May 2021
Education, business, and community partners in Michigan are embarking on a journey to make the state a world leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education.
State MiSTEM Network Updates
Michigan selected for $15M Pilot Program Expanding
AP Computer Science Offerings
Press Conference with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, May 10, 2021

Michigan, a national leader in STEM education for K-12 students, will expand Advanced Placement Computer Science (AP CS) opportunities thanks to a $15 million pilot program launching in seven states. The pilot focuses on expanding AP CS course offerings to more students and increasing diversity to ensure CS courses are available to all students.  This investment builds on an innovative partnership between MiSTEM Network,, Grand Valley State University, and College Board to expand STEM education and grow talent for high-demand careers. 

“By investing in our students early on, we are taking another step toward cultivating a rewarding education and career pathway for our students, creating a strong talent pool for businesses, and putting Michigan on the path to economic success,” Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II said. “We are thankful for for choosing Michigan as one of the first states in the nation to launch this expansive, inclusive computer science opportunity. We encourage educators and students to explore the rewarding opportunities this new AP Computer Science offering brings.”   

This investment will leverage best practices of inclusive teaching that considers the cultural perspectives, interests and experiences of Black, Latino, Native American and other underrepresented student groups. The goal of this new pilot program is to grow the number of participants and ultimately increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who will pursue careers in computer science or engineering. Michigan schools will have the opportunity to offer two college-level computer science courses to students with full curriculum materials and professional development support for teachers at no cost with the support of grant funds through the MiSTEM Network.  

"Progress on solving our national need to give students access and opportunities to high-quality computer science courses depends on the dedication and leadership of local organizations like the MiSTEM network,” said Cameron Wilson, President of the Advocacy Coalition. “MiSTEM's progress in expanding access to computer science over the last few years has made them a truly invaluable partner. They will continue to make a powerful difference in the lives of students who deserve the opportunity to learn a subject that's transformational in their education, success and future."   

To learn more about the workshops for school districts to take part in this pilot, visit  

Region 8 Updates
Congratulations to Gabriel Knowles - Michigan Science Association (MSTA) Teacher of the Year

Gabriel Knowles is a teacher at Whitehall Ealy Elementary.  He is an elementary teacher by trade and outdoor enthusiast with a background in science and mathematics. He has over a decade of experience working for the National Park Service and United States Geological Survey in outreach education and environmental stewardship.  Gabe graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1997 and worked for four years in wildlife biology in the Western United States before becoming a teacher. 

He has received multiple grants including one from the National Science Foundation in which he and fellow Whitehall teacher Brittany Christensen are working as part of a Michigan State University study that aims to improve the habitat for monarch butterflies in the state by cutting back milkweed plants early in the spring and summer so that the stems regrow. Preliminary results have shown that butterflies lay more eggs on the regrown stems than on milkweed plants that are not cut, and have also shown that fewer predators pursue the butterflies and their eggs around the regrown milkweed stems. Gabe is also a winner of one of the Greater West Michigan (GWM) Region 2020 STEM Mini-Grants

Congratulations to the other MSTA 2021 Teacher of the Year Award recipients: 

  • Amy Emmert - Belle Isle Aquarium 
  • Samantha Lichtenwald - Bay-Arenac Community High School 
  • Kumar Yelamarthi - School of Engineering and Technology, Central Michigan University 
  • Emily Pohlonski - Novi High School 
  • Wanda Faye Bryant - Henderson Academy 
Free Workshops for Public Entities in Michigan
Learn the Best Defenses Against Cyber Threats

The Michigan DTMB and partners, with the generous support of the Department of Homeland Security, are offering statewide CIS Controls™ workshops to leaders and IT practitioners at municipal organizations across our entire state, at no cost. This is an unprecedented opportunity to enable all of us to not only understand the current slew of cyber threats, but combat them with knowledge gained from the practical examples and explanations of this workshop. 

State Homeland Security Program
May 24-25, 2021 (Mon/Tues) 

This two-day workshop will: 

  • Introduce public sector individuals to the risks and concepts surrounding cybersecurity; 
  • Inform participants on the existing cyber threats posed by hackers, criminals, terrorism actors, and nation-state attackers; 
  • Provide actionable recommendations and guidance on how to improve cybersecurity posture in a reasonable and cost-effective manner; 
  • Allow participants to be prepared and successful during cyber assessments; 
  • Educate participants on the cybersecurity programs, tools, and services available via the State of Michigan. 


