In This Newsletter Issue

STEM is Elementary Newsletter - January 2018

January 02, 2018

Happy New Year! Find out about upcoming STEM conferences in 2018 as well as information on programming and robotics resources for elementary grades in this issue.



Upcoming STEM conferences in 2018


Science Educator Council of Ohio Symposium

Teachers, administrators, colleagues and friends: 
This is going to be an amazing symposium this year! New venue, top-notch keynotes, updates from ODE, pertinent presenters for science/STEM teachers grades K-college, invaluable vendors/exhibitors, networking, graduate credit availability and celebration of science and STEM in Ohio. Please spread the word about the symposium! Sign up to attend today. 
I will be at my STEM is Elementary booth with information on great elementary STEM resources. Please stop by and say hi!


The Children's Engineering Convention has three major components: 1) staff development for K-5 teachers focusing on strategies that assist children to create, use and control technology, 2) teacher demonstrations of techniques for infusing design, engineering, and technology activities into the Standards of Learning, and 3) a showcase of technology-based educational resources. In addition to the special interest sessions/workshops, other opportunities will include educational vendor exhibits and keynote speakers during each general session.
Participants will experience engineering and technology-based activities that contribute to the development of technological awareness. Workshop highlights will focus on experiences that enable children to:

·           explore how people create, use, and control technology

·           apply knowledge in mathematics, science, English, and history and social sciences in solving problems associated with design, engineering and technology; and

·           use tools and materials to develop technological literacy and self-confidence.

My partner, Ron Todd, and I will be doing a session at this conference on programming (Electronic Sentences), mechanical systems (Teacher Geek) and microprocessors (Crumble) that is appropriate for grades 1-8. Check out these resources below. Please stop by and say hi!


The Ohio Educational Technology Conference
The Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC) is the premier P-20 state educational technology conference. Each year, more than 4,000 educational technology professionals and enthusiasts come together to explore the forefront of P-20 learning and innovation in Ohio.
Designed to cultivate partnerships, promote collaboration, deliver high-quality information, and make technology accessible and enjoyable for educators, the OETC is the must-attend conference of the year for P-20 teachers, curriculum and technology coordinators, administrators, higher education professors and administrators, and everyone who is interested in learning more about what’s happening in technology today.
For three full days, attendees can learn what’s new and look towards the future by exploring new technologies,  trying them out in a interactive atmosphere, and learning how to integrate them into the learning environment.
I will be at my STEM is Elementary booth with information on great elementary STEM resources. Please stop by and say hi!

#OETC18 will take place February 13-15, 2018 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.


THEME: Building Bridges Within The STEM Community and Beyond - The theme for ITEEA’s 80th Annual Conference, to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 12-14, 2018, focuses on building bridges within the STEM community and beyond. Building bridges helps everyone to understand the important role technology and engineering contributes to STEM education.  
Observe the Go Baby Go Movement at the ITEEA conference
Neuroscientist and physical therapist Cole Galloway is most interested in rapidly prototyping novel technology (often DIY) to assist children and adults in maximizing their real-world exploration—specifically combining low tech and high tech into “Go Tech.”
The recipe for growing (and regrowing) a human brain is simple: allow the human to actively interact within socially and physically enriched environments. In his fast-paced keynote address, Dr. Galloway will briefly introduce how the current model of rehabilitation for children and adults with brain injuries is failing. He will then describe how the 70-chapter Go Baby Go (GBG) “movement” is providing a community-based alternative that is more fun, functional, family friendly, and feasible. He will end with a practical roadmap of how ITEEA and GBG together can provide “brains on/hands on” education while saving the world!

My partner, Ron Todd, and I will be doing a session on Wednesday, April 12 at this conference on programming (Electronic Sentences), mechanical systems (Teacher Geek) and microprocessors (Crumble) that is appropriate for grades 1-8. Check out these resources below. 

I will also be doing a session on Friday, April 14 on the ITEEA TEEMS curriculum for grades 3-6. Please stop by and say hi!


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Robotics and Programming Resources

Robotics, programming and coding are drawing more attention and becoming more popular in elementary classrooms. The following articles will showcase robotics, programming and coding resources that I have discovered or been made aware of.


Cubetto by Primo

Cubetto is the friendly wooden robot that will teach your children the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands on play. Montessori approved, LOGO Turtle inspired.



Made of tactile and hard-wearing wood he's your child's guide into the world of coding. Screenless, friendly and ready to play.


Coding Blocks

A coding language you can touch and manipulate like LEGO. Each block is an action. Combine them to create programs.


green Forward yellow Left red Right blue  Function   Backward  Negation  Random


Control Board


Place the blocks on the board to tell Cubetto where to go. Hit the blue button and Cubetto executes your very first program.


Maps and Books


Expand play time with world maps, educational story book and challenges that take your child on epic coding



The Finch is a small robot designed to inspire and delight students learning computer science by providing them a tangible physical representation of their coding.

The Hummingbird is a kit that allows students to create and program robots built from electronic components and craft materials.

Birdbrain products have been used by tens of thousands of students to explore computer programming, learn poetry, host robot petting zoos, create combined physical & virtual games, and much, much more!


Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.


You can search the website for coding activities by grade level (pre-readers through high schoo)l, subject matter or experience level.


