Welcome to the Northwest Ohio STEM Resource Center

This site will function as a clearinghouse for the best that northwest Ohio has to offer in STEM teaching, learning, research and resources.
We want to be one of the most valuable resources that schools have for improving student learning.

The Northwest Ohio STEM Resource Center is brought to you by NWO (The Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education), a partnership among northwest Ohio institutions of higher education, K-12 schools, informal education institutions and area businesses whose goal is to advance STEM education for people of all ages.

We encourage you to use this site not only to gather information but also to share with our audience your STEM successes and most effective resources.

 Most Recent Posts 

2014 NWO Symposium Captivates!

“I cannot say enough good things about the keynote speaker. Probably the best keynote speaker I have ever seen. He was extremely interesting and very personable. I was captivated during his entire talk. Great choice for a keynote!” So said one of the many teachers attending the 2014 NWO Symposium on STEM Teaching held at Bowling Green State University on November 1. The annual Symposium featured a keynote presentation from NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins, one of the pioneer engineers with NASA’s ongoing Mars Exploration program, and a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Few events in the last decade of space exploration have captured the world’s imagination like NASA’s ongoing Mars Exploration Program. In 2004, the successful deployment of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched a new era of scientific investigation of the Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. For Boykins, the rovers’ success was also a personal triumph: he helped design and build the solar arrays that enabled to rovers to keep going long after their planned 90-day life. Remarkably, Opportunity is still roaming Mars today and sending back images, more than nine years later.

Boykins’ boundless enthusiasm for unraveling the mysteries of outer space, and Mars in particular, was infectious. In his keynote presentation, “Exploring the Red Planet: Engineering, Innovation, and Perseverance”, he shared his passion for space exploration by recounting the design and construction of the rovers and the story of their successful missions.

Boykins is currently intimately involved with NASA’s latest venture to Mars, as supervisor of the mobility and remote sensing mast teams for the Mars Science Laboratory, better known as Curiosity. Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012 and has already made headlines with evidence that conditions on Mars, including the presence of water, once could have supported life. For his work on this and other compelling projects, Boykins last year received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, one of the highest honors given to NASA employees and contractors.

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NWO hosts STEM Stakeholders with NW OHIO JOURNAL

A number of organizations have joined together to further STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Joining us in this discussion are Dr. Bob Midden from BGSU, Mary Caprella from BP and Aimee Kennedy at Battelle.

Click here to watch the videos

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Annual “Engineer For A Day” Program Brings Engineering to Life

As part of “Engineer’s Week”, 25 students from area high schools participated in the highly successful and eleventh annual “Engineer for a Day” program held last month at the Toledo engineering firm SSOE. What is unique about this program is that the different fields of engineering are explored by students in a day filled with interactive and engaging hands-on activities, all with the focus of exposing students to what it’s really like to work as a engineer. The students gained valuable insight on the different engineering disciplines, and learned what it takes to become, and more importantly, work as an engineer.

SSOE Engineers take the students through fun experiments and projects, all in an effort to expose the students to what it is like to actually work as a team, putting into “action” how engineering may be applied day-to-day activities.

The day began with “Let’s Build a Motor”; an activity led by Master Engineer Ed McConnell and Electrical Engineer Zulema Lopez, who stated, “We’ve done the motor building project for two years to make it fun and interesting for the kids. We give them a D battery and other materials, along with instructions and then they are on their own to learn how to build a motor from scratch.” Ms. Lopez went on to explain the students are put into groups, and they must decide on their own who will be the project manager, and then work together as a team. “The kids get really into it, they get really excited when the motor starts working!”

Along with an extensive tour of the SSOE corporate headquarters, the students explored “Design Technology” computer engineering and the application of 3D technology and animation software. Students then took part in “Construct a Building Frame”; a hands-on activity designed to test the students’ creativity with various structural design options, as well as their ability to work as a team while managing a theoretical project building and schedule.

