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February 2023
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.
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Regional Feature
Student Experiences Offered by LGROW

The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) offers a variety of watershed focused experiences for students of all ages

Students have the opportunity to engage in different opportunities to care for the watershed through hands-on activities aligned with state and national education standards. LGROW can help students identify and solve real-world environmental problems through place-based and project-based partnerships.

Educational Focus Areas:

  • Lower Grand River Watershed: Awareness and Stewardship 
  • Stormwater Runoff: Slow it down, Spread it out, Soak it in 
  • Personal Actions that Impact the Watershed 
  • Riparian/Wetlands management 
  • Waste Management for Water Quality Protection 
  • Sustainable Agriculture 

Types of Activities Offered: 

  • General Watershed Lessons 
  • Macroinvertebrate Investigation 
  • Water Quality Monitoring 
  • Green Infrastructure 
  • Non Point Source Pollutants 
  • Drain Marking 
  • River Cleanups 
  • Natural Shoreline 
  • Household Hazardous Waste 
  • Best Management Practices 

LGROW can offer in-person and virtual environmental education programs.  From on- campus activities to field trips, they can provide unique learning experiences for all ages!  Click here for more information

For more information, contact LGROW's Outreach and GIS Coordinator, Courtney Marek, at courtney.marek@gvmc.org or at 616-776-7611. 

AWRI Seeking Environmental Educators

The Annis Water Resource Institute (AWRI) seeks passionate and energetic environmental educators to engage students in hands-on, place-based learning experiences onboard its research vessels and in its indoor/outdoor classroom programming. Instructors are assigned to either the W. G. Jackson (docks in Muskegon), the D. J. Angus (docks in Grand Haven), the AWRI classroom, or may serve in a combination of roles. AWRI anticipates hiring multiple instructors for the 2023 outreach season.  Click here for job details

For Students and Families
Water Pool-ooza at GRCC

Join the experts to get a behind-the-scenes look into the West Michigan water system! Water professionals will be guiding students (recommended for 4th-12th graders) and families through the water treatment process with hands-on, interactive activities. Explore the drinking water treatment process from the source to your faucet!  Discover how you can have an impact on the sustainability and conservation of the Grand Rapids water system!  Participants will learn about drinking water as well as careers in the water industry as professionals at the filtration plant show the water treatment process.  

  • Where: GRCC M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Date: March 11, 2023
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m 
  • Cost: Free
Click here for more information and to register .
GVSU Summer STEM Camps

The Regional Math and Science Center and the College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University host a variety of STEM camps for students in grades K-12. Check out our summer line-up of exciting and engaging STEM camps!

STEPS Camp 
Week 1: June 12-15, 2023 
Week 2: June 19-22, 2023 

Science Technology & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Camp is a day-camp preview of science, engineering and technology for rising 7th grade students.  The theme of airplane flight is utilized to integrate technical classes and recreational activities, all the while encouraging social development and personal growth.  The students manufacture and assemble a radio controlled airplane with the assistance of teachers, counselors, and volunteers.  By the end of the week, the students fly their airplanes at a sanctioned fly field, with the help of certified pilots. Throughout the week, they learn the theory of flight, utilize manufacturing equipment and tools, and ultimately learn a lot more about their own personal capabilities and potential. 

STEPS has limited capacity, so we do a lottery from all the applications to fill the seats. A waitlist will be created after all the seats are filled.  
Registration is now open for STEPS – Apply Here! 

paper application can also be mailed to the STEPS office. Lottery registrations must be received no later than March 31, 2023 to be included.  Mail the form to: 
STEPS Camp
301 Fulton Street West
EC 101
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Energizing Our World Camp 
June 26 – 29, 2023 

Energizing Our World (EOW) Summer Camp is a four day summer day camp exploration for middle school students designed to spark interest in renewable energy sources and careers. Students will participate in hands-on activities activities facilitated by GVSU faculty, staff and students with focus on a variety of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and hydro power energy. An introduction to careers in renewable energy will be a part of the camp and students will also have the opportunity to participate in an off-site field trip. 

