Amber Quirk

   Regional Superintendent 

   DuPage County Schools

Regional Office of Education

421 N. County Farm Rd

Wheaton, IL  60187


STEM News You Can Use

October 2023


NSF Invests $35M in Future Manufacturing

Manufacturing is a linchpin of the U.S. economy, bolstering national security, economic growth, and employment. One NSF program supports the discovery of manufacturing solutions to overcome current scientific, technological, educational, economic, and social barriers for U.S. companies, all of which relate to STEM career opportunities and skill development. Read the full article here.

Scholarship to Address Shortage of STEM Teachers

Elmhurst University students considering becoming STEM teachers may apply for the Noyce STEM Teacher Scholarship Program designed to help address the shortage of STEM teachers and the need for diversity in STEM programs. Dr. Theresa Robinson, from Elmhurst University, recently joined WGN Weekend Morning News to discuss the program.

Math and Technology: Are We Solving the Equation?

New technologies that solve complex math equations for students, the rising importance of data science skills for the future of work, and a growing emphasis on problem solving in K-12 math learning put technology front and center in efforts to improve math education. Read this special report from the EdWeek Research Center.


#GirlsLeadSTEM Month - October

The National Girls Cooperative Project (NGCP), in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in MediaIntel CorporationLyda Hill Philanthropies' IF/THEN® InitiativeSTEM Next Opportunity FundMillion Girls Moonshot, and Techbridge Girls, is leading a campaign to shine a light on the diversity of organizations, approaches, and girls paving the way for a sustained pathway in STEM. Sign up for the newsletter and access the toolkit and resources to celebrate and take action.

Two Eclipses Coming to North America - October 14, 2023 and April 4, 2024

Solar Eclipses are exciting astronomical events that provide a great opportunity for teachers and students to learn about the science of astronomy and explore the beauty of the natural world. Check out this collection of resources and teaching materials.

SCARCE Teacher Open House - October 24, 2023; 4:00 - 6:30 pm

SCARCE can help you plan educational training days, discover new materials, and learn about field trips to their Environmental Education Center. All teachers (preschool thru high school; public and private) are invited. The SCARCE store will be open late for teachers. Drop by for a fun afternoon just for teachers with snacks, free books, and door prizes! Send an email to learn more.

Equity in Career and Technical Education: Research and Practitioner Perspectives - October 26, 2023

Join the one-hour webinar (3:00 - 4:00 pm ET) on equity in career and technical education for an overview of current research on equitable access to and outcomes for students participating in career and technical education programs and strategies to increase access to and participation in these programs.

Don't Trash 'em - Smash 'em Pumpkin Smash - November 4, 2023

The Pumpkin Smash is annual event promoted by SCARCE to help keep compostable pumpkins out of the water stream by turning them into compost. Last year, the Smash kept over 230 tons of pumpkins out of the landfill. Volunteer or join a smash near you!

STEM Network Meeting - Wednesday, December 6, 2023; 4:00 - 5:15 pm

We are working on the location of our next meeting but the date is set! Be prepared to learn from and share with other STEM educators. Register here so that we can prepare and notify you of the location. Attendees will be eligible to receive STEM trinkets and treasures, and maybe even a raffle prize! Mark your calendars for the other 2023-24 STEM Network dates: February 7 and May 1. Interested in hosting an upcoming meeting at your school? Email Dr. Susan Camasta. And, did we mention that attendees are eligible for a raffle prize?

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision is Back! January 21, 2024 Deadline

Ignite the imagination of K-12 students as they form competition teams and embark on a mission of discovery to explore current technologies, envision future possiblities, and present their ideas to win awards and acknowlegement. Find out more.

eCYBERMISSION Registration Open through February 28, 2024

This is a free, virtual STEM competition for 6-9 graders, administered by the National Science Teaching Association. Students form teams of 2-4, led by an adult Team Advisor, and select a problem in their community to investigate with science or solve with engineering. eCYBERMISSION aligns with national and state standards. Teaching resources are free at Plus, you can apply to receive funding for your classroom at


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

Below is a list of some of the ways in which the STEM Squad can support your efforts. Also included are a few pictures of some of our recent events. Email Mary Biniewicz for more information.

  • Arrange to borrow one or more of the 15 STEM Trunks we have available for students in Grade K-12.
  • Work with a STEM Squad member to help plan a STEM event or STEM Club activities.
  • Contact us to check on our availability to facilitate an activity at your STEM event.
  • Schedule one or more of our after-school STEM workshops for grade 5-8 students.

Fall Topics

Here are a few resources about activities related to upcoming STEM events and celebrations.

STEM Starters

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

USA Science and Engineering Festival Lesson Library

Browse the library of lesson plans created by educators for educators! Lessons are NGSS and CASEL aligned and designed for middle and high school classrooms. Each lesson links to a compatible X-STEM All Access episode featuring an inspiring STEM role model. View the full lineup of X-STEM All Access episodes here.

Scientists Circle - One Way to Encourage Collaboration

This video demonstrates the use of a collaboration routine called the Scientists Circle, in which students share their ideas as a group, work collaboratively, challenge each other's ideas, and engage in scientific discussions. The routine helps create a sense of community and equity in the classroom while promoting active participation on the part of all students.

Company Behind ChatGPT Launches AI Teacher Guide

OpenAI has published a comprehensive guide to help educators effectively integrate AI, particularly ChatGPT, into their teaching practices. The guide covers a range of topics, including how to use AI for various educational purposes, understanding its limitations, addressing bias, and ensuring students benefit from AI technologies in a thoughtful manner.

AI 101 Teacher Training Video Series

This free, foundational online learning series is geared toward educators interested in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential in education. The series was developed by, ETS, ISTE, and Khan Academy.

Visit our website for more information and resources!

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