In This Newsletter Issue

STEM is Elementary Newsletter - December 2021

December 02, 2021

Elementary STEM resources for December!









Making a LEGO car cross longer and longer gaps

Good engineering is created from a series of designs, tests, failures, and revisions to the design, all with the goal of solving a specific problem. This LEGO car video is a great example. gaps-engineering-video?





Math Happens

MathHappens is dedicated to creating math models and supporting development of mathematical experiences outside of the classroom.
The site contains information on resources, grants, activities and professional development opportunities.









Thomas Edison Pitch Contest 2022

Students in grades 4-12 are invited to compete in this contest honoring innovation & Thomas Edison. We will have an elementary school category, middle school category, and high school category to compete in. Our fun STEM contest will allow students to create their own inventions to solve problems that they see in the world today. You'll have the chance to:​

·Learn about STEM, history, & entrepreneurship all in one contest

·Receive a FREE Maker-Kit full of inventing supplies from Picoturbine ($200 value) & a $200 Stipend for your teacher/mentor (Limit of 3 per school)

·Pitch your invention to a panel of judges who are real-life scientists & entrepreneurs

·Work on a team with friends to win the Grand Prize - A 3D PRINTER FOR YOUR SCHOOL





MakerX is December 4, 2021 - Virtual & Onsite in Columbus and Cleveland!!

The 4th Annual MakerX Expo is Dec 4, 2021 – designed to kick off Computer Science Education Week — bringing together a celebration of making with technology for all ages and interests. Technology features include robotics and drones, 3D printing, sci-fi cosplay/fashion tech, digital art and music, game and VR development, software and media creation, high tech transportation, and much more. Activities for ages 5 through adult.





ChickQuest workshop by GrowNextGen, 1.26.22

ChickQuest, a Classroom Journey Through the Life Cycle of Chickens, is a 4-H School Enrichment Program that challenges students to use Science, Engineering, and Technology to investigate the life cycle of an embryonic chicken egg. From monitoring living eggs to observing fluffy chicks, these lively activities pique curiosity, encourage collaboration and communication, and provide young scientists with unforgettable experiences. tickets-166841460299





“Science in the City” book study -- info and registration 


The SECO at 7 webinar this Thursday (12/2) includes information on this book study. You can register for Thursday’s webinar here. (Participation not required to join the book study)

Participation not required to join the book study)

This book has powerful insights relevant to science education in any setting. In Science in the City, Bryan A. Brown examines how language and culture matter for effective science teaching. The book illustrates how science education can flourish if it is connected to students’ backgrounds, identities, language and culture.

The book study includes five one-hour virtual sessions, with contact hour and graduate credit options.  The first session is January 12, 2022 from 4:00-5:00.

Science and the City website

This website is designed to provide a community for teachers and educators to explore resources, exchange ideas and hear about our new research findings.





Once or more each month, ITEEA will be offering an hour-long opportunity for the Technology and Engineering Education Community to discuss and explore specific topics online. Participation is free and anyone who registers for a particular topic can engage in the discussion. Each topic will have one or more hosts to help guide the discussion. Questions about each topic can be submitted in advance through the registration process.





What an Opportunity... FREE Learning Experiences

The Ohio Distance Learning Association (DLA) is excited to be partnering with RemotEDx to offer Ohio teachers and students the opportunity to participate in dynamic and interactive distance learning programs AT NO CHARGE to districts.  

This month, let's celebrate the science in cooking!

Grades PreK-2: Pancake Science: Wander & Wonder | Young Explorers

Cooking is chemistry! Explore acids, bases and physical reactions with kitchen science.

Grades 3-5: Sponge Candy: Chemistry | Compact Science

Learn about the chemistry of baking soda and the role it plays in candy making.

Grades 6-8: The Science of Cooking and Baking | Cooking Up Science with Miss America

Learn about cooking and baking and the molecular changes that happen when we cook. 

Grades 9-12: The Sweet Science of Chocolate

Discover the history of chocolate, learn about the chemistry and engineering behind chocolate, and investigate chocolate's potential health benefits.

GET COOKING!: Cooking Matters Kids in the Kitchen

Kick start your day with a healthy breakfast frittata with Sparkle, Star and Chef King!