Registration is now open for Energizing Our World – Apply here!  
Deadline to apply: May 1, 2023 

shaPe Camp  
July 10-13, 2023 

sHaPe (summer Health activities and Professions exploration) is a one-week camp that introduces participants to the health professions for boys and girls currently in 7th and 8th grades.  Students participate in activities that provide hands-on exposure to a variety of health professions including physical therapy, medical lab science, sports medicine, and more! 

Program activities include collecting data in a laboratory setting, using modern medical equipment, understanding different types of therapies for various injuries and disabilities, and experiencing a field trip to Mercy Health - Saint Mary’s Campus! 

Students learn while having fun! Activities include physical movement and team building with great hot lunches provided. 

Registration is now open for sHaPe camp – Apply here! 
Deadline to apply: April 30, 2023  

Advanced Manufacturing Camp  
July 17-21, 2023 

Advanced Manufacturing Camp is a five-day, hands-on immersive experience for students entering 6th and 7th grade in Fall 2023. Campers participate in activities that include team-building in addition to breakout sessions facilitated by GVSU staff, students, and industry professionals from the West Michigan area. Sessions include hands-on activities such as Computer-Aided-Design (CAD), 3-D Printing, Automation, Design Thinking, and Lean Manufacturing. 

Career Exploration activities include off-site industry tours to Pridgeon & Clay, DeWys Manufacturing, Autocam Medical, and JR Automation as well as a career fair.  

Registration will open February 28, 2023

Camp Invention 
July 24-28, 2023 
Give your young innovator an inspiring, action-packed summer adventure at Camp Invention! All-new, hands-on challenges will spark their curiosity and build their confidence as they jump into limitless STEM fun with opportunities to imagine, plan, experiment and create. Your campers will engage in activities to promote problem solving, creativity, persistence, entrepreneurship, and more! Camp Invention is for K-6th grade students.  
Registration is now open for Camp Invention – Apply here!

Van Andel Institute Opens Registration for 2023 Summer Camps with New 1-Day and 4-Day Options

By Van Andel Institute for Education  

We are pleased to announce that VAI’s 2023 Summer Camps for grades K-12 are now open for registration. And, after the success of last year’s K–12 Summer Camps, VAI is now expanding the programming to include new 1-day camp options, in addition to our traditional 4-day camp options. This development will allow VAI to better meet the time and budgetary needs of parents while also creating room for more students to participate. Regardless of which option is chosen, students will be treated to a unique summer experience where they will learn to think and act like scientists while exploring a range of STEM topics that encourage them to make the world a better place.  

Just a Few of VAI 2023 Summer Camps Include:  

  • Marble Mayhem! (Grades K-2):
    Log runs are a classic amusement park ride that slowly twist and turn until riders are dropped down a large slide to be soaked from head to toe. In this day camp experience, students will build their own log ride prototype using a marble and everyday materials. They will get their marble to roll, spin, and eventually drop safely into the landing zone. Be careful not to make it too long — there are a lot of riders waiting.  

  • The Case of the Missing Bearded Dragon (Grades 2-4):
    A beloved VAI organism has gone missing. Luckily, the criminal left behind a mysterious powder. Utilizing physical and chemical properties, students will identify the substance left behind and link it to a suspect to help bring our organism home.  

  • Animal Survivor (Grades 4-5):
    Explore the world of animal adaptations and the habitats they live in. Students will learn about, meet, and handle a variety of species including invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles. Then, they’ll study animal behavior, observe structural traits, and discover the unique ways animals survive in the wild.  

  • Hogwarts in GR: The Science Behind the Magic (Grades 6-8) :
    Calling all witches and wizards! Grab your brooms, or use your Floo powder, and travel to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry—Van Andel style! Students will Immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter as they get sorted into houses, make a magic wand, and attend courses such as Potions, Care for Magical Creatures, History of Magic, and Broomstick Flying! Then they will use their newfound knowledge to compete in the all new Triwizard Tournament at the end of the camp.  