This training is sponsored by Michigan DTMB/Michigan Cyber Partners and is funded by a generous grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Grant Program and is free of charge to staff of local public entities in Michigan including cities, townships, villages, counties, school districts, universities, community colleges, tribal authorities and nonprofit hospitals.  Learn more at

Summer Cybersecurity Camp 

Join Ferris State University for a fun and rewarding 3 days of cyber camp where students ages 15 to 18 will learn what professionals actually do as cybersecurity analysts. Students will search through digital evidence to find clues that will solve the crime and find the suspects, participate in a capture the flag game that teaches aspects of cyber defense such as cryptology and password cracking, and experience what it is like to be a cyber investigator and defender through hands on tools and practice led by professors and current students in a nationally recognized cyber security program.  

The cost of the camp is $359 for resident students and $299 for commuters.  Many scholarships that may cover part or all of the cost of the camp are available.  Click here for more information including how to apply for scholarships and links to registration. 

FSU ISI Cybersecurity Summer Camp 2021

Cybersecurity Workforce Development Toolkit

Cybersecurity professionals have unique skills, are in short supply, and are vital to our nation’s security. As a result, competition for talent is fierce and establishing a strong team is essential. This requires organizations to tailor how they plan for their cybersecurity workforce so they have the right people in the right positions.  

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Workforce Development Toolkit: How to Build a Strong Cybersecurity Workforce provides organizations with information and tools and templates to plan, build, and advance their cybersecurity workforce. Additional Cybersecurity resources that address Cybersecurity Workforce Challenges can be found on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies website.  

Equity Resources

Responsive Teaching Institute Panel 

On June 3, 2021 at 4pm Dr. Christopher Emdin, Dr. Ernest Morrell, and Dr. Rich Milner will  be part of the closing panel of the Responsive Teaching Coalition discussing our personal accountability for engaging in anti-racist education. This session is free to educators in Washtenaw, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.  The cost is $30 for out-of-county participants.

Register to engage with this panel which will focus on answering the following questions: Where Do We Go from Here? How do we hold each other accountable? How do we know if we are making progress? 

The Responsive Teaching Institute would love to include some of your questions in the panel discussion.  Please complete this brief survey if you have a questions you would like to pose to the panel.

Discovery Education Equity Talks 

Join Discovery Education for their webinar "Equity Talks" on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET. 

Discovery Education Equity Talks is a live webinar series featuring the nation’s top educational leaders. Moderated by Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent of Ithaca City School District, these 45-minute segments focus on how school leaders are cultivating equity and excellence as they navigate the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year.  Register here. 

Equity, Justice, and Anti-Racism in Elementary STEM 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a panel which is available as a webinar series:  Equity, Justice, and Anti-Racism in Elementary Science and Engineering Panel Discussion.  In this webinar series, researchers share key findings on equity, justice, and anti-racism in elementary science and engineering. They discuss strategies for inclusive science education (Dr. Felicia Moore Mensah), approaches to designing safe spaces (Dr. Christopher Wright), and lessons learned from examining Indigenous families' approaches to sense-making (Dr. Ananda Marin).

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. Check out these resources from the National Girls Collaborative Project:
  • Celebrate with NAAAP's webinars in May, including the Role of Science and Technology as a Catalyst for Social Change webinar on May 27, 2021, featuring Time's Kid of the Year Gitanjali Rao, inventor of “Tethys”, an early lead detection tool. Register here
  • Asia Pacific Network of Science & Technology Centres (ASPAC): ASPAC aims to facilitate communication and cooperation among science centers, museums, and other organizations that use interactive approaches for learning and public understanding of science and technology within the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP): The NAAAP offers a diverse range of professional development programs that engages its membership in community service and organizes professional networking events. 
  • Connect with AAPI IF/THEN® Ambassadors by utilizing the search function to find role models in the IF/THEN® Collection

Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood

Dr. Amanda Alzena Sullivan (Early Childhood STEAM & EdTech Specialist, Mother, Researcher, Writer) looks at the impact of stereotypes on girls' interest and performance in STEM beginning in early childhood. She also researches tools, curricula, and other strategies for engaging girls in STEM. You can learn more about her research in her new book Breaking the STEM Stereotype or by checking out some of her projects and resources on her website

Career Connections

Cool STEM Jobs

Scientists aren’t just people working in labs wearing white lab coats. This series on Cool STEM Jobs offers dozens of feature-length articles about careers in science, technology, engineering and math. From scientists who study volcanoes to those who study artcrime scenessoftware engineering, or pets, this Cool STEM Jobs series from Science News for Students has something for everyone. 