Search for these titles and more here:










MakerSpace Light-up Cards for Christmas
Is your makerspace ready for Christmas?
If you need some quick and fun projects, check out our (6) NEW Holiday light-up card templates.  It's a FREE instant download!
Each template comes in black & white outline so your students can color and customize their light-up card.  Great way to add STEAM to your makerspace.
FREE Templates Include:
Christmas Stocking
Santa Claus
Snow Globe
Rudolph Red Nose
Robot Santa





KEVA Planks

This is one of my favorite universal STEM activities for all ages. You might consider a set of KEVA Planks for your STEM-bent family member!





Animal Adaptations: Five Strategies for Teaching This Important Concept

Teaching children about animal adaptations is fun and engaging! I have yet to meet a student that doesn't love to talk about animals! Here are some ideas to help you get started. adaptati ons-five-strategies-for-teaching-this-important- concept/





How to get started with computer science

There are simple steps educators or community members can try today to add computer science education to the classroom and to learn more about it. An hour of intro activities could help you see computer science in a new way. Twenty minutes of time could win support for a new CS experience at your school, through the OSLN STEM Classroom Grant Program. You could even be the teacher who brings CS to your school.





LEGO Foundation Tech and Play

The LEGO Foundation Tech and Play initiative connects organizations around the world that are finding ways to make the introduction of technology in classrooms more playful. We look for solutions that allow children to express their creativity in a wide range of specialties from coding to tinkering to robotics. Our goal is to make learning through play with technology more accessible to teachers and equip children with the skills to thrive in a technology-driven world. We at Tufts CEEO are proud to be a specialist partner in this ambitious endeavor.




Best STEM Toys for 2021




Ages 0 to 4 Years Old





Future Engineer, by Lori Alexander

This colorful board book stars Baby, a toddler who is discovering the skills it takes to be an engineer. With simple sentences and colorful graphics, author Lori Alexander explains the basics of engineering by directly comparing what an engineer does to something similar a toddler would experience. For example, if an engineer builds a tower, Baby can stack up blocks. 20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1



1-2-3 Build It! Robot Factory

With this toy, children build their own robot using 18 different plastic pieces—like squiggly legs, silly eyes and even a propellor hat—that can be configured in endless ways. The option to mix-and-match to create a one-of-a-kind robot or follow a booklet containing photos of different models encourages creative thinking, spatial reasoning skills and independent design, all hallmarks of a good engineer. 20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1




Ages 5 to 7 Years Old





Mini Sphero

Light up the holidays with the smallest bot around, Sphero Mini! Tiny in size, but big in fun, Mini keeps STEM and computer science learning rolling through the holidays and beyond.

Choose from an assortment of colors, or for the aspiring athletes on your list, shop Sphero Mini Soccer or Mini Golf!





Sphero Indi At-Home Learning Kit

Indi is designed to teach children the very basics of programming using a car-like robot that senses color. Kids can program Indi to drive around on any combination of 30 colorful silicone mats. For example, Indi will speed up if it drives over a green mat, stop at a red, and spin around on purple. The kit comes with challenge cards with illustrations to follow, or kids can free play and set up their own course. 20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1





ThinkFun Gravity Maze at Amazon

It’s won a number of awards, including Toy of the Year, and makes a great gift for children 8 and up. Gravity/dp/B08KHLW7TX/





Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

Give your children early experience with science through this awesome GeoSafariEducational Insights® Jr. microscope from Educational Insights, a great way to go in for a closer look! insights-geosafari-jr-my-first-microscope.jsp





Snap Circuits

Snap circuits are a classic engineering gift because they show how electricity works, but all the lights, sounds and gadgets in this particular kit caught the reviewers' attention. This 55-piece set contains a circuit board, an instruction manual with 101 projects, and a variety of gizmos. Kids can start off easy by using switches and batteries to light up different parts of the board, then the models become increasingly more complex. They can wire the board to sound an alarm, play music from a speaker, launch a helicopter-like fan or put on their own light show. Plus, kids don't even have to use the instructions; once they have a grasp on how the circuit board works, the possibilities are limitless. 20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1




Professional Development






2021-2022 Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative

December 9, 2021, 3:45 to 4:45 PM

Location: Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West

2275 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, Ohio 43620

Please join us for the second 2021-2022 Northwest Ohio STEM Collaborative. This session is the second of a four-part series for this school year. You can join this session even if you did not attend the first. The session is free.

