In This Newsletter Issue

STEM is Elementary Newsletter - December 2020

December 14, 2020

Happy Holidays! Find elementary STEM resources, articles, professional development opportunities and more in this issue.




ITEEA Virtual Conference for 2021
Where Technology and Engineering Education Come to Life!
The 2021 conference focuses on the way educators make technology and engineering education relevant for all. Educators use active learning, authentic assessments, collaboration, and put research into practice in order to help technology and engineering come to life!
Strand 1: Defining the role of technology and engineering in STEM education
Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL) provides the standards, practices, and contexts that define how all students can become technologically and engineering literate. Sessions in this strand should provide examples of technology and engineering education as an integrative subject.
Strand 2: Building partnerships to strengthen technology and engineering education
Education at all levels requires collaboration. Sessions in this strand should provide examples of how educators from varying disciplines and levels connect and partner to help technology and engineering education come to life.
Strand 3: Sharing technology and engineering education research and best practices
Technology and engineering education is based on research and best practices in adolescent development, curriculum, instructional methods, assessment, and content. Sessions in this strand should highlight how research and scholarship are used to identify and inform best practices.
Strand 4: Establishing career connections for all students
All careers involve varying levels of technology and engineering knowledge, skills, and dispositions.  Sessions in this strand should showcase strategies for bridging classroom practice and careers.


25th Annual Children’s Engineering Convention
The Convention will be held virtually
February 2–4, 2021
The Children’s Engineering Convention has three major components:

1.Staff development for K-5 teachers focusing on ways to help children create, use and control technology

2.Teacher demonstrations of ways to infuse technology activities into the Standards of Learning

3.A showcase of technology-based educational resources. In addition to the special interest sessions/workshops, other opportunities will include education vendor exhibits and an international keynote speaker during each general session.

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 Studies in solving problems associated with technology;

·use tools and materials to explore personal interest with technology; and

·exhibit self-confidence through the use of technology.


OETC 2021
OETC understands the challenge that educators are facing. OETC is making every effort to accommodate our virtual presenters and will make after-hours and weekend pre-recording times available.
Also, if you wish to submit a session proposal but are unable to attend the conference for the Live Q & A portion, please do not hesitate to submit your session. OETC fully expects some sessions to be pre-recorded sessions only.
The Call for Session Proposals closes at 11:59 pm (EST) on December 13, 2020! Submit your Session Proposal today HERE! Login?ReturnUrl=%2FPresentationPortal%2Foetc-2021% 2Fpresport al


OTEEA Monthly STEM Webinars
The Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association hosts a free STEM webinar each fourth Monday of the month for 2020-2021 from 4 to 5 PM, except December. Seminars alternate each week for K-5 and 6-12 STEM educators. The seminars are videotaped and archived on the OTEEA website, Webinars for the year so far include:
August 2020:
Heather Sherman, director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network and Thomas Roberts, president of the ITEEA’s Children’s STEM Council
September 2020:
Lt. Casey Green of the Civil Air Patrol and their great aerospace education resources
October 2020:
Scott Best, principal of the OSLN STEM School award winning Hull Prairie Intermediate (gr 5-6) in Perrysburg, Ohio
November 2020
Tad Douce, director of the National Robotics Challenge and Drones in School competition
January 2020
Trudi Simpson of the OSLN and ITEEA STEM School award winning Kinder Garten School in Westchester, Ohio and Andy Lambert, STEM director at St. Brendan’s School in Hilliard, Ohio.
The OTEEA website also has other STEM resources and events posted for K-12 STEM educators. Some resources require membership to download.


Bring NASA lessons into your classroom with Space from a Distance
The Ohio STEM Learning Network proudly announces a new collaboration between science non-profit Battelle and NASA—Next Gen STEM: Space from a Distance.

At, explore NASA’s standards-aligned, hands-on STEM activities and then join us for an informational webinar on 12/9/2020 to learn how to qualify for a free STEM crate with supplies for 30 students.