The day closed with Ms. Lopez, who has been with SSOE for nine years, speaking with the students on the rarity of and unique challenges faced as a female in the engineering industry. “Even though engineering is a male-dominated field, women and minorities should not shy away from it. We can offer great contributions to engineering and the sciences,” she stated.

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Ohio STEM Learning Network Spring PD and STEM Leaders’ Academy

Battelle’s Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) offers a number of professional development opportunities.
Our regional training centers provide PD on a variety of STEM-related topics.  The Spring 2014 offerings from March – May include Engineering in Science and Math, Digital Literacy, Technology in the Classroom, College Ready Skills for MS, Common Instructional Framework, and a STEM Foundations Residency.  These opportunities are open to all educators. Information will be posted on the calendar on the OSLN website at www.osln.org. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
The STEM Leaders’ Academy (SLA) is a four day intensive scheduled for May 1-2, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio and June 24-25, 2014 in Dayton, Ohio with 3 additional quarterly follow-ups. The SLA is an interactive series of workshops designed to:
  • Develop leaders’ concept of leadership in a STEM school
  • Enhance leaders’ capacity to promote STEM instructional practices across the curriculum
  • Strengthen leaders’ capacity to improve staff effectiveness, learning, and teaching  in a STEM school
  • Prepare leaders with the procedures and policies of opening a STEM school
  • Online applications are now available and are due March 3, 2014
If you have any questions, contact Stephanie Johnson at johnsonsa@battelle.org or 614-946-8358.
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United States Naval Academy – Summer STEM Program

Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work – even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering. Applications are now open. They will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2014!

When applying, be sure to use an email address that is checked often. All correspondence will be sent via email. In addition, please note that we do not accept recommendations for the STEM program.

Visit the website for more information: http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/STEM/

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Sixth Graders Win Best in Region Verizon App Challenge!

An energetic and curious team of ten and eleven year old boys from Maumee Valley Country Day School (MVCDS) has created an award-winning App as an entry to the “Verizon App Challenge”, competition. The idea stemmed from a recent, and disappointing, class field trip to Maumee Bay State Park. As most students are excited about going on field trips, this class’s enthusiasm dimmed once they arrived to find the beach was closed due to an E.coli warning. The question was asked: “How did we not know this in advance?” Little did they know at that time, they would soon venture to create an app to answer this question.

Brian Soash, who teaches science at MVCDS and is acting as the team’s faculty advisor, announced the Verizon App Challenge to his classes in the fall of 2013. “We put up a big board of ideas and brainstormed. We began with a focus on health and discussed which problems we could address.” There were lots of ideas during the brainstorming session, and then the field trip was brought up. After much discussion and deliberation, the idea for an app titled “Beachteria” was born. The “Beachteria” app involves disclosing dangerous bacterial levels and creating maps “like Google maps” for people to see where bacteria levels are too high on numerous area beaches. It also provides an educational component on how to prevent exposure to harmful bacteria and illness.

Criteria for the competition included developing an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM fields and addresses a need or problem in their school or community. The Verizon Foundation, which sponsored the competition, will also award special recognition for apps which support the three pillars of the Verizon Foundation: Education, Healthcare, and Energy Management. While designing their apps, students considered marketplace need, usefulness, audience, and viability. Teams submitted their design concepts online through a visual presentation accompanied by an essay.

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Falcon BEST Robotics Holds Thrilling Competition

The very first Falcon BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics competition took place October 26, 2013 at Anderson Arena on the campus of Bowling Green State University with a thrilling day-long event. Presented by BGSU’s College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering and the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO), this event was the final “game day” installation of a six-week process by over 300 students from 14-area middle and high schools. Falcon BEST is a hub in the national BEST organization.   IMG_0984

Teams competed in a robotics competition and had the opportunity to compete for the the BEST Award. For the robotics competition, each participating school is provided an identical kit of equipment and parts, a set of game rules, and was given six-weeks to design, build, and test a Remote Controlled robot to “outperform” other robots. Engineers, University faculty members, and other technical professionals from local industries served as team mentors, and advised and guided students throughout the design and construction of their robot.

