2020 in review and our holiday wishes for you

Happy holidays from the entire Ohio STEM Learning Network team. As we close out this eventful year, we’re taking a quick look back at you, our audience of educators, administrators and parents. What were the posts about STEM education you found most valuable? Looking at our website analytics, here are the top 10 most read posts. For each, we’ve included a brief note about what you can expect from this program in the coming year.

    1. Teachers: Apply now for an externship with a STEM business: The Manufacturing and Engineering Externship Program was forced to pause throughout the shutdowns of 2021. We plan to offer this program in a hybrid format, and will be recruiting participants beginning around March.
    2. School closure resources for parents: This database of free, distance-friendly resources was our first effort to provide some aid for families, but it won’t be the last.
    3. Join Ohio’s Code.org Computer Science 2020-2021 professional development: This professional development series prepares educators to bring computer science to their school for the first time. Applications will open for a new 2021-2022 cohort in January. Ready to apply or recommend a colleague? Visit https://osln.org/how-we-help/professional-development/computer-science/ today!
    4. 2020 OSLN Student Essay Contest: Our annual essay contest provides a window into how students experience STEM. This year, Reina Ushiroda at Bio-Med Science Academy (middle school essay winner) and Ana Veselinov at National Inventors Hall of Fame High School (high school essay winner) told us about times they used STEM habits to solve problems in their communities. This program will return in the spring, so be sure to look for an OSLN email announcing the contest.
    5. 2020 designation of STEAM/STEAM schools: Pursuing STEM/STEAM designation is a way for schools to communicate their values and priorities to their community stakeholders. For 2021, schools have already submitted their intent to apply. We’re looking forward to recognizing a new group of STEM/STEAM schools in the spring.
    6. Distance learning in STEM schools: New report and teacher interview: This special report brought together first-hand accounts from our network of schools about how to effectively continue education remotely. Thanks to scientific progress, we’re all looking forward to a return to in-person learning soon. What topics would you like to hear about from Ohio’s STEM schools? Let us know in the comments on this post or by emailing OSLN at battelle.org.
    7. Learn how to implement online project based learning through attending this interactive institute, July 29-31: PBL Ohio pioneered a new virtual format for their annual institute. Plans are still forming for the 2021 conference and we’ll be sure to share more as the event nears.
    8. #STEMpowersOhio challenge question, professional development, and other resources now available: This year’s statewide design challenge tackles energy. We’ve worked to ensure every school can participate. Whether your students are fully online or in-person, we’ve posted resources and hosted over a dozen professional learning events for participating schools. Schools can still join, visit designchallenge.osln.org to get started.
    9. Learn how innovative leaders develop STEM/STEAM schools: The Innovative Leaders Institute provides one of the few specialized training programs where leaders of innovative schools can learn from veteran STEM principals. A new cohort will begin recruiting in March, announced through this website.
    10. OSLN STEM Excellence Awards open for nominations: In August, we announced this year’s winners. Throughout the year, we published detailed interviews with each of these remarkable individuals. Click below to read their stories. Nominations for the 2021 awards will open this spring.

For all these programs and more, be sure to subscribe at osln.org/sign-up.

We’re so grateful to all of you who have done so much to preserve learning throughout this challenging year. Take some time to relax over the holiday break.

We can’t wait to join you again in January with many new programs, supports, and resources to help you make the most of 2021.

Your Ohio STEM Learning Network team

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