Check out their series on Invention and Innovation! Students today are growing up amidst a proliferation of new technologies and this series offers news stories on the latest in scientific innovations, from wet suits inspired by sea otters to tiny robots that work in teams. 

Featured Cool Job: Video Game Creators 
Top-of-the-line computers pack in more and more memory every year. But game developers have to make sure that their product will work on everyone’s computers, not just the most powerful ones. Game developers want to make games run as efficiently as possible. And that means getting creative with code. For example, the team working on StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void found that running through all the color-choosing programs for every pixel on the screen was using too much memory. They managed to compress all those programs down to just 5 percent of their original size. They combined some similar programs together and cut out others completely. They also rewrote sections of the code to make it simpler. This game took more than 2.5 years to develop with the help of more than 80 engineers, programmers, designers, artists, writers and others! 

Conservation Careers

Want the inside scoop on the life of a professional conservationist or want to switch careers into conservation but don’t know where to start?  The Conservation Careers Podcast series is for you!  Explore how to get a conservation job and hear the latest industry news from professional conservationists who share their career stories and advice.  

What kind of job do you want when you finish school? Have you considered a job in the natural resources field as a forester, air quality specialist, lakes protection manager, park ranger, fish health specialist, warden, endangered species researcher, park planner, water quality specialist, or a naturalist? Visit and explore eeK! Environmental Education for Kids and learn about conservation careers, games, quizzes, puzzles, videos, wildlife live webcams, activities, community action & citizen science projects, and more!  

Careers in Water

Are you looking for a rewarding career with great pay and the chance to give back to your community? A career in water offers the opportunity to deliver, clean, and renew our world’s most essential resource. Water and resource recovery careers pay competitive, family sustaining wages at all levels of experience. Take a look at the salary ranges for different careers paths.  

There are a variety of career paths which require different skill sets and training. From high school graduates, to PhDs, to veterans, no matter your background, there is opportunity for everyone to join the water workforce. Browse Work For Water's Career Paths to determine which role is best for you! 

"Work for Water" Presented by the Water Environment Federation & American Water Works Association
Women in STEM at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

At the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, women ornithologists apply their unique skills and passion to areas such as conservation, citizen science, education, or field studies. Visit the Cornell Lab to Meet Women in STEM and hear advice for students interested in science, technology, engineering, or math.

As a part of March Women's History Month Cornell put together a series of Women in STEM blogs based on interviews with four talented women of color who are pursuing careers in STEM. Explore and celebrate these women and acknowledge the complexities, struggles, and beauty of being a woman of color in STEM. 
Why Study Statistics?

Statistician is the coolest job you’ve never heard of. Visit This is Statistics from the American Statistical Association where you will find how statisticians change the world, have fun, and make money. Read profiles of statisticians and data scientists, and some of the cool jobs they do. Explore student contests, podcasts, and meet statisticians who are making a difference and having fun while they are doing it!   

See what your Dream Job can look like by exploring This is Statistics – Jobs in Statistics page to see more real life examples of statisticians in Public Service, Health and Wellness, Technology, Environment and Science, Journalism, Educators, Sports Analytics, and more!  

Examples of jobs statisticians perform: 

  • Chief data scientist for a presidential campaign 
  • Data scientist at a municipal fire department 
  • Mathematical statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau 
  • Statistician at a human rights organization 
  • Data Analyst of Marine Life 
  • Biostatistician at NASA 
  • Director of analytics for a professional sports team 
Do you have a curiosity about ocean science?

The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Insititute (WHOI) scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with the Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity.  

Visit WHOI to find out more about the fascinating career of Oceanography and meet scientists, engineers, and technicians who talk about their careers and experiences in oceanography in the WHOI Profiles & Interviews section. Explore WHOI's K-12 educator resources and materials, workshops, citizen science projects, internship opportunities, and more! 

