In This Newsletter Issue

STEM is Elementary Newsletter - November 2020

October 13, 2020

Find out about elementary STEM resources, articles and professional development opportunities in this issue.



OTEEA STEM Seminars and STEM Resources
The Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association has STEM resources to help educators prepare for in-school or at-home learning.
The OTEEA is hosting a series of Fourth Monday STEM seminars throughout the 2020-2021 school year that will feature presentations by state and national STEM education leaders.  The seminars will alternate each month between seminars appropriate for K-5 educators and those appropriate for 6-12 educators.
Join us on October 26 at 4 pm on Zoom for our next K-5 STEM seminar. The meeting will feature the principals of two Ohio schools, Scott Best of the Hull Prairie School and Trudi Simpson of the Kinder Garten School, both recent winners of the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s Program of Excellence Award. The meeting number is 845 9539 9455 and the Passcode is OTEEA.
The archived seminar and list of weblinks from their presentation can be found at

At, our team has created a massive guide to STEM for Kids. This guide provides links to over 150 courses, top resources for each subject of the STEM curriculum, websites, activities, and is organized by age group for easy access. 

Check it out here: for-kids/





VEX Robotics Programs for Elementary Students

VEX 123  (PreK-2)is an interactive, programmable robot that takes Computer Science and Computational Thinking off of the screen and brings them into the hands of elementary students.
VEX GO, designed for grades 3–4, is an affordable construction system that teaches the fundamentals of STEM through fun, hands-on activities that help young students perceive coding and engineering in a fun and positive way!
VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed from the ground up to provide novice users the chance to find success quickly, while still being able to constantly challenge more advanced users.





Picture-Perfect STEM

Picture-Perfect STEM Lessons, K–2  and 3-5  draws on diverse and attention-grabbing books such as The Handiest Things in the World, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Rosie Revere, Engineer. The lessons will lead your students to ask questions and define problems; obtain, evaluate, and communicate information; and engage in argument from evidence. Along the way, students invent a handy backpack, design their own process for recycling crayons, and build a model habitat for an imaginary pet. Through these lessons and activities, all young students, including reluctant scientists and struggling readers, will quickly find themselves absorbed in STEM-related discovery.





ITEEA School STEM awards

ITEEA’s STEM Center for Teaching and Learning™ recognizes outstanding schools for their commitment to providing a robust Integrative STEM education program. Schools recognized exemplify outstanding leadership in the field of STEM education. Recognized schools undergo a rigorous application process requiring detailed documentation to demonstrate a strong Integrative STEM program. A panel of reviewers will reach consensus that the documented evidence represents excellence in Integrative STEM education.
ITEEA created the designation as a way to officially recognize those schools whose teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders are providing a meaningful STEM education experience for students. By highlighting these schools, ITEEA hopes to help others learn effective best practices and continue sharing them more broadly into the larger STEM Education community.





ITEEA’s Children’s STEM Journal

Did you know that the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association has a Children’s STEM Council that provides resources specifically for the elementary STEM teacher? Included in their resources is their award-winning Children’s STEM Journal, published 4 times a year.
Here is a sample of their latest issue:

·Spatial Intelligence, by Douglas Lecorchick, Sarah Greene, and Matthew Woodward

·Using the universal design for learning framework to plan for all students in the classroom: representation and visual support, by Alicia Mrachka

·ACTIVITY: KIDS CODE coding in the primary classroom, by Meg Swecker

·Heroes and villains: a virtual summer camp learning experience, Jerry Schnepp and Thomas Roberts aspx





ITEEA STEMinar: Making PBL Impactful for PreK-4 Education Students and Connections to Distance Learning

Project-Based Learning at the early childhood level can be difficult to wrestle with because of its open-ended nature. This presentation will discuss research on what aspects of a PBL course, within a STEM minor, helps PreK-4 education students become comfortable with this as an approach to teaching. Applications of PBL in distance learning modalities and connections to research will be discussed as well. Presenter: Justin Egresitz Home-Page?meetingid=%7B07D21E3B-ABEE-EA11-8109-000D3A044486% 7D





