Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti

   Regional Superintendent 

   DuPage County Schools

Regional Office of Education

421 N. County Farm Rd

Wheaton, IL  60187


STEM News You Can Use. . .

February 2023


New Tool Detects AI-Produced Work

The maker of ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool to help teachers detect if a student or artificial intelligence produced work.

Fremd Student Grows Mission to Encourage Girls in STEM

Ruby Arun, a sophomore at William Fremd High School in Palatine, is expanding her mission to inspire girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. She recently was recognized by the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board after her organization, Mission: MathMinds, donated more than 2,000 books to district schools as part of the district’s STEM Awareness Campaign. (Photo courtesy of Ruby Arun)

Future Approaches to Instructional Materials in STEM Education

The authors share how science and STEM instructional materials address equity and justice in traditional, contemporary, and proposed future approaches. Conceptions of what counts as science and STEM learning have been evolving as have students. 


DuPage Regional Office of Third Annual Education Solutions Showcase

DuPage innovators in grades 5-8 are invited to participate in the third annual Solutions Showcase. Registrations are due February 10 at 4:00 pm. The challenge is for students work with a team to redesign an item, making it more functional or more efficient and by making a prototype and presenting it in a video. Note: Each team must have a sponsor from their school. Find additional details here. The scoring rubric is also information and should be shared with participants. Questions? Contact Patricia Zriny, project coordinator, at pzriny@dupageroe.org.

Engineers Week - February 19 - 25, 2023

Celebrate all things engineering, including Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The Discover Engineering folks have assembled a number of resources to challenge and inspire your students.

Attainable Sustainables Mini Workshop - February 20, 2023 (9:30 - 11:30 am)

This event is packed with resources, activities, and ideas for the classroom. Concepts are NGSS-aligned and address multiple grade levels. Open to teachers from DuPage County schools. 2PDH available. Details here.

Girls in STEM: A (Data-based) Tale of Confidence and Satisfaction (Webinar) - February 21, 2023 (11:00 am CST)

Join the National Girls Collaborative Project as they explore what data says about the importance of educators, parents, and peers in engaging, retaining, and fulfilling women and girls in technology fields. This webinar will break down data collected from teenage participants who took the Gender Scan 2021 survey.

Meet the Virtual Robot Simulator (VRS) - February 22, 2023 (3:30 - 4:30 pm)

Through this virtual program, students learn the basics of coding and programming. VRS is free, making it perfect for educators to immediately bring the power of tech-powered problem-solving to life in their classroom. Learn about FIRST Illinois Robotics and everything they can do to support your curriculum’s virtual STEM learning. Attendees will also learn to teach coding the FIRST way and explore strategies for using FIRST resources to meet Illinois’ computer science learning standards. Illinois educators who attend live can earn 1 PDH. Register here.

Collaboration in Action: Post-Covid Innovations for Engaging Girls in STEM - March 10, 2023 (12:00 - 3:30 pm)

Join the National Girls Collaborative Project at this free forum focused on strategies and program models that engage girls in STEM. This in-person event begins with lunch at noon; the forum follows from 12:30 - 3:30 pm at Microsoft, 3025 Highland Parkway, Downers Grove.

The Baxter Symposium - March 17, 2023; Northwestern Evanston Campus

The Baxter Center for Science Education at NU will host this event featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Megan Bang, Professor of Learning Sciences in Northwestern's School of Education & Social Policy. Also included are hands-on breakout sessions on a variety of topics, from modeling disease tracking to the physics of stagecraft with The Goodman Theatre. Participants will receive a goody bag and 5 PDH. Register here.

March Topics and Events


Spotlight on STEM Trunks

Earthquake Technology

Students work in teams as they assume the role of engineers. The goal is to create and improve their building designs to increase earthquake resistance and to practice using the engineering design process. Explore the Teacher's Guide to understand more about how this Trunk can support instruction with 2nd-8th grade students.

Questions about or requests to reserve STEM Trunks? Email Mary Biniewicz.

Valentine's Day STEM

Here are some great STEM activities to give Valentine's Day a fun twist. Or, shake things up a bit with these activities.

Your Water Footprint

Did you know that only 3% of the Earth's water is freshwater and only about 1% can be accessed by humans? The rest is found in glaciers, ice caps, or underground! Learning about water helps protect our freshwater. The U.S. EPA offers games, tips, and activity sheets that teach simple ways to save water. The EPA's WaterSense program will quench their thirst for knowledge!

Coding for Littles Poster Set

Go on an adventure and introduce your K-2 students to key coding terms using examples they're already familiar with.

The posters includes activities to help students get hands-on with computational thinking basics.

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Direct newsletter questions, comments, and suggestions to Dr. Mary Biniewicz.