October 2020

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Northwest Ohio Center for STEM Education at BGSU continues partnership with Believe in Ohio


Believe in Ohio is a FREE, comprehensive, curriculum-based STEM entrepreneurship program for students in grades 9-12 developed by The Ohio Academy of Science and offers free STEM resources for teachers. Using this program, students can apply the skills they are taught to real-life applications by developing STEM Commercialization Plans or STEM Business Plans.

In addition to offering robust learning opportunities for students and high-quality resources for teachers, Believe in Ohio offers scholarships to students and grants for teachers. The curriculum is built-in Google Classroom, a platform already familiar to many teachers and students. Watch this video of Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria explaining why teachers should participate in the program.

Believe in Ohio has six dedicated Regional STEM Advocates to assist teachers and students, and Jenna Pollock, Education Program Manager at the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at Bowling Green State University, serves as the advocate for the region of northwest Ohio. Please contact her at: jpollock@ohiosci.org. Interested educators from other regions in the state can contact their STEM Advocates for more information. https://believeinohio.org/


Community STEM in the NEWS

Trail to Connect Toledo Botanical Garden and Hawkins School   

From Metroparks Toledo

A new trail is both a physical and symbolic connection between two public institutions that have plans to work together in new and innovative ways.

Toledo Public Schools are connecting Toledo Botanical Garden and Hawkins Elementary School on Bancroft Street.

Metroparks executive director Dave Zenk and TPS superintendent Dr. Romules Durant announced September 30 that an all-purpose trail will lead from the Garden onto the Hawkins campus, around a playground, connecting with the neighborhood to the west.

"When TBG became part of Metroparks three years ago, we promised to preserve and enhance the horticultural tradition, while adding new reasons for people to visit," Zenk said. "By blurring the lines of ownership between the two properties, we can provide new experiences for neighbors and other visitors as well as educational opportunities for Hawkins students.

Dr. Durant said the trail is just the beginning of a partnership that will eventually connect the Natural Resources Technical School, also adjacent to TBG near the Elmer Drive entrance.

More details of the partnership will be announced later in the month.

Pointing to a tall fence on the property line, Dr. Durant said Metroparks and TPS are literally "removing a barrier."

Trail construction is now underway and will be completed in only a few weeks.


STEM Opportunities

Black Swamp Math Teachers' Circles 

Math Teachers' Circles bring together teachers and mathematicians to enrich the teachers' experience of mathematical problem-solving. There are four goals:

  1. Increase the confidence of math teachers in problem-solving.
  2. Deepen teachers' content knowledge through exploring mathematically rich problems and develop an arsenal of techniques to solving unfamiliar and challenging problems.
  3. Form long-term professional relationships among teachers and mathematicians, through regular, highly interactive meetings.
  4. Provide support for teachers who want to bring richer mathematical experiences to their students

The 2020 sessions will be virtual and are FREE*, and open to K - 12 math teachers and college faculty/staff in northwest Ohio. The sessions are free but you must register*. Registered participants will receive the log in information for the Zoom meeting room.

Participants will receive:

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

*Click the link to register: https://goo.gl/forms/5Vv9z1wSIIYr12vG3

The remaining Fall meeting will be virtual from 6:30 - 8:30 PM on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

For more information, please contact Dr. Debra Gallagher, Bowling Green State University, at dgallag@bgsu.edu or 419-704-1920.


Ohio STEM Learning Network Design Challenge

For this year’s design challenge, OSLN is partnering with Ohio Energy Project, the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education ProgramYoung Entrepreneur Institute, and the Ohio Afterschool Network to explore the topic of Energy. The #STEMpowersOhio Design and Entrepreneurship Challenge asks students to “reimagine energy production and/or consumption to improve your community?”

October 21, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00 PM: Design Challenge Information Session – Learn what a design challenge is, brainstorm ideas, and get your questions answered. Register your school to participate and then join us for an introductory conversation about energy and get your questions answered.



Energy 101: Workshop Series for 3rd -7th grade teachers

The Ohio STEM Learning Network, in collaboration with Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and Ohio Energy Project, present the Energy 101 Workshop Series.

Along with tailored educational sessions, teachers who participate in this cohort will receive kits to help run the activities with their students.

The cohort will meet for the following three sessions:

  • November 4, 2020, 4:00 – 6:00 PM – Presentations by the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program
  • November 11, 4:00 – 6:00 PM – Topic TBA
  • November 18, 4:00 – 6:00 PM – Presentations by the Ohio Energy Project and OSLN

Rural educators, apply here to participate in this program! Application window closes on October 23, 2020.


Toledo Metroparks Virtual Classroom Opportunities

The Metroparks are currently offering multiple virtual/hybrid programs to compliment your classroom needs:

Nature-to-Go Pocket Labs: Pocket Labs include a worksheet, nature nugget video from a Metroparks Naturalist, and materials and instructions for a hands-on activity or project. Materials are pre-packaged and dropped off at the school or coordinator's location.