Check out these other career exploration resources:

Women Exploring the Oceans 
Our knowledge of Earth and its oceans has been pieced together through the work of many individuals. Increasingly women have made significant contributions to marine science. Women Oceanographers features the careers of remarkable women in oceanography. Each woman has followed a different path to her career and has gathered unique insights about her profession. Learn how these women are contributing to our understanding and appreciation of the ocean and how they go about their daily work. 

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science, and Technology 
Interested in what a marine engineer does? How about a naval architect? Want to know what a hydrographic surveyor does? The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science, and Technology (ImarEST) has produced a collection of marine career profiles that introduce students to some of most exciting careers available in marine science, engineering and technology!  

National Ocean Science Bowl 
Looking to get a sense of where you can find careers in the fields of ocean, aquatic, marine science, marine biology, and related sciences? Visit and explore the National Ocean Sciences Bowl career resources where you will find a collection of career profiles, STEM resources, opportunities for students and educators in ocean, and aquatic sciences.   

Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
Want to know more about the ocean and how people work in and around it? Are you looking to find out what skills and educational backgrounds are needed for specific ocean careers? Visit the Ocean to explore over 50 ocean-related careers, profiles of professionals in the field, professional societies, job internships and more!  

What is Mining Engineering?

Mining engineers (similar to geological engineers) are responsible for designing, maintaining, monitoring mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals from the earth for manufacturing, energy, and other industrial purposes. While we don’t often encounter this raw material in our daily lives, we rely on it heavily. Alternative power sources such as wind and solar are becoming more popular energy sources, we are still reliant on coal, a type of raw material that has to be mined from the ground. Materials like silver, gold, and other precious metals are mined in order to make jewelry, electronics, medical treatments, cutlery, construction components, and more. Mining engineers work to continue to improve the safety, ethics, and impact of mining on communities and the earth. Visit the Society of Women Engineers to find out more about Mining Engineering.  

Meghan is a Principal Engineer for the State of New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Program. Learn more about her work in mining and how you can #BeThatEngineer!  

Meet Chloe, a Mining Engineering Student! Chloe is studying Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. She is in her senior year of her program and she will be graduating May of 2021! 

Do you have a question for our women engineers who are members of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE)? SWE would love to hear from you! Send your questions to SWE will answer you directly, or your question may become a future SWEet Wisdom column! Read This Month's SWEet Wisdom Here » 

Educator Resources and Professional Learning

Summer Learning Offerings from the MiSTEM Network

In the past year, Michigan educators have improvised, innovated, and adapted to keep our students learning. The MiSTEM Network and its state-supported partners will help districts continue that learning this summer with innovative programs to empower educators and accelerate student achievement across reading, math, and science. 

Together with its partners, MiSTEM can offer rich hands-on, project-based STEM learning experiences that can take you through the summer - and even in-school or after-school programs in the fall. For detailed information, visit the Summer Learning Opportunities page. 

The annual Groundswell Showcase celebrates student-led efforts to protect the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes. The event this year will feature teachers sharing stories about their experience in the Groundswell initiative over the past school year. Please join Groundswell to recognize school projects protecting the Grand River and Great Lakes!

Event Details 
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm 
Location: Virtual 

Register Here 

Developing Mathematical Reasoning in All Students Amidst a Pandemic

Have you ever felt like you don’t have the time to teach your content and all of the content your students should have learned before you?  

  • Do you teach third grade and find that your students don’t know addition facts?  
  • Do you teach middle school and find that your students don’t know their multiplication facts? 
  • Do you teach algebra and find that your students don’t understand ratio? 

Muskegon Area ISD is hosting an event that features Pam Harris, who will explore answers to these questions.  In this event for 3rd - 12th grade general and special education teachers, Pam will discuss Developing Mathematical Reasoning, a trajectory to help students think and reason in ways that promote the development of mental relationships and connections. It’s about mentoring students in the act of mathematizing in increasingly sophisticated ways. In addition, participants will be able to register for a free asynchronous Developing Mathematical Reasoning online workshop where they can continue learning specific strategies to enact in the classroom or use in summer school.  

