September 2022

What’s happening at NWO?

The Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative

NWO will begin holding STEM educational meetings together with partner Lake Erie West ESC as part of the NWO STEM Collaborative. The first meeting will be held on September 15th and features a presentation from the BGSU Math Camp, Ohio STEM Learning Network and a resource fair to include Imagination State, Toledo MetroParks, Heritage Sylvania, Challenger Learning Center and the Ohio Academy of Science. More information on the STEM Collaborative and future meetings can be found below.

K-16 STEM in the NEWS

Aviation and Natural Science Academy of Toledo enjoys expansion efforts


The Aviation and Natural Science Academy of Toledo, a Toledo Public schools magnet school with two campuses, offers students technical certifications in a variety of STEM fields. Prior to the start of the academic year, renovations began at the Natural Science and Technology Center, frequent partner of the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education.

Toledo schools Superintendent Romules Durant said, “TPS continues to provide more college and career opportunities for students with the $12M expansion. The Natural Science Tech Academy is located on the campus of the Metro Parks & Botanical Garden, with over 100 different animals and various native plants. TPS Proud!”

The first phase began with remodeled classrooms and updated technology. A shed on the grounds was also added to house livestock such as cows, horses, and goats. The school’s property is adjacent to the Toledo Botanical Garden and neighbors Hawkins STEMM Elementary school. Also included in the project is the addition of a pre-veterinary program that expands laboratory spaces.

TPS offers both college credits and technical certifications to provide students with advanced degrees and training in growing industries. The Aerospace program offers aviation certification at the school building which is housed at the Toledo Express Airport.

This past May, the Aviation and Natural Science Academy of Toledo held an Open house and Aviation Expo to highlight the school’s offerings which includes opportunities for students to earn their FAA A&P licenses.

For more information please visit:

Community STEM in the NEWS

Ohio STEM Learning Network Implementing New STEM School Rubic

Ohio law provides a pathway for schools to seek and receive designation as a STEM or STEAM school. A newly redesigned STEM and STEAM designation process and a new rubric were approved by the Ohio STEM Committee in the summer of 2022.

The new Ohio STEM and STEAM Designation Rubric, which is based on the Quality Model for STEM and STEAM Schools, addresses three areas: Culture for Learning, Learning and Teaching, and Pathways to Success in Careers

To provide comprehensive supports around the STEM and STEAM designation process, the Ohio STEM Learning Network is offering Deep Dive into STEM and STEAM Designation workshop.

School and district leaders of current and aspiring STEM and STEAM schools are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop. This workshop, jointly facilitated by the Ohio STEM Learning Network and the Ohio Department of Education, takes school leaders through an in-depth overview of the designation process from start to finish. To review this process and learn more about supports provided by the network and the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU, visit

STEM Opportunities

Women in STEM at BGSU Call for Presenters

NWO will resume the fall date for Women in STEM on November 1, 2022, and seeks STEM professionals to present hands-on, inquiry based workshops and presentations for 6th – 8th grade students.

For more information:

Click here to register as a presenter for this impactful and engaging program!

The Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grants

OSLN is pleased to announce a new grant opportunity for K-12 STEM classrooms in Ohio.

The goal of the grant program is to foster the creation of new, sustainable STEM education programming in classrooms by investing directly in 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 Security

Deadline: October 10 see OSLN website for more information:

Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grants

The Ohio STEM Learning Network Travel Grant Programs supports educators interested in attending professional learning program 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.

Applications close on a monthly basis. Apply here.

Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative

The NWO STEM Collaborative aims to connect with area STEM community members, educators, and administrators interested and invested in STEM education to share resources, methods, and ideas to enhance STEM instruction.

The STEM Collaborative encourages participants to learn from peers and local experts and grow as active STEM community members

Date: November 17, 2022

Time:  3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Location: Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, 2275 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, Ohio 43620

Cost: Free

Questions: Please contact Natalie Crotte with any questions regarding the NWO STEM Collaborative.

Registration: Please use the button below to register. Contact Lisa Peluso with any questions regarding registration.

Upcoming sessions will be held at BGSU's Levis Commons Campus (Perrysburg) from 3:45 pm - 4:45 on January 19, and March 16.

