December 2022
View the Spanish translation of our newsletter here.
From the Director's Desk
Hello, Mid-Valley-

Happy holidays! As I write this, we at the Hub are on the cusp of Thanksgiving break and gearing up to put the finishing touches on 2022.
To that end, we need your help. Are you an educator or administrator who has engaged with the Hub this year? Please take a moment to complete our survey to share with the Oregon Department of Education to assess the impact of our work. We need all results by Friday, December 30. Thank you!
Wishing you all peace, joy, and rest this holiday season.

Sarah Whiteside
Executive Director
December is Computer Science Month!
Computer Science and Digital Literacy

As part of our Computer Science and Digital Literacy efforts, this fall the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub kicked off our BeeBot Project for PreK-2nd teachers and students. If you’re not aware, BeeBot is
a robot designed for use by younger students. This colorful, easy-to-operate, and friendly little robot is the perfect tool for teaching computational thinking, sequencing, estimation, problem-solving,
and much more!
Here’s how this project works:

  • Our Program Coordinator, Chris Singer, will come into your classroom at least two times to demonstrate how teachers can use BeeBot with their students. Chris will show you how you can incorporate the BeeBot into activities you are already doing in your classroom.
  • This “Learn and Go” approach doesn’t use a particular curriculum but rather shows teachers the possibilities of how BeeBot can be used as a learning tool for their students.
  • Participating teachers get a classroom set of BeeBots (1 BeeBot per every 4 students and a maximum of 6), a printed copy of the BeeBot Resource Guide, and an online access code to over 200 lessons.

Benefits for students:

  • Students learn computational thinking skills: logical reasoning, abstractions, patterns, algorithms, and decomposition. Students will learn these skills through tinkering with the BeeBot, learning to create programs and challenges for their BeeBot, collaborating with their classmates, and persevering and learning from their mistakes.
  • Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun!!

Our first school to complete the first two sessions of the BeeBot Project is Blodgett Elementary. Check out this great Instagram reel created by our Marketing Specialist, Kacey Montgomery.

"In this activity, the students worked together to navigate their Bee-Bots robots through the #milkywaygalaxy! The students at Blodgett Elementary completed their second Bee-Bots challenge and we had a dance party to celebrate!"

For more information, please contact Chris Singer at
Computer Science Education Week
December 5-11, 2022

Computer Science Education Week is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field.

Learn more at
The Impact of the Hub
How have you interacted with the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub?

As our second full year as an organization came to a close, we gathered highlights of the work we accomplished for our 2021-2022 annual report. From creating a mobile makerspace to hosting summer externships with local educators, MVSCH collaborated with partners to provide a cornucopia of opportunities for business and industry, educators, and students to engage and help build a culture of equitable prosperity in Linn and Benton Counties.

We invite you to take a peek at our annual report. You can get a recap of what we've been up to in the 2021-22 year here!
As a grant-funded organization, we can use all the help we can get to weather the ebb and flow of grant cycles. To support our work, please consider making a financial donation to the Hub. Your donation will help to continue to fund our STE(A)M and CTE programming in the communities of Linn and Benton counties. If you’d like to see our work continue and are able
to contribute, follow this link to donate. We appreciate your support!
Notes From the Field...
Last month we shared about the launch of our Healthcare Pathways Careers Exploration Program in partnership with
the Lebanon Community School District. On November 30th,
we distributed certificates of completion to the ten participating students.

The internship program consisted of tours, professional speakers, and hands-on activities supported by a curriculum focused on personal development, as related to career choice and career readiness. Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) credit was offered through LBCC. 

We took a comprehensive view of healthcare to include nursing, allied health, and public health. Students toured:

  • Lebanon Fire District – Station 34 and learned about emergency management services.
  • Corvallis Clinic in North Albany where they learned about sleep studies.
  • LBCC Health Occupations Program, learning about the variety of training programs available. 
  • Western University of Health Sciences COMP NW, learning about and practicing ultrasound technology and touring the anatomy lab while getting to see the donor patients.

Guest speakers included:

  • Instructors from LBCC talking about nursing education and occupational therapy careers. 
  • The founder of Faith Community Nurses discussing nursing careers across a wide variety of job paths.
  • Linn County Department of Health presenting career options in public health and mental health fields.
  • Medical Assistant from the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center talking about phlebotomy and medical assisting as related to cancer treatment.

Due to the success of this year’s program, we plan on offering it again in spring 2023.

We would like to thank our amazing partners for contributing to the program. If you are involved in healthcare or know someone who is interested in contributing next time, please contact the program coordinator, Danielle Jarkowsky.

Also, check out this video of the students touring LBCC’s Health Occupations buildings.
What’s New with the MILL
It has been quite a journey over the last 3 months, but we expect to be able to open the MILL at or near the beginning of winter term! 

We have already begun helping students in robotics, computer science, and calculus classes with 3D printing, drilling, and sanding equipment.

Here are a few more things we are looking forward to in January:
This is a beast of a sewing machine, able to zig-zag stitch through a quarter inch of leather (see below), and we can’t wait to see what upholstery, cosplay, tailoring, and sailmaking projects are accomplished with it. See Adam Savage’s review here, and get inspired for some DIY sewing magic here.

