September 2021

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

BGSU earns Ohio Deans Compact grant to help diversify the education profession

The Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children recently awarded Bowling Green State University’s College of Education and Human Development (EDHD) a New Incentive Grant as part of their “Improving the Capacity of Ohio Institutions of Higher Education to Prepare All Educators to Better Meet the Needs of All Learners” initiative. The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education, part of EDHD, was selected to begin work on Priority Area #2: Demonstration Models to Recruit, Support, Retain, & Sustain BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) Educators through Institution of Higher Education (IHE)-District Partnerships, one of two Compact priorities.

In response to the critical demand for teachers of diversity, the intent of this priority is to establish demonstration sites that develop and implement comprehensive models for diversifying the educator workforce by increasing the number of BIPOC educators employed in Ohio school districts. BGSU will collaborate with partner Washington Local Schools district and will implement a program titled Project EDUCATE.

Project EDUCATE (Educators of Diversity: Unified and Collaborative to Aspire Teacher Education) is a comprehensive, holistic model that, when implemented from middle school to career placement, is designed to increase the diversity of teacher educators by engaging and placing students from underrepresented groups on a meaningful and impactful pathway to becoming an educator. 

This important work is already in progress through an Ohio Department of Education (ODE) grant awarded to Washington Local Schools where BGSU is the IHE partner and will expand to build and grow the program, focusing on students in high school and their teachers, as well as pre-service undergraduates and BGSU faculty.

The goal is to not only increase the number of BIPOC students entering teacher preparation programs, but to increase the number of BIPOC educators teaching in their own school district, and in the workforce at large.

Project EDUCATE builds on the framework set forth by the ODE Diversifying Educator Taskforce as it is critical to prepare and retain a more diverse educator workforce that is reflective of the student body of today and tomorrow, as employing more educators who look like and have similar experiences as students in Ohio districts and schools is a priority, according to the Ohio Department of Education Every Student Succeeds Act.

Dr. Dawn Shinew, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at BGSU stated, “This work will allow EDHD and BGSU to build a quality learning community that fosters diversity and inclusion, collaboration, creativity, and excellence. It will also increase the recruitment, retention, and success of a diverse student body, faculty, staff, and administration.”

Dr. 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. “Employing teachers who look like and have similar experiences as students in our district is a priority,” Dr. Anstadt stated.

The Ohio Deans Compact operates with support from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Community STEM in the NEWS


BGSU computer science mentorship program for girls receives 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award'

CODE4her highlights the possibilities and opportunities for women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career fields

Posted on BGSU News website Aug. 2021

A Bowling Green State University computer science mentorship program for girls has received the 2021 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award' from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

CODE4her is a program that provides computer science mentoring for girls in grades 5-8. First offered in 2017, the program teaches girls the basics of computer programming in a hands-on way. Multiple sessions are offered each year on the Bowling Green campus.

Nominated in the spring, CODE4her was selected for the 'Inspiring Programs in STEM Award' based on the way the program highlights the possibilities and opportunities for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields.

"CODE4Her attempts to spark interest in computer science for girls at a young age," said Jadwiga Carlson, CODE4her program coordinator and BGSU computer science teaching professor. "Girls learn about computer science by exploring programming in an informal setting with close guidance from student mentors. The partnerships foster relationships that are cultivated for the duration of the session and beyond as girls re-enroll in new sessions each year."

CODE4her is one of 78 programs being recognized in the September issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

"The program has the potential to significantly contribute to retaining female students in computer science who are involved as mentors," Carlson said. "Girls' participation can change their perception of computer science, their abilities and provide the needed role models. The unique combination of service, engagement, community outreach and informal learning provides an innovative approach to addressing the underrepresentation of women in computer science."

Founded by Carlson with support from BGSU Women in Computing (BGWIC), CODE4her is housed in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at BGSU. The on-campus group supports female students pursuing computer science degrees by providing professional development, social networking and community involvement opportunities in a collaborative, empowering environment.

What's Happening at NWO?

Basic RGB

NWO to host first ever BioBlitz BG!

Together with partner, the Toledo Zoo, the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) will hold a “BioBlitz BG” event on a natural habitat prairie for local fifth graders in Bowling Green.

“BioBlitz BG” will be held on September 22 at Wintergarden Park and teaches participants how to observe nature and be active citizen scientists to help preserve local natural habitats. During this event, students will document as many living organisms as possible (both plants and animals) encountered in the Wintergarden Park prairie. The event will culminate with a recorded tally of all the organisms the students encountered during the BioBlitz. The student-collected data will then be uploaded to the iNaturalist platform, a learning application dedicated to citizen science and inquiry-based discoveries in nature that is useful for scientific data collection and conservation.

Students will also participate in the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation of the Environment) Program by observing clouds and measuring air, surface, and soil temperatures to compare prairie habitats. These data will be uploaded to the GLOBE Program database and shared with scientists who use GLOBE data to better monitor the earth. Students will also build their own bee house at BioBlitz BG, providing native bees with a home to enhance pollination in natural habitats.

STEM Opportunities

INFOhio Today’s Science

Today’s Science is an INFOhio Infobase product supporting grades 6-12, working in connection with Science Online and science classrooms, providing authentic science news articles supporting the science curriculum. 

Today’s Science connects real-world discoveries with the science classroom, and features over 6,000 high-interest science news articles, and includes research topics, conversations with scientists, videos, and discussion questions. Also includes curriculum tools for educators.