ITEEA’s Children’s STEM Council’s Global Design Challenge

In 2008, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. The Grand Challenges were designed to cause students and educators to think about solutions to the big challenges affecting all of our lives. It’s now time for elementary-aged students to get in on the action and show the world that they can solve big STEM design problems as well. ITEEA’s Elementary STEM Council is sponsoring the 3rd Global Design Challenge for Elementary STEM (GDC) to provide students with a chance to solve a real problem, and show the world that everyone can help find solutions to these global challenges


Can you work as a member of a small design team to develop or modify a product or device that will encourage people to properly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds?
STEL #1C: Recognize that creating can be done by anyone. Using technology and engineering tools and techniques, anyone can design or improve things to enhance their lives. Creation of new knowledge, approaches, and inventions can occur through either individual or collaborative efforts. Even young children can view themselves as creators.
NGSS 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want
Big Ideas:

·Washing hands often can prevent the spread of viruses.

·Some products are designed to help people take care of themselves.

·Many special tools and devices are used to remind people of important things.


·Develop a product, not a method—many methods are available online.

·Use low-cost or free materials to develop your prototype that will remind people to wash their hands often and help them wash for at least 20 seconds.

·Make sure that the product does not require a common language—could be used anywhere.

·Test your product with classmates and document how well it works

To the Teacher:

·Encourage your students to use the engineering design loop and document this with a design journal or portfolio and a final product pitch.

·Take lots of pictures throughout the design activity and a final video (3 minutes max.) where the teams present their findings and their product.

·Require the students to present and defend their product in a formal product pitch—an authentic audience would be ideal

·Submit the results to Virginia Jones at or Thomas Roberts at no later than December 15, 2020


·Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020.

· your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html. Downloaded on March 3, 2020.

·U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Grand Challenges.

· GrandChallengeScholars Program.aspx. Downloaded on March 14, 2016. generalSea rch





MakerSpace Simple, Series and Parallel Circuits

Learn how electricity works by creating a simple, series and parallel circuit using copper tape and a coin cell battery.  This is a fun hands-on way to see how different types of circuits function.
Do you know which circuit will still work even if one of the two lights is broken or missing?  Which of these circuits is the same most Christmas lights use?   Find out in our latest makerspace tutorial. paper-circuits/





Start Engineering YouTube Videos

We have produced and posted videos with both informational and educational purposes. The video below, for example, gives an overview of CyberCAP, the cyber career awareness program we launched this summer that serves both in-person and virtual learning needs.

And we have also produced videos offering instruction for educators in both using CyberCAP and more generally teaching cybersecurity to middle and high school students. More videos on other topics are in line for production, too; our next topic will be elementary engineering education, for example. videos





Toledo Zoo
Zoo Academy: Weekday Experiences During the School Year
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.  Single day sessions are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, with topics rotating throughout the season.  In addition to learning about life science, participants will engage in arts and crafts, reading, creative writing, and active games and songs.  Come join the fun!
Toledo Zoo Virtual Learning Experiences
The Toledo Zoo is bringing the Zoo to you! Our virtual learning experiences will connect you with Zoo educators and animal ambassadors here at the zoo through tours & classroom lessons. Each lesson comes with a packet of activities for the student to do at home.
Register your group for a custom session with up to 75 participants for $50. Contact us at for details. 
Classes are also open for individuals on select dates. Pricing and schedule is at
Topics include:


·Endangered Species

·Food Chains



·Animal Teams




·Zoo Careers



Custom Topics are also available





4‑H STEM Challenge

The 4‑H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4‑H National Youth Science Day (4‑H NYSD), is an annual initiative to inspire kids everywhere to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on learning.
For the past 12 years, 4‑H has developed  fun, accessible challenges that shows kids how STEM skills can be applied to the world around them.






Ohio Department of Education Teaching in Uncertain Times Professional Learning Materials

The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies hosted a three-day professional learning series, titled Teaching in Uncertain Times. Sessions focused on the Community of Inquiry framework and its three Social, Cognitive and Teaching Presences (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000).
More than 30 recorded sessions now are available for the education community to use for training and professional learning. In addition to general sessions, there are videos and materials for the following content areas:

·English language arts;


·Physical education;


·Social studies;

·STEM; and

·World language and cultures Graphic-Sections/Resources/Teaching-in-Uncertain-Times