Starting next year on February 1st, will feature standards-aligned design challenges designed for K-12 by NASA professionals. Each week will focus on a different piece of NASA’s mission – STEM on Station, Moon to Mars, Commercial Crew, and Aeronaut-X – providing accessible resources to you and your students in person or virtually.

Each week, we’ll help you guide your students through the engineering design process, participate in hands-on-STEM activities, and learn about NASA careers from the professionals themselves. Each day of the week is themed after a step in the design cycle, starting with #NASAMakerMonday and #NASATestItTuesday, and culminating in #NASAFeedbackFriday. Students will complete a prototype on Monday, iterate on their design, learn about careers at NASA from NASA’s own STEM Stars, then submit their designs. NASA professionals designed these activities to demonstrate out-of-this-world concepts with everyday materials – explore the website to see for yourself!


Vivify STEM Gift Guide
Interested in a full STEM gift guide that takes out the guesswork? We have you covered. You can grab our free STEM gift guide in our free resource library by signing up for our free newsletter. This gift guide provides an easy to use list of gift ideas and books for lower elementary, upper elementary, and middle school-aged students. The gift ideas fall into categories of under $10, <$25, <$50, <$100, and greater than $100 so you can find something for every child on your list. For your convenience, all gift ideas are listed as links to Amazon so you don’t even have to leave your couch to cross your holiday shopping off your list! Have more questions, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to help you find the right STEM toy, tool, or game.
STEM Gift Guide
Vivify STEM newsletter (free)


TED Talks archive: 

Browse through 62 artchived TED Talks on Invention, 279 on Technology;  54 on Architecture; 246 on Design; and 37 On the Impact of Ideas, plus more.


PAST Foundation’s STEM Activities at Home

A Virtual Resource for Parents and Educators!

During this hectic time, the PAST Foundation understands the disruption that COVID19 has created within schools and in education. We are here to help by providing our FREE STEM Educational Activities for students.You can access all of these activities, view demonstration videos, and find more resources by visiting our STEM Activities at Home page.

Anyone from educational institutions, business, government entities, community organizations, and the media can become involved with the OSLN Central Ohio STEM Action Center and STEM education.

The PAST Foundation powers the OSLN Central Ohio STEM Action Center. center



STEM School of Excellence Application Process and Criteria – YouTube
Interested in applying for the ITEEA STEM School of Excellence Award? Watch this video on how to do it!


Ohio STEM and STEAM Designation Important Dates
STEM and STEAM Designation for FY2022 is just around the corner. The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio STEM Learning Network would like to remind school leaders of three important dates for application submission.
December 15th:  Complete this survey to inform the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio STEM Learning Network on your intent to apply and if technical assistance will be pursued. xPz4UNiU B0- E6zbtV8fIotLnWCCZLQ1PnemINtMXcbFUQ01ZM05PWk85OUw0 V0E3UFZQOFJ GNzNXWi4u
January 15th: Submit a rough draft of the application/portfolio to the Ohio STEM Learning Network for technical assistance. Email rough drafts to     
February 15th: Final applications due to the Ohio Department of Education by 5 p.m. Email to 
The STEM and STEAM Designation application and guidance rubric are available here. Engineering-and-Mathem/STEM-and-STEAM-School-Designation


Drones In The Classroom Workshop For Educators - Women And Drones
A Drone Workshop For Educators Hosted by Dr. Kenneth Berry, Research Professor, Southern Methodist University “Drones are changing our world. Educators have noticed and are searching for ways to help their students keep up with innovation in the industry.

Vertical Space digital magazine – Inaugural issue

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Vertical Space, a digital magazine featuring articles and stories that will connect you with many aspects of our industry. emagazine/

Drones in School
Get Your Pilots Ready!  
The Next Virtual Race is Scheduled for December 15-17

Get your VelociDrone licenses setup and get ready for the next race! Leaderboard bashing (qualifying) will begin on December 15th with pilots split into Beginner and Advanced groups at the end of the day. The Beginner finals start at 7:30PM ET on Wednesday, followed by the Advanced finals at 7:30 PM ET on Thursday. The Beginner and Advanced finals will be live-streamed with commentary from Joe Scully and other special guests. Not only will this help your pilots improve their skills, but this will also give your team a way to score points toward our championship race this August in Muncie, Indiana


TED Talks Blog Archives

Sign up for our daily or weekly emails to receive notifications whenever new talks are published.
Here is a site of archived TED Talks.


