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

May 2023


Math Foundations for All: Clearing a Path

How young students learn math is a critical challenge. But the components of math development are shrouded in common misconceptions. This new report aims to clear up some of these sticking points.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seek to Revive Math Learning

Bill Gates shares that struggles with teaching math, and student anxiety are stumbling blocks in our work toward building a math embracing population. Read more.

Scaffolding Literacy Through STEM Instruction for All Learners

With these scaffolds to support reading and writing skill development, all students can thrive in elementary STEM classes. Access the article.


STEM Network Meeting - May 10, 2023; 4:00 - 5:15 pm

Indian Prairie Public Library

Amy Merda, Head of Programming and Outreach Services, has invited us to learn about the various ways in which the Indian Prairie Public Library encourages and supports STEM learning. Join your colleagues, share your thoughts and insights with others, come away with some new perspectives, too. That is what the network is all about. Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Register here.

Naper Settlement Introduces New STEM Program, FREE to the First 2000 Students This Fall!  

Field Watchers is a STEM-based program that focuses on agriculture history, emerging technologies, and current farming practices. Offered at Naper Settlement, the program utilizes the newly opened Benck Family Agriculture Center and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources STEM Learning Lab to connect students with Illinois farmers while engaging students in inquiry-based learning and experimentation. And, the students become "field watchers." Back in the classroom, the program continues as students monitor their plants and connect remotely to learn from Field Partners. The program aligns to 3rd grade standards, however the content and materials can be adjusted for grades 3-5. We are also seeking additional pilot classrooms to test the program this June. This free offer to students and teachers is due to support from the Illinois Soybean Association. Contact Naper Settlement to see how this program can be made available to you and your students this fall or in June. Call or email Jeanne Schultz Angel, Associate Vice President, at schultzangelj@naperville.il.us or 630-305-5252.

Please note: The free program does not cover transportation costs and a limited number of bookings are available at a first-come, first-serve basis.

Learn to Be an Ally to Girls and Women in STEM - June 6, 2023 (Webinar)

Research shows that men have a key role in the advancement of women in STEM. Learn strategies and explore resources (Male Allies Toolkit) that can be used by male parents, educators, and professionals to become effective allies. Register here.

Summer Algae Science Institute - June 16, 2023

This is a 1-day PD opportunity facilitated by algae industry experts. The Algae Academy’s free STEM kit and curriculum includes teacher resources, all necessary lab supplies, and live algae that will have your students asking big questions as they realize algae's potential. Students cultivate algae, monitor its growth, analyze and interpret data, and make connections as to how algae production has a positive impact on the global environment. Take algae from “Ick!” to “Awesome!” Applications are due Friday, May 19! Direct questions to The Baxter Center at bcse@northwestern.edu or The Algae Foundation’s Marissa Nalley at mnalley@thealgaefoundation.org.

Illinois Petroleum Resources Board Summer Math and Science Teachers Program - June 27-30, 2023

The program will be held June 27-30, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Mt. Vernon. Registration fee is $100 and includes lodging (3 nights) and meals. Grade 3-12 math and science teachers who complete the program will receive 37.5 PDH or 7.5 PDH and 2 grad credits from Illinois State University; a classroom activity kit to teach lessons from an ISBE-approved curriculum; real-world insight into the Illinois oil production industry via a site field trip; and instruction from industry professionals. Teachers can register at this link

Illinois Science Teaching Association Conference - September 29, 2023

It is not too early to begin planning next year's professional learning experiences. Register today!


STEM Trunks and Events

Start planning now to get your trunks and events scheduled for FY24 because the calendar fills quickly in the fall.

The STEM Squad has over 12 different trunks that can be used by students in elementary, middle, and/or high school, depending on the trunk. And, don't forget the STEM Squad is available to facilitate activities at your STEM/STEAM event. Simply email Mary Biniewicz to start the conversation.

Help Test a New Engineering and Social-Emotional Development Curriculum

If you are leading a summer program with a STEM club or group with middle school girls/non-binary youth this year, you may qualify for a research project that is testing a new curriculum as part of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative. Apply now. The application deadline is May 31, 2023.

Possible STEM Funding for Your STEM Spaces and Projects

The Learning Technology Center assembled a great resource list that will serve to jumpstart your search for funds to equip your STEM space or project.

Join Amazon for a Day of AI with MIT and Amazon Future Engineer - May 18, 2023

Open to All. No experience needed. Want to know more? Use this link. To obtain full access to the MIT curriculum and training be sure to register. Use the K-12 lessons and activities in your classroom at any time.

Museum of Science and Industry Seeks to Be Your STEM Learning Partner

MSI Chicago is interested in partnering with schools and districts in DuPage to promote science education and STEM learning. They offer a number of programs to elevate science instruction, teacher and leadership training, and tools that integrate STEM and makerspace solutions. Curiosity stations are available for rent and can be used in your classroom or at your STEM event. Interested in learning more? Contact Jarrad McCarthy by phone at (773) 753-6231 or email at Jarrad.McCarthy@msichicago.org. 

Summer Topics

Here are a few thoughts and resources you can use for your summer STEM camps or to share with parents.

Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces

These free engineering design challenges engage youth in emerging technologies through hands-on learning. Inspired by Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, these activities bridge formal science education and the makerspace movement within the context of STEAM by involving students in make something new.

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