  • And much more!

The registration price for 1-day camps is $25. However, if you register for all grade-specific 1-day camps, the discounted price becomes $20. The price for 4-day camps ranges from $80 to $120 due to the cost of materials.  

For more information on VAI’s 2023 Summer Camps, including their dates and times, please visit vaei.org.  

Cybersecurity 
Keys to Cybersecurity: Activities for 3rd to 8th Grade Students

Looking for ways to introduce your students to cybersecurity? Check out Cyber.org's Keys to Cybersecurity - self-paced, engaging activities designed to introduce students in 3rd-8th grades to basic cybersecurity concepts. After completing each Key, students will be awarded a certificate showing mastery over the topic!

Elementary (grades 3 to 5) topics include:

  • Personally Identifiable Information
  • Online Safety
  • Authentication
  • Connected Devices

Middle School (grades 6 to 8) topics include:

  • Protecting your Digital Footprint 
  • Online Threats and Vulnerabilities
  • Defense in Depth
  • Protecting Connected Devices
Fingerprint Spoofing: Exploring Cybersecurity With Limited Technology

Learn about an inquiry-based and cross-curricular summer STEM camp experience which used simple materials and cell phone technology to explore cybersecurity!  The latest issue of Connected Science Learning, NSTA's journal highlighting STEM education experiences that bridge the gap between in-school and out-of-school settings, contains an article by Kristin Cook, Patrick Burton, Rob Kelley, Jessica Ivy, and Kevin Thomas titled, "Fingerprint Spoofing: Exploring Cybersecurity with Limited Technology"  The article describes a lesson implemented during a STEM summer camp with high school students focused on cybersecurity, but the lesson could be implemented in a science or STEM classroom.   

Learning objectives include the following: 

  • Discuss the need for low-tech options when teaching cybersecurity principles. 
  • Create a prosthetic copy of fingerprint and use it to “trick” a touch ID scanner.  
  • Explain how and why a fingerprint scanner works and why this “spoofing” technique can be successful. 
Equity
NCWIT AspireIT Toolkit

The National Center for Women & Information Technology's (NCWIT) AspireIT Toolkit includes resources for designing and facilitating inclusive computer science experiences for youth grades K-12 with a focus on broadening the participation of girls and historically underrepresented populations.  The Toolkit equips facilitators with the resources and support they need to create sustainable and lasting change in their communities. 

The Toolkit is organized into three parts:  

  • Engage Students 
  • Raise Awareness 
  • Connect With Others  

These three parts expand to provide research, resources, and real-life samples of components that are critical for running computing- and technology-based programming for participants in grades K-12: 

  • Program planning 
  • Lesson design 
  • Facilitation 
  • Reflection 

All content provided incorporates three core values for which evaluation shows to foster effectiveness and lead to the greatest impact for participants and their communities:  

  • Peer mentorship 
  • Inclusivity 
  • Hands-on engagement

You're Invited to this virtual event! 

Knowing the Past Opens Doors to the Future:  How Historical Representation Plays a Critical Role in Advancing Black and African Americans in STEM 
Thursday, February 23, 2023
2 P.M. - 3 P.M. EST 

Historical figures play a critical role in forming aspirations for young people as they look to their future study and career paths. Unfortunately, the historical record that is presented to many students does not reflect the diversity of those whose contributions shape the world we inhabit today. A lack of representation of people who share commonalities around race, gender, and expertise has a damaging effect on outcomes through a phenomenon known as imposter syndrome. 

As we celebrate Black History Month, this virtual event will examine how presenting students with historical figures can advance a sense of belonging and improve outcomes in STEM and other fields.   Register today

The event will include Q&A, allowing participants to engage with the speakers:  

Dr. Vemitra Alexander
STEM Education Specialist,  
NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement 

Dr. Robert Simmons
Head of Social Impact & STEM Programs,  
Micron Technology 

Dr. Dawn Herd-Clark 
Assistant Professor of History,  
Hillsborough Community College 

Renee Aaron
Partnership Specialist,  
STEMconnector 

Tri-County Culturally Responsive Mathematics Institute

The Tri-County Culturally Responsive Mathematics Institute is a collaborative project with Oakland Schools, Washtenaw ISD, and Wayne County RESA. The project is designed to provide opportunities for educators across three counties to learn how to engage all students in meaningful culturally responsive mathematics, to increase engagement and relevance to all students.  