Toledo MetroParks Fall Field Trips

Metroparks will help students get outdoors, learn new skills and explore natural and cultural history in northwest Ohio. Programs are designed to connect students to nature through the hands-on discovery of concepts tied to Ohio’s Learning Standards. There are also opportunities to enhance Project Based Learning units through authenticity, public products, and content expert speakers. If field trip costs are a barrier, the Nature Express fund can provide up to 60% of the cost of bus transportation to Chapter 1 schools where 60% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Visit the link provided for more details and to request a program!

Use Creativity and STEM Skills to Honor Veterans

Bring your creativity, passion for 3D design, and appreciation for our veterans together in our new STEM challenge! Today, AEOP is launching the “We <3 Veterans Pin Design” challenge with our partner, Future Engineers. We are inviting students in fourth to eighth grade to use their 3D design skills to create a wearable pin that demonstrates their gratitude towards veterans. If your design is chosen as one of the ten finalists, your pin will be printed and distributed to veterans who visit the National Veterans Memorial Museum in Columbus, Ohio!

Students can complete this free, online challenge at home or in the classroom, in-person or virtually. Check out the landing page for tools and resources to support your pin design process, so you can participate even if you are not a 3D design expert! All pin designs must be submitted by Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2021. The designs will then be reviewed by a panel of judges that includes U.S. service members and veterans.

The ten finalists will also receive a $100 gift card toward a professional 3D print of their design. The winner of the challenge will receive a 3D printer donated to the school, library, or organization of their choice to continue their 3D designing!

For more information:

STEM Rising by the U.S. Department of Energy

For kids of all ages, there is always something new to learn about science and technology. STEM Rising, a project of the Office of Public Affairs, highlights all of the ways the Energy Department supports science education and workforce development. 

View the resources on this page see offerings for K-12 for educational online content, events, internships, workshops, and more.

NASA Out of School Learning Network (NOSL)

Ohio’s own NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is one of three NASA sites to co-create amazing STEM resources for out-of-school professionals. NOSL resources include everything a teacher or afterschool professional needs to know to conduct engagement in STEM learning.

Grade Range: Grades 3-12

  • Cost: There is no cost to access the curriculum and resources. The only cost involved is the supplies to do the design challenges, but these costs are minimal and usually include supplies schools already have on hand.
  • Website:

National Geographic Explorer Classroom

Explorer Classroom connects student groups around the world with National Geographic Explorers, bringing science, exploration, and conservation to life through live video events. Students learn about the Explorer’s work and have the opportunity to ask them questions directly.

Most Explorer Classroom sessions are designed for middle school students and all of the work is appropriate for elementary through high school audiences to participate in. National Geographic also has a free newsletter.

Grade Range: Grades 6-12

Cost: None


Smithsonian Learning Lab 

The Lab is a free and interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources, creating content with online tools, and sharing in the Smithsonian’s expansive community of knowledge and learning.

Ag is STEM: Teaching Science Through Agricultural Systems

Friday, Oct. 8, 8 am-noon
Nationwide 4H Building on the OSU campus OR online

Learn how to integrate agricultural concepts into science courses related to life and environmental sciences! 

Work with Ohio State University faculty to learn about agricultural concepts and how to integrate them into ecology-related lessons to meet Next Generation and Ohio science content standards. See how agricultural concepts connect with science courses related to life and environmental sciences. 

During this workshop teachers will:

  • Create connections between the ecology topics they currently teach and specific agriculture examples and models 
  • Be provided with grade-level specific, ready-to-use learning modules
  • Develop a personalized learning module highlighting agricultural concepts to use within their classroom 

For more information:

Engineer for the Week

Started in 2018, EFTW is a national, afterschool STEM program that introduces students (ages 11-18) to engineering. Over the course of 15 hours, students work alongside adult facilitators to build tech prototypes that address a social issue of their choice. Upon completing the program, students explore engineering, develop computer science skills, and gain awareness of different career paths.

For more information:

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is an international non-profit leading the movement to close the gender gap in technology. The free Clubs Program offers a flexible coding curriculum, resources, and

ongoing support for adults (18+) in the community to help 3-12th graders learn how to use code to change the world within a supportive global sisterhood. The free Summer Immersion Program offers current 9-11th grade girls, female-identifying, and non-binary students an introduction to computer science and an inside look into the tech industry through Girls Who Code staff and company partners.

NWO STEM Activity

Urban Heat Island

This month's activity brought to you by My NASA Data

What you need for each student/group:

  • infrared thermometer (available from hardware stores for about $15)
  • pencil
  • data table
  • five different types of materials found outside: grass, pavement (driveway, road), sidewalk, plant (tree or bush), and bare soil


  1. Using the infrared thermometer, measure the temperature of each material during the day when it is in direct sunlight. Record the temperature for each object in the first row of the data table.
  2. Wait for the Sun to set.
  3. Measure the temperature of each surface an hour after sunset. Record the temperature for each object in the second row of the data table.
  4. Subtract the temperature of each material after dark from the temperature observed during daylight. Record this temperature difference in the bottom row of the data table.


  1. Which three materials retained the most heat (changed the least)?
  2. Which two materials radiated the most heat (were warmest) at night?
  3. Which two materials absorbed heat the most readily (warmest daytime temperatures)?

Teacher Note

Conduct this EO Kids mini-lesson with your students to explore the phenomenon of the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Why do you think grass feels cooler than pavement? And how are materials in a city different from those you find in rural and wild areas? The answer is that the materials in our neighborhoods retain, absorb, and radiate heat differently.


Updated: 09/17/2021 01:37PM