/20/2022 09:30AM