Check out the latest newsletter from the Tri-County Culturally Responsive Math Institute! There is an impressive lineup of speakers as well as powerful professional development opportunities for educators.  Upcoming events include:

Creating Culturally Responsive Mathematics Tasks 
We will learn to revise our current mathematics instructional resources to become more culturally responsive to our students. 

Date: March 7, 2023 
Time: 4:30p.m. - 6:30p.m. EST. - Virtual 
Facilitators: Aris Winger Ph.D. and Curtis Taylor Ph.D. 

Dr. Aris Winger is an assistant professor of mathematics at Georgia Gwinnett College. He has been teaching and tutoring for over 25 years. His many projects have all been in areas of increasing the visibility of underrepresented populations in STEM and in particular mathematics. He is co-author of Asked and Answered: Dialogues On Advocating for Students of Color in Mathematics. 

Dr. Curtis Taylor is the Director of Teaching & Learning Improvement Coach at High Tech High's Center for Research on Equity and Innovation. Taylor's passion is for every student to see themselves as brilliant mathematician. He is part of a Mathematical Agency Improvement Community that is working toward abolishing the phrase " I am not a math person". 

Register Here for Creating Culturally Responsive Mathematics Tasks

Resources for Engineering Week: February 19 to 25, 2023

Engineers Week, from February 19-25, 2023, is a time for you to: 

  • Celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world 
  • Add your voice to the conversation about the need for engineers, technicians, and technologists 
  • Engage students in engineering 

The 2023 theme is Creating the Future! 
Engineers play a vital role in innovating solutions to global challenges that impact future generations. By working together to develop new technologies, products and opportunities, engineers create new possibilities that make the world a better place! 

Discover Engineering has resources for Engineers Week! Download logos, ads, graphics, certificates and bookmarks and get customizable language you can share.

Career Connections
Careers in Electrical Engineering

Engineers, technologists, and technicians are changing the world all of the time. They dream up creative, practical solutions and work with other inspiring people to invent, design, and create things that matter! 

An electrical engineer develops components for some of the most fun things in our lives (cell phones, gaming, or roller coasters) as well as the most essential (medical tests or communications systems). As an electrical engineer, you might work on robotics, computer networks, wireless communications, or medical imaging—areas that are at the very forefront of technological innovation. 

This largest field of engineering encompasses the macro (huge power grids that light up cities, for example) as well as the micro (including a device smaller than a millimeter that tells a car’s airbags when to inflate).  Electrical engineering is one type of engineering among several other types including chemical, civil, industrial, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.

Meet Joan Higginbotham at Collins Aerospace, an electrical engineer, rocket scientist and astronaut whose job took her out of this world! 

Chats with Change Makers: Joan Higginbotham

Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering  
A two-year program is widely regarded as a stepping stone to a four-year bachelor’s program. While it may open some doors to very junior level jobs, the associate credential is often pursued by students who are trying to decide if electrical engineering is the right fit for them. Typical coursework includes: 

  • College Mathematics 
  • Computer Structure and Logic 
  • AC-DC Electronics 
  • Introduction to Networking between Computers, Installed Software, and Other Hardware 

Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering  
At this level, students learn how to design and analyze electrical systems and can choose a specialization. Classes are in electrical theory and hands-on practice with circuitry, mechanics, computer programming, and thermodynamics. 

What is a Bioinformatics Scientist?

Are you curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical? Then you might a career as a bioinformatic scientist! 

