February 2022
From the Director's Desk
Hello and happy February-

I recently learned that studies suggest that 80% of people give up on their new year’s resolutions within the first six weeks - meaning that most of us fall off the aspirational wagon by Valentine’s Day. As discouraging as that might sound, at the Hub we’re big champions of thinking big and learning from failure. In fact, these are critical elements of human centered design thinking. So, while it can be rewarding to set and achieve goals with relative ease, if at first you don’t succeed, iterate, ideate, and try again! And if your goals for 2022 include bringing more STEM and CTE to your classrooms and places of work, check out all the resources in this month’s newsletter to help make that happen - including some fantastic opportunities to highlight Black American contributions to these fields in celebration of Black History Month. 

Thanks to all of you for having the courage to learn, create…and fail! 

Be well,

Sarah Whiteside, Director
Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub

Photo: Unnamed sculpture, Patricia Mendoza Art Gallery, BCS Mexico
February is Black History Month
During Black History Month, it is important to take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans as well as recognize and learn about STEM leaders who made impactful innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

While this month is an important time to celebrate these achievements, we must also acknowledge the fact Black Americans are still very underrepresented in STEM fields. According to a Pew Research Center report, “Black and Hispanic workers continue to be underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Blacks make up 11% of the U.S. workforce overall but represent 9% of STEM workers. And among employed adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, Blacks are just 7% of the STEM workforce.”

On our website, we’ve compiled some resources featuring Black Americans in STEM throughout history as well as educational videos and books on the topic of Black History Month. 
We're hiring!
The Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub is hiring for a Business and Industry Outreach and Equity Specialist position. The position description and application instructions are here. The position closes 02/11/22.
MVSCH Media: Closing the Gap
Our podcast, Closing the Gap has been exploding with amazing guests lately! We recently published an episode that was co-hosted by our STEM Librarian and Makerspace Coordinator, Forrest Johnson. In this episode, we talk to Ashley Merback, woodworker and co-owner of Highland Woodshop in Corvallis. In this episode, we discuss the confidence boost that building new skills can inspire and what kinds of classes and opportunities Highland Woodshop offers to our community. You can listen to Ashley’s episode here.  

On February 7th, we will be speaking with Dr. Lisa Avery, the President of Linn-Benton Community College. We will be discussing the important role of a community college in the area that it serves and why pursuing higher education is so important. 

Then, on February 21st, we feature Robin Maxkii, a member of the Stockbridge–Munsee Community, storyteller, and advocate for equal access to technology, education, and representation of Indigenous Americans. Listen in as we talk about her journey down this path and what she has learned along the way. 

You can listen to all of these interviews and our entire back catalog on our website and on Spotify!

If you are a woman in STEM, or have a career in manufacturing or a skilled trade and would like to talk about your experience, contact Kacey Montgomery at montgok@linnbenton.edu.
Resources, Events, & Upcoming Opportunities
STEM/CTE Community Bulletin Board
What's happening in your school/business/organization? Send us your news items for the Community Bulletin Board in our monthly newsletter and we'll help you spread the word! We ask that submissions be regional, non-commercial, STEM/CTE germane, and be limited to one sentence and a link. Submissions are due by the third Monday of each month.
Black History Month events at LBCC
LBCC STEM Program Spotlight: Computer Science
The LBCC Computer Science program introduces you to a complex and fascinating field whose relevance is felt across many careers and lines of personal inquiry. See the flyer below (click to save or view larger) to learn more about the program, including the new Cybersecurity option!
LBCC Virtual Health Programs information session: February 9th
This virtual information session is for prospective students interested in learning more about LBCC Health Programs and application processes.

Please join us! on Wednesday, February 9 at 5:30pm
Must use passcode: 883153
This session will be recorded

This session will cover application requirements, process, and timelines for LBCC Health Programs!

Programs Include:
ODE launches “I found myself here” campaign to recruit more students to CTE
To: Superintendents, Principals, Education Partners, School Counselors and CTE Network
From: Jennell Ives, State CTE Director & Secondary Postsecondary Director
Date: February 1, 2022
Re: ODE launches “I found myself here” a multimedia campaign recruiting more students to CTE

Dear Partners,

The Oregon Department of Education is pleased to announce that a multimedia Career and Technical Education (CTE) public education campaign began this week to diversify the students and families exploring CTE and the ways CTE engages and prepares students.

The campaign, “I found myself here,” starts with social media and streaming ads this week and will expand to radio, print and audio throughout February, which is CTE month. All the messages lead Oregonians to the oregon.gov/CTE domain that redirects to the CTE page on our website.

Communications Toolkit
We also have a communications toolkit to support your school/district/regions in sharing information about the value of CTE with families, students, businesses and local media. CTE is a significant driver for student success as students who participate in a CTE course of study graduate at a significantly higher rate than the statewide average.

Everyone is feeling the weight of the pandemic and challenge of constant change and this is an opportunity to disseminate positive messaging to our communities. If you have a story you would like to share but need some support, please don't hesitate to reach out to Lance Heisler from the Coates Kokes communications firm.
Lending Library News & Updates
Need easy, engaging, plug-and-play lessons? How about books about Black excellence in STEM? The Lending Library is here to help!

Fill out the Educator Lending Library request form, and check out the rest of the MVSCH Lending Library Catalog. For more information, email Forrest Johnson.
More Microgrant Recipient Success Stories!!
Calapooia Watershed Council
Shout out to educator Collin McCandless at Calapooia Watershed Council!

Collin used their microgrant to fund Linn Benton Salmon Watch educational activities for local students.
Scio Middle School educator Niki Kuykendall
Shout out to educator, Niki Kuykendall is with Scio School District 95C!

Niki used her micro-grant to get safety equipment to protect her students in science class.
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
Shout out to Jesse Adams at Corvallis-Benton County Public Library!

They used their microgrant to provide STEM backpacks and bristlebot kits to the students who visit the public library. 

Thank you all for your great work!
Lebanon Health Career Ladder
Shout out to educator Jeannie Davis and Lebanon Health Career Ladder!
Jeannie used their microgrant funds to help fund their 2021 summer camp at LBCC that brought medical career educational opportunities to students.

Nice work Lebanon Health Career Ladder!
West Albany High School - Jacqueline Kahler
Shout out to educator Jacqueline Kahler of West Albany High School! 

Jacqueline used her microgrant to help fund their culinary CTE program. 

"These grant funds have significantly enhanced the experience of students who are trying out the culinary option for #CTE. Without the grant, I'm not sure how we would fund students' hands-on learning opportunities."
February's Social Media Support
Social Media Marketing & Communications
Social media marketing (SMM) and communications is an ever-evolving practice. One person says one method is the best and most efficient way to do things and the next person may say something totally different. For someone just starting out in SMM or someone not looking to spend too much time trying to get their message out, this constant evolution can be discouraging.  

You do not have to be an expert on -or even engage on - all platforms to successfully spread your message and build a network. My suggestion is that you do a little research, find where your peers are and where they have successfully grown a following, and stick with that one platform - maybe it’s Twitter or Facebook, or even LinkedIn. Depending on the type of content you create and the audience you’re trying to reach, go for a platform that fosters that type of content and community well. 

For example, let’s say you’re an educator trying to reach students with short videos for class reminders or fun content related to what you’re teaching in class Tiktok would be the best bet for you. Now, if you’re an educator trying to reach your students’ parents for notifications or updates about the class fundraiser, an account on Twitter may be a more efficient way to communicate. 

Reach out and follow us if you're not already! We'd love to share our work with you and learn more about yours. Send me an email at montgok@linnbenton.edu.
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