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021  
Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM 
Registration: Free

Registration Link 

Educational Technology Professional Learning Opportunities

Kent Computer Science Network
Join the new Kent Computer Science Network  on June 16,2021 from 9:00 AM - 11:00 am for their second meeting! Designed in collaboration with local school representatives and the MiSTEM Network's Greater West Michigan Region, this network is for K-12 CS educators with the goals of 1) increasing awareness and understanding of the Michigan K-12 Computer Science Standards, 2) promoting the sharing of high quality resources for teaching computer science in K-12 classrooms, 3) connecting educators with resources (including community and business) associated with teaching and learning computer science. Educators in Allegan, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa Counties are welcome to join this Network! 

Remote Learning Micro-Bootcamp Relaunch (SCECHs Available)
The Educational Technology team at KISD knows that you're busy and working too much so they crafted these courses to come to you in a manageable way. Learn about strategies for asynchronous instruction or remote assessment through daily text messages. Messages will include strategies and content that can be immediately applied in your classroom. Respond to a daily question to receive SCECH credit. Try out a new way to PD: 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Educational Technology Consultants at

LGROW Place Based Project WET Workshop

This one-day workshop will train educators to incorporate nationally recognized Project WET (Water Education Today) activities into existing curriculum and to adapt generic Project WET activities to a place-based format. Participants will engage in fun, hands-on indoor, and outdoor learning activities appropriate for K-12 students as well as learners of all ages!

Thursday, June 17, 2021 
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT 

Educators across the country use Project WET to: 

  • Improve student skills in science, math, reading, writing, and social studies. 
  • Integrate environmental education methods in indoor & outdoor classrooms. 
  • Help address Michigan academic standards. 
  • Introduce fun and effective learning. 

Participants will receive: 

  • Project WET K-12 Activity Guide 
  • Giveaways and supplemental resources 
  • Coffee, Tea, and snacks (bring your own lunch) 
  • Five (5) SCECH's through Kent ISD 

Bring your own lunch; Coffee, Tea, and Snacks will be provided.

This workshop is sponsored by Lowell Area Schools and the Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience Center. Registration is only $20! 

Register Now 

VAI Celebrates Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation is an important part of the work at Van Andel Institute for Education (VAI). Part of VAI’s mission is to empower teachers by giving them the tools and resources they need to thrive. As such, VAI has had the opportunity to work with a number of incredible educators over the years. VAI knows firsthand that even the best teachers don’t always receive the recognition they deserve.  

To thank teachers for all the work they do, and foster greater appreciation for education, VAI created the Betty Van Andel Teachers of Excellence. Each year, they highlight a group of outstanding teachers selected for their hard work and dedication to their students, and for creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive. 2021’s Teachers of Excellence consists of ten amazing educators who work with students from as early as elementary school to as late as high school. To this year’s winners, and to all hard-working teachers out there, they simply wish to say, “Thank you for all that you do!” 

You Can Nominate an Awesome Teacher 
But that’s not all. Each month, VAI selects one awesome educator to highlight on social media and gifts them with a free project-based learning unit of their choice. There are no strings attached to this gift, they simply want to thank them for the amazing job they’re doing. Teachers are selected from a pool of nominees provided by the public. Individuals looking to submit a nominee simply need to fill out a quick online form and their teacher will automatically be added to the list of potential winners. Do you know an awesome educator who deserves to be celebrated for their work? Show them you care by nominating them for Caught Being Awesome! 

To nominate a teacher for a free project or view previous winners, visit the Call for Awesome page at To discover the 2021 Betty Van Andel Teachers of Excellence, or learn more about Van Andel Institute for Education, visit

Resources for Educators
Virtual Field Trips 
Great Lakes Now Virtual Field Trips
Great Lakes Now brings along students on three virtual field trips to learn more about the importance of coastal wetlands, the danger of algal blooms, and a deep dive into lake sturgeon. These experiences are targeted for 6-8th grade, but are certainly not limited to this age group. 

