November 2021

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Dorr Elementary involved in Project PRAIRIE


Students at Springfield Local Schools’ Dorr Elementary have built a science classroom outside as a part of Project Prairie.

For the project, four prairies full of native plants were cultivated throughout the school’s campus. The students will study nature and science hands-on by digging in the dirt and observing the world around them.

The Toledo Zoo provides support and expertise through their Wild Toledo PRAIRIE Initiative curriculum. 

“Developing and cultivating a love of animals and plants and native species is pure joy, and it’s exciting to see them learn and grow in this environment,” says Taryn Miley, with Springfield Local Schools.

The data students collect at Project Prairie goes to NASA, where it’s used globally to study climate change.

In addition to the data collected for NASA, the data students collect also will be uploaded to The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment

(GLOBE) database, as students learned how to conduct prairie research on a recent visit from Dr. Jodi Haney, BGSU Professor Emeritus. The GLOBE program is a worldwide science education system that gives students a hands-on approach to the scientific method and was developed by the scientific community and validated by teachers, to ensure lesson objectives are scientifically verified.

GLOBE also works to build a collaborative, worldwide community of students, teachers, scientists, and citizens to conduct real-world research. Through the data collected by community members, researchers gain invaluable insight into local environments around the globe and more of the world is able to significantly contribute to scientific discovery. 

For more information on Project PRAIRIE, please see:

For more information on The GLOBE Program, please see:

Community STEM in the NEWS

Students Learn Firsthand About Wetland Restoration

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is working with Toledo Public Schools and Toledo area Metroparks to teach the next generation to take care of one of the community’s most precious resources – water. Students from the Wildlife and Sustainability Career Technical program at the Aerospace and Natural Science Academy of Toledo contributed to one of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio wetlands through the new H2Ohio Students Take Action Program. H2Ohio is Governor Mike DeWine’s comprehensive, data-driven water quality plan to reduce harmful algal blooms, improve wastewater infrastructure, and prevent lead contamination.

“We have a moral obligation to preserve and protect our natural resources,” Governor DeWine said during a speech at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. “My H2Ohio plan is a dedicated, holistic water quality strategy with long-lasting solutions to address the causes of Ohio’s water problems, not just the symptoms.”

Over the past year, in collaboration with Metroparks and MAD Scientist Associates, ODNR led students from two 10th grade classes on virtual field trips. They learned about the H2Ohio initiative, specifically the wetland habitat restoration at the Oak Openings Preserve Wetland Restoration project site.

ODNR is providing educators and students in grades 6-12 with hands-on teaching and learning experiences through the H2Ohio Take Action program.

The program encourages students to apply what they learn to positively impact the environment. Real-world, student-led investigations challenge learners to adapt to the changing world and present opportunities for students to develop critical thinking and leadership skills. The program focuses on wetland restoration projects implemented under the state’s H2Ohio initiative.

When seasonally appropriate, students can kayak through the waters that play an important role in the Great Lakes ecosystem to learn about ecology, watersheds, natural history, human impacts on the water, and more. Educators can visit this link to sign up.

Learn more about the program and the importance of teaching the next generation how to care for natural resources. Connect with Kara Freimark, H2Ohio naturalist, at with questions.

What's Happening at NWO?

Washington Local Schools Student Experience at BGSU

On November 18th, NWO and Bowling Green State University’s College of Education and Human Development will host approximately 75 Washington Local middle and high school students when they visit campus as part of the Project EDUCATE (Educators of Diversity: Unified and Collaborative to Aspire Teacher Education) grant project. Project EDUCATE along with its mission to increase teachers of color in the northwest Ohio region with a dedicated and ongoing partnership with Washington Local Schools District is a comprehensive, holistic model that when implemented from middle school to career placement, is designed to place students of color on a meaningful and impactful pathway to becoming an educator.

Project EDUCATE, along with its mission to increase teachers of color in the northwest Ohio region, is a comprehensive, holistic model that when implemented from middle school to career placement, is designed to place students of color on a meaningful and impactful pathway to becoming an educator.

STEM Opportunities

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Classroom Grant Program

The goal of the grant program is to foster the creation of new, sustainable STEM education programming in classrooms by investing directly in our K-12 teachers and administrators. Thanks to philanthropic funding from Battelle, educators can now apply through the Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grant Program for up to $5,000.

Projects should align to one of the following focus areas:

  • Community Problem Solving
  • STEM Career Exploration
  • Building STEM Mindsets
  • Design Thinking and Infrastructure

“Ask yourself: Which of these focus areas stirs you? What is your school or classroom missing? What might I notice if I were seeing my community or my school for the very first time? What would fascinate a young child? What about a teenager?” said Kelly Gaier Evans, Director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network.

Educators who identify infrastructure as a focus area may consider referencing the #STEMbuildsOhio Design Challenge for resources.