The BEST Award was presented to the team that best embodied the concept of “Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology.” The 5 elements of the BEST Award included:

  •  Project Engineering Notebook,
  • Marketing Presentation,
  • Team Exhibit and Interview,
  • Spirit and Sportsmanship, and
  • Robot Performance.

This amazing competition, which the students fully embraced, teaches students how to think through a problem, analyze and solve it together, while building many skills, which include:

  • Leadership development,
  • Presentational skills,
  • Technical skills,
  • Organizational skills,
  • Problem solving abilities, and
  •  Other areas of personal and career development.

The series of evIMG_0931ents began with a Kick-Off on September 14th, at BGSU’s Perry Field House, where the game challenge and playing field were unveiled, and thus the six-week long “design-and-build” phase began. This was followed by “Mall Day”, where the teams practice-drove their robots on a playing field set up at Woodland Mall in Bowling Green, OH.

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Research Matters to Science and Mathematics Teacher


National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) provides
a selection of brief research-based issue papers developed by members
for the science teaching community.



National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)’s Research Clips
and Briefs are research-based responses to questions of practice. Clips are
short and provide only the findings. Briefs include more information
and list related research.



The Ohio Department of Education provides research or an evidence base
for content area teaching and learning and for effective teaching and
learning strategies (best practices)


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Government Mathematics & Science Education Links


Ohio Department of Education

Math Science Partnership Department of Education site

National Science Foundation

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of about $5.92 billion, we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing. http://www.nsf.gov/
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Science Education Links


ScienceNet Links

  • Internet-based learning activities for your classroom; Engaging interactive activities and suggestions for using them in your classroom; Reviewed websites to support standards-based teaching and learning; K-12 science literacy learning goals outlined by AAAS’s Project 2061; sponsored by AAAS and several other educational organizations. http://www.sciencenetlinks.com

American Journal of Physics

  • The American Journal of Physics is devoted to the educational and cultural aspects of physics. http://www.kzoo.edu/ajp/

Annenberg Media

  • Annenberg Media provides teacher resources and teacher professional development programming across the curriculum. http://www.learner.org/

Journal of Chemical Education

  • Every month our flagship publication, the Journal of Chemical Education, delivers a wide range of interesting articles and activities useful in both the classroom and laboratory. http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/Journal/


Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

  • The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Grants-To-Educators program supports the foundation’s basic objective of recognizing and encouraging outstanding classroom or school programs for public schools or non-religious private schools working with public schools in Ohio. http://www.mhjf.org/open-grants

National Institutes of Health – Office of Science Education

National Science Teachers Association

  • The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership of more than 55,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in and committed to science education. http://www.nsta.org/

Ohio Resource Center

PBS Teachers

Science Class High School Edition

  • This issue of Science Class—an online companion to The Science Teacher (TST), NSTA’s journal for high school teachers—offers information on free resources for teachers.
    Click here to visit

Science Education Council of Ohio

Science Education Professional Organizations on the Internet


Science Links to Support Inquiry-Based Learning

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

  • Founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, this is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

USGS – United States Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey provides scientific information intended to help educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues that affect our quality of life. Discover selected online resources, including lessons, data, maps, and more, to support teaching, learning, education (K-12), and university-level inquiry and research. http://education.usgs.gov/

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Mathematics Education Links

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Remote Sensing Tool

Materials developed by Jackie Kane, BGSU MAT student and St. Ursula Academy Science Teacher

Remote sensing is just as it sounds. It is the obtaining of information from a distance. Students use websites such as webcams, Google Earth, Mapquest, Earthnow and Mapslive to view their world from the air and space. With this tool students can do more than observe the images. They can choose, acquire, manipulate and interpret their own images to answer questions about how Ohio land changes and how those changes affect wildlife, people, and the future or create Earth art. http://sites.google.com/site/remotesensingtool/home