Using computer vision technology, the Shaper Origin precision of CNC routing with the flexibility of traditional hand routing, facilitating intricate cuts on work surfaces big and small. Get inspired here, take a look at some of the possibilities here, and then take a deeper dive into the machine with the testing crew here.
Closing the Gap

The Willamette Valley is home to dozens of small organic farms that feed the local communities by selling the beautiful fruits and vegetables they grow at the beloved farmer's markets, co-ops, and restaurants in the area.

Tune in on December 13th as we chat with Eden Olsen, farmer and owner of Lucky Crow Farm in Monmouth. Eden tells us exactly why it’s important to support local organic growers: and it’s not just about local economic stimulation.

You can find all episodes of Closing the Gap on our website: 
Ever wonder why there’s such an emphasis on participating in internship programs as a college student? Later this month, the Executive Director of MECOP, an organization that sets up internship opportunities for engineering students, Yulia Dennis, joins us to answer that question.
As always, you can listen to the show on Spotify.
You can also find the entire library of Closing the Gap episodes on our YouTube channel!
If you are a woman or gender minority in STEM, or have a career in manufacturing or a skilled trade and would like to talk about your experience, contact Kacey Montgomery at
Spotlighting a Partner!
Supporting Creative Thinking

The Mid-Valley Hub is excited to announce news of a grant from the Roundhouse Foundation trustees that was awarded just before Thanksgiving. The $20,000 award will help deliver out-of-school STE(A)M-based programming to rural communities in our Linn and Benton regional area through our newly-launched Mobile Makerpace program.

The Roundhouse Foundation supports programs that inspire creativity and connect people with each other and their sense of place to ensure sustainability and economic success for Oregon’s rural communities.

Special thanks to the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Santiam and the Scio School District for contributing letters of support for this opportunity.

As this year closes, please consider helping to build support for programs such as these and make a charitable contribution to the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub Fund through the LBCC Foundation giving portal.
Lending Library News & Updates
The Lending Library will be operating at a limited capacity through December. If you know you would like to check something out over the holidays, please submit your request ASAP.
LEGO Disaster Island 

The Mobile Makerspace crew has been getting our lending library items out for classroom events all over our service district. They took our LEGO Disaster Island Kit with them on a recent trip to Philomath elementary and invited students to create their own island with a few handfuls of LEGO bricks. Students happily created incredible structures using their imaginations and the resources they were given. Then…DISASTER! Each student was given some additional LEGO bricks and a card with a different disaster: sharks, tidal waves, hurricanes, earthquakes, zombies?!

Again, using just their imagination and the LEGO bricks at hand, students modified their islands to account for the oncoming disaster. This exercise is not just fun for students, it also invites them to use design and critical thinking to solve problems with creativity and imagination.

Can you tell what disaster these islands were bracing for?
Check out our Lending Library today!
Fill out the Educator Lending Library request form, and check out the rest of the MVSCH Lending Library Catalog. For more information, email Forrest Johnson.
Jumpstart Read for the Record
In November we visited several early learning classrooms in our region to read their students Nigel and the Moon, by Antwan Eady, for the LBL Early Learning Hub's annual Jumpstart Read for the Record event! We had a blast championing early literacy and access to high-quality STEM books!
Big thanks to all the classrooms that participated!
Resources, Events, & Upcoming Opportunities
STEM/CTE Community Bulletin Board
What's happening in your school/business/organization? Send us your news items for the Community Bulletin Board in our monthly newsletter and we'll help you spread the word! We ask that submissions be regional, non-commercial, STEM/CTE germane, and be limited to one sentence and a link. Submissions are due by the third Monday of each month.
Association for Women in Mathematics and Math for America Essay Contest
To increase awareness of women’s ongoing contributions to the mathematical sciences, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Math for America co-sponsor an essay contest for biographies of contemporary women mathematicians and statisticians in academic, industrial, and government careers. The essays will be based primarily on an interview with a woman currently working in or retired from a mathematical sciences career. Participation is open to all students in three grade categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and Undergraduate.

To enter, students interview a woman in a mathematical career about her life and work, and then they write and submit a biographical essay of about 500-1000 words based on their interview. If a student wants help finding a woman to interview, AWM has a matching service that connects students with women mathematicians. The contest opens December 01, 2022, and submissions are due February 01, 2023. The last day for students to request a match with an interviewee is January 10, 2023.
Faster Internet Oregon
The Faster Internet Oregon speed test campaign is a statewide broadband mapping effort for Oregonians to report Internet speeds or a lack of connection at home. The Faster Internet Oregon project will provide decision-makers with data that will:

*Identify Oregon homes that lack high-speed Internet
*Clarify which households don't have an Internet
connection and why.
*Provide cost estimates and assess the competitive viability of a
variety of technical solutions for areas with identified gaps.

This campaign will help secure infrastructure funding across the state and ensure the
funding is equitably allocated so that everyone has access to fast, affordable Internet
service. Please help us identify Oregon's areas with the greatest need for high-speed
broadband by using this link: It takes less than 1 minute!
Visit the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub 
website to learn more About us, see a list of our Partners, and find out how YOU can get involved.

Mailing Address:
Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub
Linn-Benton Community College
6500 Pacific Blvd SW
Albany, OR 97321
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