In addition to these field trips, explore their Great Lakes Now collection of lesson plans that engage students with the science and study of the Great Lakes. Designed for middle school classrooms, these lessons will help students to become familiar with geologic, geographic, and environmental concepts about the Great Lakes, as well as provide them the opportunity to evaluate contemporary issues facing the lakes. Enjoy this free Great Lakes Watershed Map  
Resources for Families and Students
Lt. Governor Gilchrist Encourages Michiganders to Sign Up for Federal Program to Lower Cost of High-Speed Internet

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and the Connecting Michigan Taskforce are encouraging Michigan families to sign up for a new federal program to help lower the cost of high speed internet service.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new program from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is making $3.2 billion available nationwide for eligible households to receive discounts of up to $50 per month on internet service, or up to $75 per month for qualifying households on Tribal lands. In addition, some internet service providers will also provide a one-time $100 discount toward the purchase of a computer, laptop or tablet.   

“With children learning online and parents working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how great the need for reliable and affordable high-speed internet access is in Michigan, just as it is everywhere in our country,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “Internet service is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. I’m committed to making sure that we level the playing field so that everyone in our state has an equal opportunity to take advantage of online resources and participate fully in our society and economy. We are working on getting the word out about the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to both broadband providers and residents across Michigan to ensure that every eligible household in our state has an opportunity to take advantage of this tremendous federal resource.”

Beginning May 12, 2021, eligible households can enroll in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company  at Mail-in applications will also be available.  Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.  

To learn more about the Connecting Michigan Task Force and related initiatives in Michigan, visit 

Grand Rapids White Water Summer Science and Leadership Program

LGROW has opened up registration for the Grand Rapids WhiteWater Summer Science and Leadership Program. It will run July 6-17, 2021 this year and is open to high school students entering their junior or senior year in Fall 2021. Please forward the information on to any high school students you know who might be interested and definitely share with high school teachers too! Click here for more information and application/registration forms. A Spanish version of the flyer and application will be on the website soon as well. 

Virtual-S.T.E.A.M. Program Nurtures Their Roots in STEM!

Michigan Women Forward (MWF) is partnering with Motor City S.T.E.A.M. and The Lab Drawer to bring you Virtual-S.T.E.A.M. (Virtual Science / Technology / Engineering / Arts / Math), a 2 week virtual program where girls will work with real women scientists and entrepreneurs from Detroit to put together experiments in a box sent directly to their homes! 

Who: Michigan girls entering grades 6-8 
When: Mondays and Thursdays starting July 27, 2021 - August 6, 2021 
Where: Join the Zoom meeting from the comfort of your home! 

What: Work on experiments with real scientists & create your own S.T.E.A.M. business guided by women entrepreneurs! Experiment and business creation materials will be mailed to your home. 
Cost: Free for all participants! 

Register here 

The Virtual S.T.E.A.M. program serves a diverse group of Michigan girls from all over the state. Michigan Women Forward values diversity and believes it is a strength. Please note that this program has a zero tolerance policy on hate and discrimination towards others for ANY reason. There’s no room for hate in the girl power business - we’re too busy bossin’ up.  Contact Meaghan @ with questions. 

UGOGirls Virtual Visionaries

UGOGirls Virtual Visionaries (formerly UGOGirls on Campus) is a free virtual workshop for high school girls entering grades 9-12 that will inspire, empower, and equip its participants to become the next generation’s women leaders (aka “future boss women”).  It is a safe, supportive, and collaborative space where they can envision, explore, and create an inspiring and fulfilling future that is authentic to who they are. 

What to Expect: 

  • “Mondays are for ME” will provide empowerment techniques such as: goal setting, stress management, self-confidence building, mental health awareness, time management skills, financial literacy, college preparedness, etc.  
  • “Boss Women Wednesdays” will provide guidance and support from successful, professional Michigan women leaders from various sectors. Learn from the best on how to boss up your life! 
  • Access to the “Boss Base” and supplemental activities to support their development as visionaries and future boss women which can be found on the Edmodo “Boss Base”. The Boss Base is also a tool the participants and facilitators use to stay in touch and get to know each other! It is quickly becoming a network for motivated, brilliant young women all around Michigan. 
  • Incentives (cool gifts!) to those who actively participate and contribute every week. 
  • All participants who successfully complete program will receive a professional certificate verifying their successful completion of a Michigan Women Forward Leadership Program (looks great on college applications & resumes!) 

Summer 2021 Dates: Monday, June 21, 2021 – Friday, July 2, 2021
Register here 

Innovators. Creators. Builders. Those are what Black Girls Code strives to empower #futuretechbosses to become.  