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Horizon Science Academy

Horizon Science Academy
High School
2600 W. Sylvania Ave.
Toledo, OH 43613

School #  (419) 474-3350

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Students SHINE at Ohio JSHS

The 50th annual Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium was held with much success at Bowling Green State University on March 20-22. 84 high school students from around the region converged upon BGSU to compete for college scholarships at the symposium, which has been held on the campus at BGSU for the last sixteen years. Dr. Karen S. Bjorkman, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy from the University of Toledo, was the Keynote speaker and addressed the budding scientists with an engaging lecture on “Exploring the Universe in the 21st Century”. She holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and has provided significant service to the international astronomical community and is heavily involved in education and public outreach. Said Blythe Tipping, Ohio JSHS Assistant Coordinator and Science teacher at Sylvania Southview High School, “The keynote speaker, Karen Bjorkman, was extremely intelligent and engaging, revealing to the audience many of the changes in astronomy that have occurred this past decade and how they relate to the future of research.  Many of my students spoke very highly of the presentation.” She also stated, “In general, OJSHS is challenging and intimidating, yet extremely rewarding for all of the students.  This is something that is consistent every year.  The students that attend the program are typically some of the best and brightest in the state of Ohio.”

The gold medal first place winner for research papers was awarded to Bluyé DeMessie of William Mason High School who presented, “Sustainable and Low Cost Approach for Cleaning Metal Contaminated Water Using Pyrolyzed Banana Peels”.

Second place was awarded to Peeyush Shrivastava, also of William Mason High School, who presented, “Investigations into CaMKII Regulation of Cardiac Excitability”. These two students will present their papers at the National JSHS. Continue reading

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BGSU chapter of AAUW earns distinction of “Tech Trek” site

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) values the importance of supporting girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as part of its mission to break through barriers for women and girls. Its research, policy, and nationwide programs encourage members to work from their own communities to ensure that equity is reached in these important fields.

“Tech Trek” is a weeklong STEM summer camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who are entering the eighth grade. “Tech Trek” started in 1998 with one site in California and in 14 years has grown to 10 camps on eight college campuses across the state. In summer 2011, the camp was featured on CBS Evening News.

Attending camp on a college or university campus helps girls — especially those whose parents may not have gone to college — to see themselves seeking higher education. The university campus experience gives girls a chance to think about the kinds of opportunities a college education can afford them. Camp field trips encourage maximum interaction and instruction in environments where STEM professionals work. Girls are immersed in a world in which they are empowered by their capabilities and encouraged to think about themselves not just as young women but also as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists. Continue reading

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Cardinal Stritch High School launches first STEMM initiative through innovative state of the art program

A local northwest Ohio parochial high school, Cardinal Stritch, is paving the way for future success for its students through the launching of an innovative, state of the art STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) initiative. This program is notable, in part, because of the community partnerships from nearby BP Husky, Toledo Refining Company, and two hospitals, that have enhanced the program providing additional resources. Mercy College, The Andersons, Owens Corning, and others are also on board. Originating from the concept to better prepare students for their futures and the demand for skilled workers in STEMM related fields, Father Eric Schild, president of Cardinal Stritch stated, “The goal of the program is to offer an educational experience to better prepare students for mission-critical careers. While we will never cease striving for excellence in the other academic subject areas, we must provide our students with the knowledge that will help them be ready for what lies ahead of them.”

As a result of a remarkable fundraising campaign, the school built an engineering lab through renovation and added 20 new computer stations equipped with CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. All freshmen in the class of 2016 received an iPad in the fall, as utilizing one-to-one technology is one of the keys for success. Older students may take advantage of four laptop and iPad carts placed in classrooms and all teachers were given iPads prior to the start of the school year to increase engagement. More advanced classes such as robotics and molecular biology have been added, as these classes better train students in the growing job fields. Special lectures from experts in the various fields will be offered to engage students about the exciting opportunities in STEMM related fields. Continue reading

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Summer Workshop on Sustainable Energy for Middle- and High-school Teachers

Monday, June 18 – Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio


This workshop has five modules that cover basics of electric power, the Smart Grid, solar energy, smart lighting, and the future power grid. The workshop combines lectures with hands-on laboratory exercises and tours of energy labs at Ohio State and American Electric Power. Each participating teacher who completes the workshop will be given a set of Thames & Kosmos Power House experiment kits for his or her classroom. Cost of the workshop is $10, which includes lunch, transportation to tour sites, and a letter certifying attendance. There are still some spaces available. The application deadline is April 30 and enrollment is limited to 30 teachers.