Virtual Meetups: Computer Science and Technology

The Ohio Department of Education is partnering with Ohio's EdTechs to offer the virtual meetup, Cyber Security, Data Ethics and App Creation: Examples of Integrating Ohio's Computer Science and Technology Standards. This meetup will showcase two Ohio teachers who will share projects they implemented with their students. One project is featured in the Computer Science for Your Classroom video collection (PBS Western Reserve), and the second is a winner of the Ohio Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge. Supporting resources from the Ohio Cyber Club Toolkit (Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee) also will be shared. The session will highlight the ways these projects and resources incorporate knowledge and skills from both Ohio’s Learning Standards for Computer Science and Technology.
This will be a 75-minute session to provide sufficient time to honor each of these projects and for attendees to ask questions. Please visit the Computer Science Resources and Technology Resources webpages to find additional information and resources. Science/Resources-for-Computer-Science




New webinar series on STEM with the Ohio Department of Education

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.

·Sept. 30, 3-5pm: Exploring the quality model for STEM/STEAM schools

·Oct. 14, 3-5pm: Creating a culture of innovation to support STEM best practices

·Oct. 28, 3-5pm: Beyond Project-Based Learning: What does teaching and learning look like in a STEM school?

·Nov. 11: Building community partnerships to provide real-world context the-ohio-department-of-education




#STEMpowersOhio challenge question, professional development, and other resources now available

For this year’s design challenge, we’re partnering with Ohio Energy Project, the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program, Young 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?”

We’ve modified this year’s challenge to account for a variety of education options – hybrid, in person or fully remote.  We know this year is different from most – but we know the OSLN design challenge is a great way to engage your students in authentic problem-based learning!

New this year:

·Students may participate as individuals, or as a team

·Afterschool programs and out-of-school programs are encouraged to participate

·Local showcases may be virtual or in-person

·Statewide Student Solutions Showcase moving to a virtual format

·Students create a prototype of their solution & a 30 – 90 second “pitch” explaining the benefits of their solution

We will be working with our partners throughout the fall to provide professional learning sessions on Energy, Leading a Design Challenge, and Entrepreneur Education. Throughout the challenge, we’ll connect you with energy experts, give you ideas on how to engage your students, and connect you to resources to participate in the challenge. professional-development-and-other-resources-now-available




OSLN and ODE Four-part series focuses on STEM learning

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. .

All webinars will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on the following dates:

·Sept. 30: Exploring the quality model for STEM/STEAM schools. Join here. 

·Oct. 14: Creating a culture of innovation to support STEM best practices. Join here. 

·Oct. 28: Beyond Project-Based Learning: What does teaching and learning look like in a STEM school? Join here. 

·Nov. 11: Building community partnerships to provide real-world context. Join here.

Questions can be sent to Kimberly Bell at (614) 752-1333 or
To help the Department and the Ohio STEM Learning Network prepare for these webinars, please register at xPz4UNiU B0- E6zbtV8fIotLnWCCZLQ1PnemINtMXcbFUNTlHWlY0OEQ4SURF OUE2Mk9NWEt HUU9WUy4u




The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) To Announce Yearly Design Challenge!
The PAST Foundation is pleased to continue our work with the Ohio STEM Learning Network’s yearly design challenge.  Every year, OSLN issues a challenge for all Ohio K-12 students to ideate, create, and prototype solutions to a pressing issue. This year’s topic revolves around ENERGY!!!
If you would like to be one of the first Ohio educators to see this year's topic and register your school, sign up for the OSLN newsletter at





US Department of Energy’s All In STEM

Diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce produces better results, is a moral imperative, and is a mission imperative. America’s STEM needs are enormous, and we need an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to fill them.
For the sake of our energy security, our economic security, and our national security, we must draw upon all of America’s available talent and ability, across every part of society. Learn about the ways the U.S. Department of Energy is ensuring a diverse and inclusive energy workforce of today and tomorrow in our resources below. You can sort the chart by audience level and category to find resources especially geared to you.





Engineering is Elementary Virtual Learning Lab

We invite you to visit our virtual learning hub to explore our STEM learning solutions for grades K-8. We know many educators are searching for ideas, so we are happy to make this available. Bookmark the link and come back as we’ll be adding more resources as the school year unfolds.
Honoring Educator Needs

We understand that before students can thrive, educators must thrive. That’s why we’ve also developed professional development courses with certification, resources for educators on our Blog, and free STEM content through MOS at home.
To see all the EiE K-8 STEM curricula, go to





Feed and Fuel Your Future

Help students find their future career! is collaborating with the Ohio Department of Education, GrowNextGen, and Ohio Corn & Wheat to connect science and agriculture careers through a virtual learning series for students.  