Engineering Projects For Kids | PBS LearningMedia
Find resources and ideas for engineering projects for kids. Discover videos, games, and activities aligned to state and national standards. -technology/


NASA Express newsletter

Are you looking for the latest NASA resources for educators, students and families? Keep up with the latest NASA STEM happenings by subscribing to the NASA EXPRESS newsletter.

Each weekly email features at-home activities to inspire learning and exploration. Find crafting ideas, science experiments with household items and videos to watch as a family. Updates on workshops, internships, contests and student challenges are also included.


The Spatially Gifted—Our Future Architects and Engineers—Are Being Overlooked

Though they have the potential to excel in many fields, we’re neglecting a large body of students with a unique set of skills.
Between two and three million students possess strong spatial talents—the types of valuable aptitudes that help engineers and scientists imagine new technological innovations, architects visualize innovative structures, and carpenters conceive of complex builds.
Yet even though spatial skills and reasoning can be measured with paper-and-pencil tests that gauge kids’ abilities to mentally rotate and visualize objects in three dimensions, we aren’t consistently doing that. And so spatially gifted students often struggle in school, don’t receive the specialized attention they need, and are generally overlooked by gifted and talented programs, according to research published earlier this year by The British Psychological Society. future-architects-and-engineers-are-being-overlooked


National Geographic Resource Library library


STEM Education Updates from the U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education (ED or the Department) developed this STEM newsletter in February 2020 to provide resources and inspiration. The Department also maintains resources on its STEM landing page, including funding opportunities and archives of STEM briefings.
US Department of Education STEM resources  
US Dept of Education STEM Education Briefing: Early Engineering and State Efforts Video cf00426bd1eb482aaddbb82 1e62541d71


STEMIE Launches STEM4EC Community 

The STEM4EC community is an initiative of the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education(STEMIE) national center. The Center has started the community as a way to engage you in exchanging ideas, personal narratives, and questions about including young children with disabilities in STEM learning. Whether you are an early childhood (EC) or EC special education practitioner, faculty, family member of a child with disabilities, or a STEM industry professional, this community may be of interest to you.


Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning Released

The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education Research Collaborative has released their Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning. Jointly developed with the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the framework provides practical guidance by identifying common P-12 engineering learning goals that all students should reach to become engineering literate. The document will add structure and coherence to the P-12 engineering community by serving as a foundation for the development of any and all engineering programs in schools, informing state and national standards-setting efforts, and providing the research community with a common “starting point” to better investigate and understand P-12 engineering learning.


Start Young, Start Now: Key Actions to Improve Scientific Literacy
Building scientific literacy begins in preschool and elementary school, yet fewer than 20% of U.S. children in kindergarten through grade 3 have science as a reliable and regular part of their schooling. When our elementary schools do not treat science as a valued core subject, it may help explain why only 38% of grade 4 students scored at or above proficient in science on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. To change this, we must increase elementary science instruction and close opportunity gaps for low-income communities—and we must do so now.  Read more here. improve-scientific-literacy


FREE Webinar for Educators:

Science for Social Justice: A Framework for Diversity and Equity in K-12 Science Educational Media
Thursday, January 28 at 7 PM ET

Culturally responsive teaching has often been regarded as the domain of the humanities subjects whereas science is often represented as facts and numbers and viewed as neutral, objective, and universal. But science education has historically focused on particular ways of knowing and doing science. In this Peer Exchange, we will talk about the importance of cultural responsiveness in the science classroom and introduce GBH’s Framework for Diversity and Equity in K-12 Science Educational Media. Dr. Blakely Tsurusaki, Senior Research Scientist and lecturer at the University of Washington Bothwell and Mariana Athayde, GBH Educator Ambassador and Lowell Public Schools science teacher, will discuss how to use this Framework to make science instruction more inclusive. v2TMuHFfTt4gl Mbg


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