What is Bioinformatics? 
Bioinformatics is the application of computers to the management of biological data. Bioinformatics scientists use computers to store, process, analyze, manage, and retrieve large amounts of biologic and genomic data. When applied to humans, bioinformatics is used to support gene-based drug discovery. When applied to wildlife and conservation biology, it may refer to managing data about blood and tissue samples taken by toxicologists, genetic information about particular wildlife communities, conservation genetics, or related biodiversity data. 

What does a Bioinformatic Scientist do?

  • Study and dissect large amounts of datasets at the molecular level such as proteomics, raw micro array, and genomic sequence data  
  • Manipulate databases that are commercially or publicly accessible, which contain genomic and post genomic data. 
  • Design and update any web-based informatics tools they may need 
  • Change existing software applications to fit the needs of any projects they may be working on, and, if necessary, create a whole new software application for the job
See bioinformatics in action at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics!

Where do Bioinformatics Scientists work? 

  • Pharmaceutical companies that use biological and genomic data to develop new drugs 
  • Biotechnology companies that develop new medical treatments and products 
  • Government health agencies and hospitals 
  • Consulting companies that provide bioinformatics services  
  • Wildlife and environmental science data as researchers or faculty at colleges and universities 
  • Technicians or scientists in nonprofit organizations 
Average Salary for Bioinformatics Scientists in Michigan and United States 

What does an Arborist do?

An arborist is a specially trained practitioner of arboriculture, focusing on individual trees as opposed to managing an entire forest. They practice the art and science of planting, maintaining and examining trees and other woody plant life to improve their aesthetics, health and value and their role in enhancing public safety. 
Arborists spend most of their time working outdoors in a range of weather conditions. Arborists utilize mastery techniques to climb and effectively manage the growth and development of trees using appropriate tools and equipment.  

Becoming an arborist requires both practical experience working with trees, as well as formal education. An arborist can receive on the job training from tree care companies, nurseries, municipalities, and landscaping companies. While it is not always a requirement, some employers will request that their employees receive ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certification. 

Before applying to an arboriculture program, students may need to have work experience and/or an associate or bachelor’s degree in a subject related to arboriculture, such as horticulture or forestry

Wages typically start from $30,180 and go up to $64,210. The arborist job market is expected to grow by 11.7% between 2016 and 2026. 

STEM Apprenticeships Available for High School Students in Michigan

Michigan students can apply for a valuable paid apprenticeship in the STEM fields through the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). AEOP provides high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students with paid STEM experiences (usually in the summer) at U.S. Army-sponsored facilities across the country where they can work alongside world renowned scientists and engineers.

There are two sites in Michigan:

  • University of Michigan
  • Hope College

Perks: 

  • Paid STEM experiences  
  • Contribute to innovation and research  
  • Located at world-class facilities  
  • Work with renowned engineers and scientists  
  • Bolster the DOD's civilian workforce  
  Note: there is no commitment to join the military.

Take the next step in your STEM journey with an AEOP Apprenticeship or Fellowship opportunity!  Download AEOP's Flyer for more details!
Michigan STEM Forward Internship Program

The Michigan STEM Forward program matches students attending Michigan colleges and universities and Michigan residents attending out-of-state institutions with internship opportunities at the state’s leading innovative companies.  Of the students that participated in the internship program over the past five years, 84 percent of them accepted jobs in Michigan upon graduation. 

The program offers opportunities for students to expand their knowledge about internships with these upcoming webinars:

The program also maintains the Michigan STEM Forward Job Portal, where interested candidates can search for internships or job opportunities.   

STEM Forward is administered by Ann Arbor SPARK with funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

Note: Michigan STEM Forward also goes by the name MI STEM Forward, but is not associated with the MiSTEM Network. 