#CODETheSummer  by Black Girls Code is a virtual, immersive, STEM education-focused experience for students of all genders between the ages of 7 and 17. During the sessions, their #futuretechbosses will explore the different facets of robotics, game design and iOS app development under the guidance of leaders within the tech industry.  More information and links to register

Apply For A Summer Camp Scholarship 

Black Girls CODE is dedicated to making sure STEM education is affordable and accessible. For all Black Girls CODE workshops, they offer a limited number of financial-need based scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can apply for a summer camp scholarship using the link below.  Apply For A Summer Camp Scholarship  


Join The #CODETheSummer Team 
Are you passionate about changing the narrative surrounding racial and gender diversity in tech and empowering the next generation of innovators? Black Girls CODE is currently looking for instructors to help lead summer camp sessions. They have virtual and in-person opportunities available. If you have experience in the areas of robotics, game design or iOS app development, apply below! 

Online doesn’t have to mean hands off. Northern Illinois University's virtual camps offer hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math fun as campers work in teams, build friendships, engage their curiosity, and explore careers. 

STEAM camps spark interest in academic and career pathways at any age: 

  • Elementary camps: Art, food, rockets, and wild weather! A wide range of fun, hands-on topics give campers in grades 3-6 a glimpse of the STEAM fields out there. 
  • Middle school camps: Minecraft, photography, creative writing, role playing games, coding, and exploring nature. We meet young people where they are so they can pursue their interests and begin to deepen their creativity, teamwork, problem solving, and other skills. 
  • Level Up Your Life Skills: A Failure Bites Career Exploration Camp and STEM Read Science + Fiction Camp: Video game design, digital media careers, health careers, and esports. High school campers get the chance to dive into a career field that interests them with hands-on activities and conversations with professionals.

Camp Scholarships Available 
Limited partial scholarships are available for campers based on need. Campers must meet certain qualifications to apply. For more info and an application, email

Free Library of Digital Social and Emotional Learning Resources

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is often described as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

To better meet the need for resources supporting students’ SEL development, the new Social-Emotional Learning Coalition provides K-12 educators, students, families, and afterschool directors a no-cost library of digital social and emotional learning (SEL) resources through the Social-Emotional Learning Center

Content for K-2 
Resources in the K-2 content tab include student-facing, multimodal digital content focused on helping younger students develop their social-emotional skills. In this section, you will find a robust digital collection to help young students begin acquiring and practicing self-awareness and social skills; memorable songs with My Mindful Music; videos on belly breathing, building confidence, and being part of a team from Everyday Speech; easy-to-follow meditation exercises; and other resources that support empathy, stress management, and more. 

Content for grades 3-5 
The 3-5 content section presents a variety of digital resources for older elementary students that support their SEL skill growth. Explore engaging content with series like My Mindful Music and Get Along Monsters, as well as a Virtual Field Trip from Soar with Wings that teaches about the five competencies by showing younger students practicing the competencies in action. This section also features a large collection of videos, songs, and mindfulness exercises that guide students through SEL competency development. 

Content for grades 6-12 
The 6-12 tab contains a diverse collection of SEL content that reinforces older students’ self-awareness and social skills. Content includes videos and channels tailored to upper grades that teach about topics such as cybersafety, teenage friendships, self-awareness, and stress management. Also find inspirational series such as #MyYoungerSelf, from the Child Mind Institute, where celebrities and newsmakers give advice to their younger selves, and the popular Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip from LG that helps us understand the science of happiness. 

Grants for Training to Implement Mission to Mars Student Challenge

Camp and Summer Program leaders - immerse your youth in the latest exploration of Mars with NASA’s Mission to Mars Student Challenge for Summer Camps, a 7-week series of hands-on activities that teach youth about planning a mission, launch and landing, and exploring the surface – all while following the Perseverance Rover’s current exploration of Mars!   

To help implement one or more of these activities in a summer program, NASA is offering a series of one-hour trainings (also recorded for later viewing) to show camp and afterschool leaders how to guide activities from each phase of the challenge.  They’ll present a variety of activity styles from hands-on to online, focusing on the science, engineering, and art of exploring Mars. 