Presenters will provide live virtual field trips, lessons and career panels each week to help students consider the relevant, abundant STEM careers available in agricultural fields.
We hope you plan to join us throughout this 4 week series to connect science through agriculture and help your students find their future career!

·Week of Oct 5: Finding Flavor in a Food Science Career

·Week of Oct 12: Time to Eat! Careers in Food Production

·Week of Oct 19: What’s in Your Water? Careers in Sustainability and Ecosystems

·Week of Oct 26:  Lots of Tech in the Field: Careers in Technology






STEM with Sphero Robotics

Have you tried Sphero robots? We love them and we tell you why in this podcast episode. Hear from Sphero Hero brand ambassador Aspen Meineke as she shares her tips and activity ideas to use Sphero robots in your classroom or program. Sphero robots are perfect for all ages and can be used safely with social distancing within your classroom. Tune in to learn more.





USA Science & Engineering Festival

Our mission is to stimulate and sustain the interest of our nation’s youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, and educational Festival in the world.
The USA Science & Engineering Festival serves as an open forum to showcase all facets of STEM.
Virtually experience exhibit booths featuring hands-on interactive STEM content, get an all-access pass to exclusive performances on the STEM Stage, hunt for clues and earn badges and prizes in the Scavenger Hunt, gear up in the STEM Store and launch a STEM career in the College Career Center.  A FREE event!





CET Computer Science Fundamentals Intro Workshop

Code has developed an elementary school curriculum that allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing. This is a free one-day workshop for K-5 educators interested in teaching computer science, hosted by This workshop will cover courses A-F and offer supplies needed to teach the course to students. Get more information here.
Class Type: Virtual | Prerequisites: None | Cost: Free compute r-science-classes-with-code-org





Electrifying Engineering

General Motors is lending support by releasing “Electrifying Engineering,” a free video series designed to foster ingenuity through hands-on activities, while educating kids about electric vehicle technology. 

The series touches on a wide range of topics, including electric car charging, electric car motors, autonomous vehicle sensors and more. Episodes will feature an interactive engineering project designed for viewers to conduct in the comfort of their own homes, with everyday household items. PL5UWrg muniqIWKXCnIgtmMUvpLrBkCHHi





3DUXDesign videos for STEM Ideas

At 3Dux, we realize STEM education isn't just about math and science—it's also about art, environment and humanity. We encourage children to imaginatively and practically think through solutions to real-world problems by building structures and environments using the 3DuxDesign award-winning architectural modeling systemWith a huge assortment of geometric forms and connectors engineered to fit most cardboard, children never run out of raw material to work with and learn about creative repurposing while they build.  3DuxDesign unleashes the imagination and inspires the change-maker in every child




2021 Virginia Children’s Engineering Convention
“A Virtual Professional Development Program”


The 2021 Children’s Engineering Convention will be held virtually on February 2-4, 2021. Plan ahead to attend the convention! The Virginia Children's Engineering Council (VCEC) invites teachers and instructional leaders to be a convention presenter. Come and share your expertise and best instructional strategies with other PreK-5 educators.
 Presenters should be prepared to provide sessions that will enhance elementary school teachers ability to teach children to:

·explore how people create, use, and control technology

·apply knowledge of mathematics, science, English, and history and social studies in solving problems associated with technology

·use tools and materials to explore design, engineering, and technology exhibit self-confidence through the use of technology.

The convention will focus on high-quality design, engineering, and technology instruction that includes “how-to, and hands-on” deeper learning strategies and best practices with a proven track record of success. Session length will be designed for 45-minutes with 15 additional minutes for discussion.

The final submission deadline for presenter proposals is October 15, 2020. Presenters will be notified of presentation status by October 30, 2020.
To submit a proposal, please click the "Call for Presenters" link below:

Call for Presenters
Barbara Adcock, Program Chair
Virginia Children's Engineering Council
P. O. Box 29307
Henrico, VA 23242
or 1FAIpQLSccwKXeESAne9Ic9jkA vfYzhY9aekTEneRINDeL96FYWG1BMw/ viewform




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!

Bob Claymier



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