Volunteer Opportunities

The Michigan Science Olympiad (MSO) tournaments consist of 23 events focusing on problem solving, critical thinking, and real world applications. The competitive team events include biology, chemistry, astronomy, earth science, physics, and engineering. Science Olympiad's ever-changing line-up of events in STEM disciplines help raise student awareness of practicing scientists and career choices and energizes classroom teachers with a dynamic content experience. More information can be found on the National Science Olympiad website at www.soinc.org

MSO’s Region 12 has hosted 38 MSO Tournaments at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). The Regional Math and Science Center collaborates with GVSU faculty and staff to provide a quality learning experience that draws over 1000 students, parents, families, coaches, and community members for one day on Allendale’s campus. The Region 12 tournament is the largest in Michigan and one of the largest in the country. This event relies on our community partners to be able to host a high-quality STEM learning experience for students.  

Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad Tournament: 

  • When: Saturday, March 18, 2023 
  • Where: Grand Valley State University, Allendale Campus

Volunteer opportunities are available for this event. To find out how to volunteer visit the Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad website - Volunteer Information and Registration page.

To donate or sponsor this event, please visit Region 12 Tournament Support.
For questions, email msor12@gvsu.edu or call (616) 331-2267.

Girls Dream Fair – A STEM Experience 

The Junior Achievement Girls' Dream Fair inspires hundreds of seventh and eighth grade girls in West Michigan to discover and pursue the field of STEM. Students from Grand Rapids, Northern Michigan, Lansing, Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, Holland, and the Lakeshore are invited to participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. In a TED-style talk, JA introduces students to female mentors who work in STEM related fields to show them the exciting possibilities for their future. As the research suggests, this is key to increasing their pursuit of STEM careers. 

  • When: Thursday, March 09, 2023 
  • Where: Huizenga Family JA Free Enterprise Center 
  • Time: 9:00 a.m.  

Guided by the JA's It's My Future curriculum, students will investigate, ask questions, and be inspired to consider STEM for their future. 

Sponsorship and volunteers opportunities are available for this event. To find out how to volunteer or sponsor, visit Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes.  

For Educators
On the Farm STEM Immersion Experience for Educators

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is hosting an NGSS On the Farm STEM immersive experience for district curriculum directors, administrators, and high school science educators to learn the science of dairy and earn up to 40 CEU credits. This immersive experience brings together teams of science educators with experts in science education and agricultural science to envision a model for science learning that will inspire today’s students, our next generation of scientists and citizens, to take action and feel empowered to use agriculture to improve society. 

Participants will:        

  • Earn up to 40 CEU of professional development hours 
  • Discover phenomena in food production that can be used for classroom learning experiences 
  • Support in the development of a unit outline to assist in planning, adapting, and developing experiences for students with real-world content 
  • Discover phenomena in food production that can be used for classroom learning experiences         
  • Support in the development of a unit outline to assist in planning, adapting, and developing experiences for students with real-world content 

Date: June 20-23, 2023 
Location: Lansing, MI area 
Format: Two 90-minute virtual webinars precede the in-person immersive event and one 90-minute virtual webinar follows the event.  

Application Deadline: March 13, 2023
To learn more and to apply, visit the website.  

This opportunity is brought to you by United Dairy of Michigan. If you have questions, please send an email to amiee@milkmeansmore.org

As you plan your educational activities this winter and spring, don’t forget about EGLE’s Lending Station. Their water and air quality testing equipment are great for hands-on inquiry, and the EnviroScape and groundwater models are a great addition to indoor lessons and labs. Check out this H2O-Q Backpack video to learn more about what comes with the water quality test kits: 

EGLE Classroom - Introduction to the H2O Q Backpack Water Quality Lab

Upcoming Events: 

  • EnviroSchool: What Makes EGLE Spatial? Asking and Answering Questions with EGLE’s Maps and Data Portal (March 15, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Learn how you can access Michigan data from EGLE’s Maps and Data portal that will bring environmental issues to life for your students and how your students can collect, visualize, and analyze data of their own. 1.5 SCECHs available. 
  • EnviroSchool: Food Waste, Compost, and You (April 13, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Learn how you can help prevent food insecurity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier ecosystem through activities like composting and food waste prevention. Get tips for starting programs in your own school or community. 1.5 SCECHs available. 
  • EnviroSchool: Clearing the Air around Air Quality Monitoring (May 9, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) Learn about air quality monitoring and air quality modeling as you explore the different types of air pollutants EGLE addresses in Michigan. Find out how students can collect and learn from air quality data in their own communities. 1.5 SCECHs available. 

Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) 

Updated Water Quality and Ecosystems & Biodiversity units will be released in Spring 2023, and an updated Climate Change unit will be released in the Fall. Updated units incorporate more student-directed, hands-on learning and are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Training opportunities will take place across the state in 2023, and dates will be posted on the MEECS website

  • MEECS at MSTA: Get a preview of the new units by attending the MEECS sessions at the upcoming Michigan Science Teachers Association conference from March 3-4, 2023. 
  • MEECS Week at Academy of Natural Resources: Register for the “MEECS Week” strand at the ANR Classic hosted by the Michigan DNR from July 9-14, 2023 to dive into Water Quality, Ecosystems & Biodiversity, and Climate Change units and to get an overview of all seven MEECS units. 
EGLE Classroom is a place where educators, families, and youth can access the resources they need to learn about Michigan’s environment, EGLE’s work to protect it, and what they can do to contribute to that work. Sign up for the EGLE Classroom Newsletter here
stEm PEER Academy

Are you an education professional who is engaged or driven to improving the preparation, participation, and contributions of those underrepresented in science and engineering? Would you like to join a community of like-minded professionals with the resources and commitment to change the face of our national engineering landscape? If so, we encourage you to apply to the Engineering PLUS Alliance stEm PEER Academy.  

Each program participant will receive a $1,000 stipend to support their participation and continued engagement in this effort. The stEm PEER Academy is seeking mid-career education professionals with a minimum of five years of related experience. 

The stEm PEER Academy will investigate the following topics: 

  • Understanding the Engineering Education Pathway Landscape with emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
  • Models and interventions that work for women and BIPOC students to enroll and facilitate degree attainment 
  • Building partnerships/engagement of stakeholders 
  • Planning, implementing and assessing, and scaling the Implementation Project 

stEm PEERs will engage in a 2-year professional development and research experience to support the design and implementation of an engineering-focused implementation project at their home institutions, with the institution’s support. See this flyer for more information

Application Deadline: March 20, 2023  
Learn more and apply here

Contests/Challenges
Technology Competition for Girls Sponsored by MCWT

Grab some friends and get ready for a fun, creative and challenging adventure!  

This state-wide technology competition sponsored by the Michigan Council for Women in Technology (MCWT) Foundation is for girls in grades 4-8. The girls will work together in teams of 2 to 5 to complete educational tech quests by programming the BirdBrain Technologies Finch 2.0 robot. Each team will receive a kit containing all materials required to compete, including their very own Finch 2.0 robot!   

Qualifiers will meet in the final round and compete to win cash prizes.  No prior experience necessary. 

Registration is now open!  Learn more and register here.  

3M Young Scientist Challenge

As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”  

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, four honorable mentions, and up to 50 state merit winners –nationwide and in Washington D.C – who have demonstrated a passion for using science to solve everyday problems and improve the world around them.   

To enter, students in grades 5-8 submit a one-to-two-minute video explaining an original idea using science to help solve an everyday problem. All entries are reviewed by a diverse group of judges and evaluated on their creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication skills. Videos can be recorded using a cell phone or digital camera and will not be judged on production skills.  

Learn more about how to get started and the full challenge details here.  The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is open to entries until the April 27, 2023 deadline

Pollinator Challenge
Pollinator populations are shrinking, and several factors are contributing to this disturbing global trend. There are growing concerns as to what the impact will be on food production. Through the Spring 2023 Purple Plow Pollinator Challenge, students will become more aware of the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and how to help protect the various populations. After thoughtful research, students will design, test and demonstrate a solution that will sustain or improve pollinator well-being.  This experience is designed for students in grades 5-12
PurplePlowChallenge Protect the Pollinators
To learn more about this challenge and how to apply, visit Purple Plow Pollinator Challenge website. The deadline to submit your challenge entry is May 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 
Environmental Public Science Announcement (PSA) Competition

The Environmental Fridays Public Science Announcement (PSA) Video Contest is open to all Michigan high school and college students.  It requires that participating students create a two minute public science announcement (PSA) video on an environmentally related topic. It should be persuasive; science-based; and of interest, importance, and relevance to the public. Entries can be submitted by individual students or teams of students.  

