Amber Quirk

   Regional Superintendent 

   DuPage County Schools

Regional Office of Education

421 N. County Farm Rd

Wheaton, IL 60187


STEM News You Can Use

March 2024


Are Schools Taking Too Long to Craft AI Policies?

It has been more than a year since ChatGPT's ability to produce humanlike writing, yet most school districts are stuck trying to figure out the way forward on issues such as plagiarism, data privacy, and ethical uses of AI. Read the full article here.

From French Fries to Shuttle Buses

Loyola University shuttles students with buses fueled by used vegetable oil. The Searle Lab, staffed primarily by students and interns, has been recycling oil for more than 16 years to produce fuel, hand soap, and other items. Learn more.

How One District Has Diversified Its Math Classes

Arguments over detracking have roiled other districts. But Oklahoma's Union Public Schools took a middle ground, adding tutoring and non-test based ways for students to qualify for advanced math.

PokeMath: College Class Highlights Math in Pokemon Go

To better interest students in math, University of Iowa instructor Kitrick Fynaardt started a class called PokeMath that blends the free, mobile Pokemon Go game with math lessons. Students are often surprised to learn how much math is involved in the game.

The Skill Students Need to Find Reliable Scientific Information

There is a sense of declining trust in science and scientists. Students’ lack scientific knowledge adds to the concern with little more than 1 in 3 students in grades 4 and 8 and fewer than 1 in 4 high school seniors having performed proficiently on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress in science. Read more in the EdWeek article.

"Education Legend" Creates an AI That Will Change Your Mind About AI

This interesting opinion piece outlines the work done by Sal Khan, creator of Khan Academy, to soothe concerns and increase confidence in the ability of AI to be used as a productive educational tool.


Women in STEM: THRIVE - March 11, 2024; 7:00 - 8:30 pm at College of DuPage

Listen to women scientists and engineers about their work at this free panel discussion. For more information, visit

STEMtastic - April 13, 2024; 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

Elmhurst University is excited to offer this conference for STEM educators. This is a free event that will feature STEM presenters, vendors, and resources, including our own DuPage ROE STEM Squad, and more. Click here to register.

Baxter Symposium - April 18, 2024

We will host over 100 high school and middle school science teachers from Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago region for a day of learning, exploring cutting-edge science activities to bring back to the classroom, completely free, at Northwestern University. Spots are limited and registration closes Friday, March 29, 2024. Learn More & Register.

Mathematical Marvels: Celebrating the Genius of Teachers and Students - April 27, 2024

Join your colleagues at a locally led, remotely connected site, as our moderators engage participants in productive conversations and tasks with ready-to-use classroom strategies to take back to your school. Illinois Professional Development Hours will be available for all participants. The conference runs from 9 am to 12:30 pm, with locations in Carbondale, Champaign, Macomb, Mascoutah, Naperville, South Chicago, and Skokie. Register here:

ROE STEM Network - May 1, 2024; 4:00 to 5:15 pm

Kathleen Meyer, STEM teacher at Indian Trail Middle School, will host the next STEM Network session at her school, located at 222 N. Kennedy Drive in Addison. Join other STEM educators and champions from all grade levels as we learn and share with colleagues. Register here so that we can prepare. Attendees receive STEM trinkets and treasures, and are eligible for raffle prizes plus 1 PDH for licensed educators. Interested in hosting a meeting next year? Email Dr. Susan Camasta.

Math-ish! Book Talk with Jo Boaler - May 8 or 9, 2024

Mathematics is a fundamental part of life, yet every one of us has a unique relationship with learning and understanding the subject. Working with numbers may inspire confidence in our abilities or provoke anxiety and trepidation. Stanford researcher, mathematics professor, and the leading expert on math learning Dr. Jo Boaler argues that our differences are the key to unlocking our greatest mathematics potential. Dr. Boaler is hosting two free webinars to coincide with the release of her new book, Math-ish! Finding Creativity, Diversity, and Meaning in Mathematics, coming out on May 7th. Learn more or register for the book talk here:

Unleashing the Power of AI in Education - June 11, 2024 in Addison

Interested in Attending? Complete this form. Interested in Presenting? Link here and complete by March 8. Click the image below and RSVP, This will also ensure that you are among the first to receive notification when we open registration.

Rocketry and Avionics - Taking Data to New Heights - June 10-13 or June 24-27, 2024

Experience the thrill of rocketry for yourself as you learn to integrate rocketry with avionics curriculum in your classroom. This free, dynamic workshop at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will guide you through modules focused on developing foundational knowledge, predictive modeling, and fabrication skills. The opportunity includes 20 PD hours, housing and modules. Seats are available for novice and advanced learners but are limited. For more information, contact Heather Arnett at [email protected].


The Rise of Cicadas

How is it that cicadas are so good at math? Take a look at this video.

Rise and Thrive with Science Guide from the National Academies

Using cases and examples, the guide shares what high-quality teaching and learning in science and enginnering can look like for preschool and elementary children. Download the guide for free from the National Academies Press.

Career Girls

Explore and share this comprehensive video-based career exploration tool for girls featuring diverse women STEM role models. It's free to use and contains 16,000 videos, as well as career quizzes and resources.

Customize Free Smithsonian Space Observation Projects

Teachers and students can submit requests for information with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and its MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network. And, the online YouthAstroNet community of students, educators and scientists offers inquiry-focused, participatory astrophysics experiences. Read the full story.

The DuPage ROE STEM Squad - We Are Here to Support You

Below is a list of just some ways in which the STEM Squad can support you and your students. If something is not on the list, simply ask and we will do our best to assist. Email Mary Biniewicz for more information.

  • Loan one or more STEM Trunks designed for K-12 students.
  • Work with you to help plan a STEM event or STEM Club activities.
  • Arrange to facilitate an activity at your STEM event.
  • Conduct an after-school STEM workshop for students in Grades 5-8.
  • Support an in-classroom activity for your younger students.

Just a Few of the Reasons to Celebrate April!

STEM Starters

Have you explored our collection of STEM Starters? On our web page, you will find links to nearly 90 activities designed to begin class, end class, initiate conversation, or just for fun.

Visit our website for more information and resources!

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