This series is facilitated through a partnership between the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West and Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at Bowling Green State University. All STEM enthusiasts are welcome to attend. 

The NWO STEM Collaborative aims to connect, share, learn and grow knowledgeable networking within the local STEM community, while providing high-quality STEM opportunities for K-12 students in Northwest Ohio. 

We look forward to collaborating with you!

A virtual recap of this session will be offered on Monday, December 13, 2021, from 3:45 - 4:45 via Zoom. The registration link is below. Please contact Natalie Crotte ( if you have any questions about this virtual event. Please contact Lisa Peluso with any questions regarding registration.

The Zoom link will be sent to those registered prior to the event.


·       Opening Remarks

·       STEM Activity

·       Sharing of Resources

·       Grade Band Breakouts

·       Closing Remarks

·       Networking

Target Audience: STEM Teachers, Content teachers looking to incorporate STEM curriculum, Pre-service teachers, District Administrators, Business partners, Community members involved with or wanting to learn more about STEM education.

Contact Hours: Participants will be issued a certificate for one contact hour

Upcoming Sessions:

·       Session 3 - February 10, 2022

·       Session 4 - April 7, 2022 oeidk=a07eioyxk9z94376d5e&oseq=&c=&ch=





#OETC22: Flipping the Script

Connecting through Technology & Educational Opportunities


February 14-18, 2022


The Call for Session Proposals has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021! 


To ensure comprehensive and quality programming for #OETC22 that fits attendee needs, OETC is looking for additional session proposals for the upcoming event. Specifically, OETC encourages proposals that address the following topics: 

·       Equity and Inclusion

·       Social Emotional Learning

·       Merging lessons learned from the pandemic with best practices pre-pandemic. 


Visit for the most current information on all things OETC!





ITEEA’s Standards in Technological Literacy Conference

 March 9-12, 2022, Orlando, Florida


ITEEA’s in-person conference offers an unparalleled experience for professional development - including hands-on learning, networking, Field Trips, and more. However, the virtual option includes much of the same educational content and is an alternative for anyone with travel restrictions or COVID-19 related concerns. ITEEA’s goal is for our 2022 conference to reach as many educators as possible, and the hybrid approach allows us to best accommodate every educators’ unique situation.





Ag is STEM: Teaching Science Through Ag Systems, #2 (VIRTUAL), by

Come work with Ohio State University faculty to learn about agricultural concepts and how you can integrate them into your science courses to meet Next Generation and Ohio science content standards. See how agricultural concepts connect with your science courses related to life, biology and environmental sciences.


This session's focus is on nutrients, soil, and plants. through-ag-systems-2-virtual-tickets-186208644067





Children’s Engineering Conference

26th Annual Children’s Engineering Convention (virtual)

February 8–10, 2022


(From Bob Claymier): This is the best children’s engineering conference in the world. I highly recommend attending this to any K-6 STEM educator (public school, private school, after-school, children’s organizations, home school educators)

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.






Developing K-12 STEM Career Pathways for the Future of Work

Join TERC as they host the Theme of the Month. This month’s theme explores STEM career pathways and ways to prepare youth for the future of work. The theme’s playlist, webinar and follow-on discussion explores strategies that can be used to build students’ skills and dispositions in key areas including interdisciplinary teamwork, design and systems thinking, lifelong learning, and real-world problem solving. The career pathway system provides a framework to develop K–12 experiences to ensure that all youth have equitable access to pursue careers in STEM fields.









Heather Sherman newly appointed as Director of Stem-X

The mission of STEM -X is to advance quality STEM education for all by increasing the capacity of state STEM networks, advocating for STEM as a national priority, and amplifying effective education practices nationwide. STEMx was the first national network designed to amplify the voices of state STEM leaders. Heather’s aim is for it to become the strongest STEM network in the country and make a difference for students everywhere. sherman




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