This contest is co-sponsored by Building Excellence in Science and Technology (BEST Early) and the Benton Spirit Community Newspaper in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate, and Honor Credit Union.  Entries will be judged in two categories: high school and college. The top three videos in each category will be awarded $250, $150, and $100 at the end of Season IV. Feature stories related to this contest will be covered and published in the Benton Spirit Community Newspaper. 

Participants must complete and submit the application form by March 24, 2023 and videos must be submitted by April 21, 2023. 

For more information about the Environmental Fridays PSA video contest and possible involvement with Environmental Fridays Guest Lecture Series, contact Professor Desmond Hartwell Murray at murrayd@andrews.edu.  Previous PSA videos can be viewed here: 2019 PSA and 2020 PSA.  

Environmental Fridays is a free online guest lecture series for high school and early college students that convenes on Zoom every Friday morning at 9:30am (EST). Real-world topics will stimulate students’ curiosity and enhance their interest in both natural and social sciences (includes biology, chemistry, toxicology, geography, geology, sociology, anthropology, earth and environmental sciences).  Topics range from climate change, air, water, and soil pollution, coral reefs, asthma, butterflies, environmental justice, volcanoes, Caribbean environment, Cancer alley, and environmental health.  Speakers include university professors, environmental consultants, environmental activists, environmental attorneys and government experts from the United States, Caribbean and around the world.  

Scholarships/Grants
Robotics Grants

The Michigan Council for Women in Technology (MCWT) Foundation is dedicated to empowering young women in STEM by offering robotics grants to middle and high school girls to foster their interest and participation in the field. They support girls in grades 5-12 by offering a series of $750 grants to all-girl teams participating in qualified Robotics competitions, including Lawrence Technological University’s Robofest. 

To qualify for a Robotics grant, the students: 

  • Must be Michigan residents. 
  • Have an all-female team in grades 5-12. 
  • Must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 
  • Must register, or plan to register for a qualified Robotics competition in Michigan (in-person or by video submission). 

Click here for more information. 
Apply Today! 

Voya Unsung Heroes Awards

Do you or someone you know have an innovative teaching method or creative educational project that has the ability to make a positive influence on students? Are you an educator with a class project that is short on funding but long on potential? Do you know a teacher looking for grant dollars?  

Voya Unsung Heroes could help turn great ideas into reality for students. Each year, 50 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000! 

Visit Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program Scholarship Guidelines to learn more about how to apply.  

Deadline: April 28, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. 

Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching

The Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching is designed to recognize and promote hands-on math teaching in upper elementary and middle school classrooms. 

Through the 2023 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching, the National Museum of Mathematics seeks an exceptional math activity to share with math teachers around the world.  The winning activity will be innovative, engaging, hands-on, original, replicable, and designed for students in grades four through eight.   

To apply, you must be an educator who regularly teaches mathematics, a mathematician, or a person whose primary, full-time career is focused on math outreach.  Although you need not teach in a regular school setting, you must be able to demonstrate your lesson with a classroom group of at least 15 middle school students, should you be selected as a finalist.   

The Rosenthal Prize carries a cash award of $25,000 for the single best activity, plus up to five additional monetary awards for other innovative and inspirational activities.  The winning teacher(s) will have the opportunity to share their activities with educators around the world. 

Application Deadline: May 15, 2023. 

Visit the Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching for instructions, eligibility requirements, and an application form. 

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Contact Information

Ginger Rohwer
Regional Director
(616) 331-2272
rohwergi@gvsu.edu


Diane Miller
Business, Community, and Education Liaison
(616) 331-2265
milledia@gvsu.edu


www.gvsu.edu/mistem

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