September 2020

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Former Women in STEM Speaker Now Hosts a Children’s STEM Netflix Show


Back in November 2015 at the annual Women in STEM program held at BGSU and hosted by Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education, scientist and space explorer Emily Calandrelli (spaceGal) ignited the STEM interests of more than 350 junior high girls with her engaging keynote presentation.

Emily, an MIT engineer and space expert known as the Space Gal and host of Fox's "Xploration Outer Space", now hosts and executive produces a new show titled “Emily's Wonder Lab”, a Netflix TV series that illuminates the exciting world of STEM for “scientists in training” at home. Each 15-minute episode is chock-full of engaging information and ideas for experiments for kids to easily try at home. 

Emily has always been wildly passionate about space exploration. According to her website and through her show, she wants to prove that the space industry is more exciting today than ever before in history. As the host, Emily works to explain science-related topics in an easily digestible, and entertaining way. 

Increasing the level of scientific literacy among the general public is also something Emily cares deeply about. She believes that everyone, despite their educational background, can understand scientific topics. Emily hopes to convince more people of this and foster a higher level of scientific literacy in society through various projects and speaking engagements.

Lastly, Emily wants to inspire more females to pursue STEM careers. Over the years, many factors have deterred women from pursuing certain careers in STEM. Through her work, Emily hopes to address those factors and help make STEM a more welcoming environment for everyone.

For more information please see: or @TheSpaceGal on twitter.


STEM Opportunities

Toledo Zoo New ProgramBlack 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:

Fall meetings will be virtual from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. You can attend one or both meetings, depending on your schedule!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

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


NSTA's Immersive & Integrative STEM for Elementary Educators (K-4)

The Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association and STEM is Elementary are co-hosting free monthly STEM webinars for educators in grades K-12. The webinars will be on the fourth Monday of each month.

The STEM webinars will feature outstanding STEM leaders and educators from across Ohio and the nation as they share their resources, ideas, “lessons learned” and events.

If selected to participate for this program, it is expected that the teacher agrees to engage in ongoing professional learning opportunities until November 2020. These opportunities, meetings, etc., will be conducted during out of school time (evenings, potential Saturdays etc.). Additionally, there is an expectation for teachers to engage in cohort style mentoring, reflection, and development of integrative STEM lesson plans.


Believe in Ohio

Believe in Ohio is a free, comprehensive, curriculum-based, STEM and entrepreneurship program for Ohio high school students.

The purpose of the Believe in Ohio program is to create a “Culture of Innovation” in Ohio high schools and provide college scholarships to encourage Ohio students to remain in Ohio by focusing on the practical application of STEM and related fields and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and critical thinking skills.
If you are a teacher that would like to learn more, please visit the
website and click on the Why Participate tab to learn more about the program from teachers who have implemented Believe in Ohio at their schools.
Feel free to contact Jenna Pollock for more information:


Toledo Zoo New Program

Zoo Academy is a new program that provides in person experiences at the Zoo and is ideal for students with at home and hybrid schooling. Elementary-aged children will explore science topics and learning standards in a fun, camp-like setting.

Dates: Weekdays from until December 18
Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ages: recommended for 5-12 years
Participant Cost: $50 for members/day; $60 for non-members/day

For more information about the program, our health and safety measures and to register, visit TOLEDOZOO.ORG/CAMPS


INFOhio FY2021 Resource Collection Update

INFOhio is licensing and renewing high-quality, digital, teaching and learning content for the 2020-2021 school year that all Ohio PreK-12 students, their parents, and their teachers can use at school, at home, and on the go.




eCYBERMISSION offers a mini-grant to support teachers and program leaders as you implement the competition into your curriculum! Funding can be used by schools, teachers and program leaders for supplies and professional development.

The final deadline for applications is October 14, 2020.
Please contact for more information.


Ohio Scenic Rivers Program

The mission of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program is to work cooperatively with local governments, businesses, landowners, non-profit organizations and other state and federal agencies to protect the aquatic resources and terrestrial communities dependent on healthy riparian habitats. Ohio currently has 15 designated Wild, Scenic and/or Recreational rivers comprising 27 stream segments. More than 830 river miles are protected in the Ohio scenic river system. Three state-designated streams — the Little Miami River, Big and Little Darby Creeks, and Little Beaver Creek — are also designated as National Scenic Rivers.


ODE and Ohio STEM Learning Network offer STEM school webinars

The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio STEM Learning Network invite school administrators and staff to participate in a four-part webinar series to gain a deeper understanding of the pillars of STEM and how these strategies support all students, in all schools. 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 the Department and the Ohio STEM Learning Network prepare for these webinars, please RSVP here.

Sept. 30, 3-5pm: Exploring the quality model for STEM/STEAM schools
What distinguishes a STEM/STEAM school from other schools? Kimberly Bell and Heather Sherman will engage participants in an overview of how culture, curriculum and connection work together to support STEM best practices for a school-wide approach. Join webinar here.


Science Olympiad Workshops

Many Science Olympiad coaches credit their team success to workshops and professional development activities provided by state and national Science Olympiad professionals. Educators are given detailed information on all the latest Science Olympiad events, as well as handouts, CDs and takeaways. Sessions are staffed by experienced state and national Event Supervisors who provide context on what is expected of students in each rigorous event. In many cases, educators can earn credit hours or certificates.

Please see the state Science Olympiad site for a complete listing of all professional development opportunities.


NWO STEM Activity

Magic Milk

Make your milk transform into plastic charms!

What You Need

  • 1 cup of whole milk (low fat or fat free will not work)
  • 4 tbsp. vinegar
  • microwave safe bowl or cup
  • microwave
  • strainer (or paper towels)
  • food coloring (optional)
  • Solid prep surface: plastic mat, cookie sheet or aluminum foil

What To Do

  1. Warm milk in microwave for one and a half minutes.
  2. Add vinegar slowly and stir for about a minute, the milk should start to clump.
  3. Strain the milk using the strainer or paper towel, push out all the liquid.
  4. Take the solid “plastic” out of strainer and add food coloring if you wish.
  5. Use the “plastic” to create different shapes.
  6. Set aside to dry – about 2 nights.

Ending Question
Why do you think the milk reacted the way it did to the vinegar?

Explain It
Milk contains protein. When milk’s protein meets vinegar’s acid, the protein molecules join together in long chains, causing curds to form. Those curds can then be molded into any shape. When they dry, you have homemade plastic!

Fun Fact!
The process you just went through is very similar to how you make a popular Indian Cheese called paneer!

Updated: 03/16/2021 01:50PM