Virtual Field Trips: Give your students a LIVE look at nature nearby with a Naturalist-led virtual field trip to discover the one-of-a-kind, natural attributes of a Metropark. Each virtual field trip will include an accompanying downloadable activity.

Virtual Project-Based Learning Programs: Each themed program includes an interactive zoom meeting and a Naturalist mentor for your class as they complete their projects.

Visit https://metroparkstoledo.com/discover/learning-and-education/ for additional information about these opportunities.!


Code.org Professional Development

Computer Science opens doors.

Learning the basics will help students in every career—from agriculture to healthcare. Through the Ohio STEM Learning Network, Battelle’s presenting the workshops educators need to get started with computer science education. Battelle is Code.org’s Regional Partner for Ohio.

Computer Science Fundamentals Introduction Workshop (Virtual):

Elementary school is the ideal time for students to first engage in Computer Science. Computer science is about creativity, problem solving and persistence. Through the Ohio STEM Learning Network and Battelle, the workshops are presented for educators to begin teaching computer science education. Battelle is Code.org’s Regional Partner for Ohio.

November 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, November 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, Nov 12th, 6:00-8:30 pm: Part I Intro workshop via Zoom

Between two sessions: 60 min Asynchronous Assignment

Monday, November 16th, 6:00-8:30 pm: Part II Intro workshop via Zoom

More information can be found at: https://osln.org/2020/09/new-code-org-virtual-training-opportunities/?utm_source=salesfusion&utm_medium=email&utm_content=New+Code.org+virtual+training+opportunities&utm_campaign=FY20_osln


Girls Who Code Immersion Program

This summer Girls Who Code created a virtual Summer Immersion Program model to meet the new needs of communities. As part of that initiative, they introduced an exclusive Summer Speaker Series featuring leading public servants, artists, entertainers, activists and more now available to everyone via the online learning platform, Girls Who Code HQ!


Imagination Station Virtual Opportunities

New, virtual programming supports students, educators and parents during a unique school year: Virtual Field Trips, Virtual Workshops, Homeschool, Virtual Extreme Science Demonstrations.

Imagination Station also offers Extreme Science Outdoors; a program that delivers exciting, socially distant science like ball-plosions and giant clouds. The content is appropriate for a wide range of ages and grade levels. Registration information and additional details about all other topics can be found on www.imaginationstationtoledo.org.



TLC and TECH CORPS created #CutOut4CS to focus on the integration of computational thinking and computer science in the elementary grades. Using a cookie design scenario to set the stage and the Scratch programming world, #CUTOUT4CS, like all E4Tech modules, uniquely fuse mathematics and computer science concepts. Connected lessons illuminate computational thinking and focus on increasing student understanding in Operations & Algebraic Thinking for Grades 3-4.

PD Session Dates:

  • October 21, 2020
  • November 4 and 28, 2020
  • December 2 and 9, 2020
  • All sessions 4pm-6pm

For more info visit: http://www.teachinglearningcollaborative.org/cutout4cs.html


Fallen Timbers Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited National Council is holding a conservation essay contest with the subject: "When I became interested in conservation." Deadline is October 31.

Please see this link for details:



NWO STEM Activity

Nutty Balloon Noisemaker

This month’s activity is provided by NASA


In this activity, you will see how sound waves can be focused to increase the volume of a noise. 

What You Need

  • Balloon
  • Hexagonal metal nut 
  • Other small objects (optional) 

What To Do

  1. Sound is created when molecules vibrate (move back and forth). For example, if you hit a drum with a drumstick, the head of the drum vibrates and creates the noise you hear. Likewise, if you tap a blown-up balloon, the balloon vibrates and a noise is created. 
  2. Begin by placing the hexagonal metal nut inside the balloon. 
  3. Blow up the balloon and tie the end to keep the air from escaping. If you shake the balloon, you will be able to hear the nut hitting against the balloon. 
  4. Hold the balloon by the end. Then, move the balloon in a continuous circular motion so that the nut rolls around the balloon. It might take a few tries to get the movement correct. You will know you are doing it correctly when you can hear a whirring noise.
  5. Experiment by moving the balloon faster and slower. How does the noise change? 
  6. You can also try doing this experiment with other objects inside the balloon instead of the nut.

Background Information 

Why does NASA study sound? One of NASA’s missions is to help make aircraft safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. Part of making them more environmentally friendly is addressing the noise they make. The noise can impact people and animals, so NASA is working to reduce aircraft noise. 

One example is the X-59 (QueSST), an airplane that flies faster than the speed of sound, or supersonic, but is much quieter than previous supersonic airplanes. In the past, supersonic flight created sonic booms (extremely loud noises that can damage property and affect people and animals). The X-59 creates a series of much quieter sonic thumps instead. The goal of the X-59 program is to demonstrate that quiet supersonic flight is possible which will hopefully lead to the easing of restrictions against supersonic flight over land. 

Click here to download a pdf.

Updated: 06/15/2021 10:25AM