Dash and Dot Robotics


Dash & Dot are real robots that teach your kids to code while they play. Using our free apps and a compatible tablet or smartphone, kids learn to code while they make Dash sing, dance and navigate all around the house. Sensors on the robot mean they react to the environment around them, including your kids.
Learning to code is the best shot your child has at success in the 21st century — and it must start with hands-on play at a young age. Play is a powerful teacher — and Dash and Dot that make robotics and coding every child's play.
At Wonder Workshop, we code in kid speak. While Lincoln Logs and LEGOs were the building blocks of past generations’ play, coding is the tool of the 21st century kid. We build coding languages uniquely designed for kids ages 6 and up, putting the power of play into their hands. Dreaming up new adventures and bringing them to life, kids master this language by transforming our characters and robots into ready-to-play pals with code. With Wonder Workshop and our Dash and Dot Robots, every kid has the building blocks to push the boundaries of what is possible.


Buy Now


Design a Robotic Arm

Design a robotic arm that can move a marble, a straw, and a washer from the table into a cup without using your hands.


LEGO Coding Lessons

Into LEGO robotics? Want to find some cool coding lessons? Then check out over 30 of LEGO's coding lessons! Subjects=Coding&pagesize=12


Into robots? Here is a list of robot websites provided by Sarah Brian from,  Forever Curious is a labor of love by a group of librarians and educators seeking to curate the best educational resources and lesson plans for people of all ages.  

From preschool through college and adulthood, they seek to foster a love of lifelong learning that has kept all of us forever curious.

The Various Applications of Robots
Leg and Motion Control Design Principles
Automotive Design Principles for Future Engineers & Robotics Teams
Flow Rigs for Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
Karakuri and the Concept of Sociable Robots
How To Build A Robot From Scratch
Real Estate, Math, and Financial Literacy Lesson Plans
How To Store Hobbies (incl. technical components)
Guide to Automation and DIY Robots
Guide to Protecting Your Hobbies


Sphero SPRK+

Sphero SPRK+ i was built for learner progression. It’s approachable for beginners of all ages, yet sophisticated enough for seasoned programmers. Sphero is programmable by following drawn lines, using block programming or Java coding. Sphero Edu incorporates STEAM activities and the 4Cs.


Heidi Williams’ book, No-Fear Coding: Computational Thinking Across the K-5 Curriculum shows K-5 educators how to bring coding into their curriculum by embedding computational thinking skills into activities for every content area. At the same time, embedding these skills helps students prepare for coding in the middle grades as they build their knowledge.
To help teachers easily and effectively introduce coding, the book features:

  • Classroom-tested lessons and activities designed for skills progression.

  • Ready-to-implement coding exercises that can be incorporated across the curriculum.

  • Alignment to ISTE and Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) standards.

  • Case studies and explorations of technology tools and resources to teach coding.


Other STEM articles!


Innovators Club
by PAST Foundation

Want your students to participate in active STEM programming that provides real world experiences in a fun and innovative way? Have your kiddos become an Innovator and experience robotics, horticulture, drones, architecture, entrepreneurship, art and more! The result? Applying knowledge by linking learning to life! Oh yes, and did we mention fun?


Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC)
January 10, 2018 at 7pm EST
Presenter: Dr. Sharon Bower

OPSPARC. NASA OPSPARC is just one of many NASA challenges and resources that will shared during this 45-minute webinar that will help you discover ways to build context for learning and use your classroom as a portal to current NASA missions. Sharon Bowers, Senior STEM Education Specialist at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) will share NASA and NIA engineering and design challenges and resources appropriate for grades 3 – 12 during this session. code=1b10bf18-ffca-e711-90ca-0050569142af


Manufacturing Night at Columbus State
Community College

Columbus State Community College, along with industry partners, will be hosting an informational session about our Modern Manufacturing Work Study Program and Engineering Technology programs on the evening of Tuesday, January 23rd. The work study program allows students to work part-time for an advanced manufacturer, gaining valuable experience, while earning an Associate degree in Engineering Technology. 

We are inviting all students, parents and educators with an interest to join us! Please click below for a registration link and additional information about the program:

Manufacturing Night 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018  I   6:30-8:00 p.m. 
Columbus Campus - Columbus State Conference Center
Fourth Floor, Center for Workforce Development
315 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215

At this link, you’ll find a brochure with details about this program: Modern Manufacturing Brochure.


Preschool in a Science Center

The Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines began an on-site preschool shortly after its doors opened in 1970, inspired by the founders’ belief in the importance of science education for early childhood learners.
Children have the capacity and propensity to observe and explore the world around them from an early age. To foster these innate abilities, students must be provided with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) experiences early in life to begin forging learning pathways in their brains. These learning pathways help the brain channel new information through prior experiences (Harris Helm 2015).


Creating a STEM Culture for Teaching and Learning
By Jeff Weld

In Creating a STEM Culture, Weld argues for a holistic approach to STEM education. “Anything short of the cultivation of a culture for STEM is insufficient. Success requires a systemic rather than a piecemeal approach to STEM education. All dimensions of schooling must be on the table—teacher preparation, scheduling, school-parent relations, professional development, curriculum, assessment, the disciplines, physical space, administrator support, business and community engagement, and of course budgets. STEM is ushering an invigorating evolution of education,” Weld states in the opening chapter. stem-culture-for-teaching-and-learning/


PhET Interactive Simulations

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.


That's it for this newsletter.

Please let me know of elementary STEM events, resources, or professional development opportunities that you would like to see in an upcoming edition of the STEM is Elementary newsletter!

Also, please contact me concerning STEM workshops for your school or district!

Bob Claymier