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. . .

January 2023


White House OSTP Announces New STEMM Initiative

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently announced a plan to increase equitable participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) through significant investment and effort to improve the quality of and equity in K-12 STEM education. Learn more in this article from Education Week.

Esports Programs Help Bridge STEM Disparities

Some colleges and universities are stepping up their esports programs as part of an effort to bridge racial disparities in STEM careers. DePaul University in Chicago, for example, launched an esports scholarship program. (AP Photo/Claire Savage)

Teacher: How OER Support Science Lessons

Aftrer using open educational resources, OpenSciEd, for five years, Megan Euler, a seventh-grade science teacher in Nebraska, says it is unlikely she will return to using traditional textbooks. Read the full story here.

Turing Tumble STEM Trunk

Students in District 89 had fun working through challenges with Turing Tumble, one of several trunks available for loan through the ROE STEM Squad. Direct inquiries to Mary Biniewicz.


Science Buddies Engineering Challenge - January 2023

A new challenge will soon be posted on the Science Buddies website. You might want to try some of the challenges from past years with your students.

Celebrate the Lunar New Year - January 2023

Here are some hands-on project ideas to integrate Lunar New Year Celebrations into your activities.

February Topics and Events

February is Black History month. Check out these links for information and activities that can be used to initiate further conversation.

Also, on February 5 many of you will be watching the Super Bowl. The topic of football and sports can serve as a great learning opportunity for your students. Here are few ideas to get you started.

eCybermission Competition - January 25, 2023 (Last Day for Student Registration)

This year marks the 21st year of the eCYBERMISSION, a web-based competition open to students in grades 6-9. Opportunities are available for students, team advisors, and volunteers. Visit this link to learn more.

ExploraVision Competition - January 31, 2023 (Project Deadline)

Teams of 2-4 students from K-3, 4-6, 7-9, or 10-12, with a teacher/coach, can enter this competition. Read more.

The Impact of STEM Role Models and Mentors (Webinar) - January 26, 2023 (5:00 pm CST)

Celebrate National Mentoring Month in January by highlighting the importance of mentors in empowering girls and young women to actively pursue STEM education and careers. Webinar participants will learn from STEM professionals and the young women and girls they are mentoring as they share their journeys and advice on mentoring as a tool to support sustained career success in STEM. Learn more.

Planning for Citizen Science Month (Webinar) - February 1, 2023 (1:00 pm CST)

Citizen Science Month is in April. Though the webinar is intended to help libraries plan citizen science focused events and programming, all participants will gain resources for introducing citizen science to local communities through book displays, activities, highlighted citizen science projects, and subject matter experts. Register here. Or, are you interested in simply exploring some on line ways you can integrate citizen science in your classes? Consider scistarter.org as a springboard.

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.

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.


Spotlight on STEM Trunks - ShapeOmetry

This month we are featuring the ShapeOmetry STEM Trunk, a fun way to build key math and processing skills. Students are challenged to persevere as they make sense of a problem, plan a solution path, evaluate progress, and change their approach. They also begin to develop understanding of part-to-whole relationships and practice verbalizing their reasoning. Explore the Learning 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.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

The Franklin Institute published several scientists' profiles in the format of snowflake patterns that can be downloaded and shared. Depending on the age level of your students, you or your students can cut out these unique snowflakes and display them. Due to the intricacy of some of the designs, use of a craft knife is recommended.

Weather and Climate Resources

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency that enriches life through science, extending from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor, as it works to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them. With the extremes in local weather in recent months, these resources will certainly help you and your students to better understand the unique weather phenomena.

Combining Computer Science and Engineering Design to Optimize STEM Learning

Teaching the engineering process helps students understand a model they can use to invent, innovate, or approach problems. Applicability to real-life situations enhances the experience as does the connection to programming and computer science, engaging students in opportunities to apply the engineering process. Here is one example of how this can be accomplished with middle school students.

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