The focus will be on upper elementary and middle school, but they’ll touch on options for younger and older kids.  Attend one or all – with variety of activity styles, from hands-on to on-line.  Camp and afterschool leaders can register today - no prior STEM experience is necessary. 

STEM Space Club Grant

Whether you are an educator in a STEM classroom, library, or afterschool program, Space Club will launch your students into the world of engineering design and space exploration!  With a live leaderboard, weekly raffle prizes, and career chats with NASA engineers, this hands-on engineering program brings together 5th – 8th grade students across the country learning at home or in the classroom! Weekly engineering challenges will build student confidence and interest in STEM to launch youth towards more rigorous STEM programming. 

Mission to Moon Fall 2021 Grant applications are now open to cover teacher registration fees. Learn more about the Fall 2021 grant application here. Grant recipients will receive access to complete the online training ($300 value) that includes teacher guide, student handouts, instructional videos, and option to join the live game! 

MACUL Grants
MACUL Grants are now open for multiple $1,000 grants. MACUL members who are classroom teachers, coordinators, administrators, or higher education personnel can apply. Deadline: June 14, 2021
Toshiba Grants

Toshiba America Foundation accepts applications from 6-12 grade teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Science and mathematics teachers in public or private (nonprofit) schools may apply for grants to support classroom science and mathematics education. Summer programs, after-school projects, and independent study projects are not eligible for funding. In addition, requests solely for computers are not considered. Applicants must complete a short questionnaire in order to access the online application. Deadline: June 1, 2021

NASA STEM Funding Opportunity

The NASA Office of STEM Engagement invites proposals from museums, science centers, planetariums, NASA Visitor Centers, youth-serving organizations, libraries, and other eligible nonprofit institutions via the 2021 NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).  

Proposals for Community Anchor Awards ranging from $20K to $25K for 1-2 years are due June 17, 2021 and proposals for Standard Awards ranging from $500K to $800K for 2-4 years are due July 19, 2021

Request for Applications: Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

NSF issued a request for applications (RFA) to recruit, prepare and retain highly effective K-12 STEM teachers and teacher leaders in high-need school districts. Eligible entities include Institutions of Higher Education, including Community Colleges and non-profit organizations offering teacher preparation or residency programs. There are five tracks that include stipends, scholarships, fellowships, research, and capacity building.  Estimated funding is $67 million for approximately 55 to 70 awards from two to five years.   

Full proposals are due August 31, 2021. 

Workforce Development
Michigan New Jobs Training

Well-educated and highly-trained employees are critical to compete in today’s increasingly competitive global market. If your company is moving to or expanding in Michigan, you can receive financial assistance for the customized training of your new employees through the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.  

Designed as an economic development tool, the Michigan New Jobs Training Program allows community colleges to provide free training for employers that are creating new jobs and/or expanding operations in Michigan.  The training for the newly hired workers is paid by capturing the state income tax associated with the new employees' wages. 

Find out more information in the Michigan Community College Association's Michigan New Jobs Training Program brochure.

Job Corps

Job Corps is the largest nationwide residential career training program in the country and has been operating for more than 50 years. The program helps eligible young people ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. Students can earn a high school diploma or the equivalent and college credits. Job Corps also offers tuition-free housing, meals, basic health care, a living allowance, and career transition assistance.  

2021 Education Workforce Virtual Job Fairs

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce additional dates for its 2021 Education Workforce Virtual Job Fairs, presented in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). 

The 2021 virtual job fairs are open to employers of educators and educational support staff, as well as all individuals seeking to work in the education field. These events will leverage LEO’s expertise in hosting virtual job fairs to ensure a smooth and robust experience for both employers and job seekers. LEO utilizes the Brazen platform that features increased functionality and ease of use for participants.  

Increasing the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage is one of the goals of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan.  

Additional dates in June and August have been added to the schedule. The education workforce virtual job fairs will take place on the following dates: 

  • June 16, 2021 
  • June 17, 2021 
  • August 4, 2021 
  • August 5, 2021 

Registration for the June fairs is now open. To register and find more information, job seekers and employers can visit:

Contact Information

Ginger Rohwer
Regional Director
(616) 331-2272

Diane Miller
Business, Community, and Education Liaison
(616) 331-2265

Services provided through a MiSTEM grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.
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