SESSION 2: Registration November 17

NASA STEM materials & science resources

Are you looking for NASA STEM materials to support your curriculum?

Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at

Find NASA science resources for your classroom. NASA Wavelength is a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels — from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs.

PAST Foundation is offering a Workforce Development opportunity for grade 7–12

The PAST Foundation in partnership with the OH State Legislature is offering a series of Workforce Development Opportunities for Ohio Educators. Each program will offer an initial cohort of 20 teachers to become PAST Foundation Fellows.

In partnership with the Ohio State Legislature, The PAST Foundation is offering a Workforce Development opportunity for grade 7–12 Ohio Educators. A grant from the state legislature enables participation in this fellowship — valued at $1,500 — to be 100% funded!

Smart Mobility Ambassador Program

The Smart Mobility Ambassador program is for STEM early-career and youth volunteers, in collaboration with educators and community partners, to engage students of all ages in conversations about smart mobility career options across Ohio.

Program Benefits

  • Volunteer hours for high school graduation (OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal), with options for Work-Based Learning hours
  • Increased awareness of smart mobility technologies as well as opportunities for networking and connections to potential employers
  • Development of professional skills
  • Mentoring and leadership experience
  • Continuing education units for educators

Grow Next Gen Science fair teacher training webinar

Weds., Sept 21, 7 to 8:30 pm

Join us for an informational webinar to help students create science fair projects and compete for the Bioscience Award, sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council. We will feature tips and tricks for encouraging students, setting timelines for completion of projects, resources for mentors and materials, and proven strategies for developing winning projects. Log in to share your successes and hear from others who have had success in AgriScience, local, District, and State Science Days.

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Education Outreach WOW! program

FREE PD Opportunity with STEM Focus

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Education Outreach WOW! program, in partnership with CET/SOITA, is offering FREE workshops on October 27th and 28th for K-8 educators. 

These workshops will feature demonstrations and hands-on activities highlighting a variety of STEM-focused resources for the classroom. Register now for this fun event!

ESC of Lake Erie West STEM Education Offerings

STEM, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Follow the Road to Student Success with Experiential Student Research

This session will be facilitated by STEM Advocates from the Ohio Academy of Science and will detail the Believe in Ohio and Science Day Programs.

September 22, 2022 from 3:30 - 5:30 at the ESC of Lake Erie West

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Monthly STEM Office Hours: K-5

The virtual monthly office hour sessions will be facilitated by Natalie Crotte, STEM Consultant at the ESC of Lake Erie West. Join these open forums to engage in an opportunity to share ideas with peers about "what's working" in the STEM classroom, get feedback on activity ideas, and to ask questions about anything STEM-related. 

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Monthly STEM Office Hours: 6-12

The virtual monthly office hour sessions will be facilitated by Natalie Crotte, STEM Consultant at the ESC of Lake Erie West. Join these open forums to engage in an opportunity to share ideas with peers about "what's working" in the STEM classroom, get feedback on activity ideas, and to ask questions about anything STEM-related. 

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NWO STEM Activity

Life Boat

This month's activity is provided by the Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative


  • Mini foam balls
  • Toothpicks
  • Tub with water
  • Optional - crayons, or another item to use as a weight


  1. Place 20 foam balls and 40 toothpicks in a bag for each student group
  2. Fill a small tub with water for testing the life boats.
  3. Optional - crayons, or another item to use as a weight

Challenge: Can you use foam balls and tooth picks to create a raft that can float in water?

Extension: How many crayons can your raft hold before taking on water or sinking?

Divide your students into collaborative teams and task them with this challenge. Encourage creative and "out of the box" thinking while they develop solutions. Consider using this Engineering Design Process Graphic and Guide as a resource.

Remember - always do what's best for you and your students! Change the number of foam balls and toothpicks your students get. Set a 10 minute timer for students to complete the challenge. Have students draw a plan before they get materials. Set dimensions for the raft that the students must consider. 

Do you have any questions about how to use this activity? Please reach out.

Click here to download (pdf)

Updated: 09/16/2022 09:06AM