Additional details including the application, funding requirements and tips for a successful application are posted here and at

Ohio STEM Learning Network

The Ohio STEM Learning Network invites school administrators and staff to participate in a three-part webinar series to gain a deeper understanding of the pillars of STEM and how these strategies support all students, in all schools, and to help schools seeking STEM or STEAM designation.

Attend a web series to learn more about STEM and STEAM designation. These webinars will guide leaders to understand how STEM education transcends content areas, resulting in a shift in the way students engage in learning from kindergarten to graduation. To help OSLN prepare for these webinars, please RSVP through the post.

Designation series (1/3): Exploring the quality model for STEM/STEAM schools and the STEM/STEAM Designation application
November 16 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Designation series (2/3): STEM Curriculum: What do teaching and learning look like in a STEM school?
November 30 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Designation series (3/3): Building community partnerships to provide real-world context
December 9 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

BGSU Planetarium

Events and happenings through December 17th for nominal fee including “The Alien who Stole Christmas”, “The Secret of the Star”, and “Sistine Chapel” throughout the month.

For more information, please see: Intro Workshop

New to teaching computer science? No worries! Join other Ohio teachers at this intro workshop and learn through hands-on lessons, and gain new teaching strategies. Teachers will have a chance to experience the curriculum from a student and teacher lens with peer support through a Ohio K-5 educators.

Obtain a account to register. It’s free and provides access to all of the curriculum. Once registered for account, enroll in this intro workshop here:

Computer Science Education Week

Maker X is a free community event for ages 4-104 celebrating making with technology, including robotics and drones, 3D printing, sci-fi cosplay/fashion tech, digital art and music, game and VR development, software and media creation, high tech transportation, manufacturing, construction, ag tech and much more in coordination with [] CSforAll [] & Ohio Linux Festival [].

In-person or online, join in kicking off CSED Week [] in Ohio & beyond.

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.

Imagination Station Field Trip Guide

Imagination Station has SEVEN learning worlds to explore and endless opportunities for learning. Use our exhibit guides to structure your visit and be sure to leave time for an Extreme Science Demo.

Ohio Ready to Learn FREE Classes

WOSU Classroom is proud to offer a series of 4 FREE Ohio Ready to Learn courses via the Teacher Campus online learning platform. This current round of courses covers ways to celebrate all types of families, playful ways to engage in scientific learning, social-emotional skills, and building personal relationships with effective communication.

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

STEM-A-Thon: Explore Your Possibilities with NASA

You’re invited to attend an immersive virtual NASA experience!

On Thursday, Nov. 18, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, NASA will host STEM-a-Thon: Explore Your Possibilities With NASA! Participants may begin logging in at 7:30 a.m. The event flyer is attached.

This free virtual event is open to the public and appropriate for kids of all ages, as well as adults! This full day of activities will feature:

  • Several LIVE presentations—including a fireside chat with NASA’s Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli
  • A special greeting from the International Space Station
  • Chat times with NASA STEM experts
  • A scavenger hunt experience
  • Trivia game
  • And more!

At NASA, our people are as diverse as our mission. We share a set of core values—safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, inclusion—and they are evident in all that we do. 

We have a team of world-class experts from many different fields and backgrounds who share a passion for exploration. This diversity of thought and collaborative environment foster innovation and groundbreaking ideas.

At STEM-a-Thon, you’ll have an opportunity to meet many NASA professionals (we're not all astronauts), hear their personal stories, learn how they came to work for NASA, and discover what missions or projects they support and what they do every day. So, get your questions ready!

You and your students will have fun learning about, and exploring your possibilities with, NASA! Click here to register.

NWO STEM Activity

Investigating Home Insulation and Temperature

This month's activity brought to you by Bowling Green Energy Project



  • Weatherstripping
  • Door sweep and draft stoppers
  • Thermostat Temperature Guide (see below)


  • Open your outside doors and check the condition of the weather stripping between the doors and the door frame. (circle one)

none - 0 points poor - 2 points fair - 4 points good - 6 points

  • Using the graphic above, “How Air Escapes,” decide with your family the five areas of your home you will check for air leaks. (hold hand or thermometer at the source of the leak)
  • Record the thermostat settings for your home: _______________

Heating Season:                 Cooling Season:

    >74                                     < 74

    72 - 74                                 74 - 75

    69 - 71                                 76 - 77

    < 69                                     > 77

  • Using the Thermostat Temperature Guide below, calculate the percent of energy saved or wasted at this temperature setting.

OR %energy wasted (using more energy) ____________________________

%energy saved (using less energy) ________________________________

  • Decide with your family two ways you can save energy on heating and cooling.


  • Install the weatherstripping (and door sweep and draft stoppers, if available).
  • Discuss changing the thermostat to the recommended settings of 68° F in the winter and 78° F in the summer.

The Science

Heating and cooling systems use more energy than any other system in the home. Students will learn how to use heating and cooling systems efficiently. Students will be able to explain the importance of properly regulating temperature when considering efficiency and conservation.

Updated: 11/18/2021 07:45AM