For more information, contact Wendy Flores at floresw@ece.osu.edu 

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Miller City’s Project Lead The Way

This has been a busy time for Miller City junior and seniors high school students as they prepared for the Engineering Day Competition at Rhodes State College. Due to the heavy course requirements of the college accredited courses the students take at Miller City, their instructor, Dave Shaffer, said they only spend about three weeks preparing for this engineering challenge. “The Engineering day competition is one of the best events of our schools’ year and shows our students’ hard work and effort to be showcased in the public arena,” Shaffer said. “Skills developed over the course of the school year including trigonometry, CAD (computer-aided design), and engineering problem solving are all employed in the preparing for the competition.”

The students in the engineering classes are part of Miller City High School’s Project Lead The Way (PLTW) involvement. PLTW is one of the leading providers of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S. Shaffer is an instructor at Rhodes State College and Miller City High School. He has been teaching at Miller City for 6 years. He teaches Digital Electronics and Circuit Analysis to the juniors and Auto CAD1, AutoCAD 3D, and Robotics and Mechatronics to the seniors. Students in these classes receive college credit for the courses taught by Rhodes instructors at Miller City High School. Miller City High School’s PLTW program was initially one of ten schools in the country—and the first in Ohio—named as an exemplary, model school within the PLTW National network of schools. The program allows students to get a taste of college experience while in high school. Continue reading

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STEM Summer Day Camps Create Excitement and Enhance Academic Achievement!


A variety of STEM-related summer camps for children of all ages are happening across northwest Ohio.  Summer day camp experiences in the area run the gamut from gardening to engineering and provide academic enrichment and exercise during those summer days when students too often spend time doing more sedentary activities. According to a study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, research evidence shows that (1) students’ skills and knowledge often deteriorate during the summer months, and low-income students face larger losses than other students and (2) low-achieving students need additional time on task to master academic content. As a result, summer learning experiences have the potential to stop losses that might occur during the summer and propel students toward higher achievement. Several area informal education institutions are rising to that challenge. “By getting kids excited about what they can make and do at such a young age, we have an opportunity to really impact their career choices, all while they are having fun.” says Jamie Pafford, Outreach Manager for Imagination Station. NWO recommends the following programs, which parents and students can take advantage of this summer. Some provide scholarships to help offset costs for low-income families. Continue reading

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Exciting S.T.E.M. Project at Vanguard Tech Center

The Vanguard Tech Center is putting to use as many different aspects of STEM as possible into one large project. It is a sort of STEM clearing house. This past Valentine’s Day, the Precision Machining Class took orders from the student body as well as staff, and designed and built key chains, necklaces, and bracelets. Using donated materials from local industry in the community, it has been a success educationally as well as professionally.

The areas the machining students covered were in such diverse STEM and 21st Century Skills areas such as:

  • Material Science  — corrosion testing
  • Mathematics  — calculating material cost
  • CAD/CAM  — Computer Aided Drafting and Manufacturing for custom shapes
  • Master Cam Programming  — telling the CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine what to do
  • CNC Machining — precision cutting the parts
  • Laser Cutting — real world experience taking a field trip to a local company to observe a laser cutting blank sizes for them out of stainless steel This process helps increase production as opposed to milling.
  • Language Arts and Computer Software — developing marketing strategies and using LA skills and software to design the order form, flyers, pre-order surveys, exit surveys. The students designed these pieces using Microsoft Word, Pagemaker, and Excel software.
  • Communications — practicing good customer service skills by texting students when their orders are ready and problem solving for customers. This helps students see the good and bad side of running a business
  • Character Building — through practicing good sales techniques, students sold products to the student body and staff.

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