SAVE THE DATE – January 16th and January 30th at 10:00 a.m.
This month’s club meetings will focus on financial literacy by bringing iNVEST YOUNG to our Virtual Elementary STEM Club! We’ve invited Dr. Laquore Meadows, OSU Extension Area Leader and Program Director, who will teach two interactive educational sessions designed to teach youth ages 10 – 17 about long and short term investing in the stock market. Concepts taught throughout the simulated Young Investor meetings will lead to the creation of individual mock stock portfolios and will expose students to concepts that align directly with Ohio’s Learning Standards for Mathematics. Furthermore, given the global reach of the financial markets, this fun educational experience helps to fulfill our STEM Club’s mission to empower youth for success as a citizen in a global community. (STEM Totes will be deployed on January 14th!)
iNVESTYOUNG is designed to teach students about methods in which they can utilize the stock market to accomplish their financial goals regardless of their choice to attend college or not and/or their selected career path. Anyone regardless of job title or degree status can put their money to work through making sound investment decisions.
Students will participate in a highly interactive activity where they will learn how the stock market works through building a personalized stock portfolio. Students will also learn strategies to make informed investment decisions by analyzing the following:
Bullish and Bearish Markets
After the conclusion of the sessions, students will be invited to participate in the iNVEST YOUNG Challenge in which they will use CNBC, Yahoo Finance, CurrentKids, NewsByKids, and other financial media sources to monitor, record, and report back to their teacher how well their stock portfolio performed the week following their iNVEST YOUNG experience. Incentives will be offered to students with the top three performing stock portfolios.
By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, Community Development & STEM, Pickaway County
Simple Circuits with Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, and Judy Walley, Teays Valley Chemistry Teacher. Full presentation link: go.osu.edu/simplecircuits
Why Understanding Simple Circuits is Important?
Basic circuit knowledge is important for many different disciplines, engineering, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. It’s also useful knowledge around this time of year when you may need to repair a string of old holiday lights? Understanding and building simple circuits show us important concepts learned in school that can describe useful real-world systems, like devices we use every day, cell phones, light switches, Chromebooks, cars, etc.
The electric charge that flows through your house is called your electric circuits. This carries useful energy through your house that you can transform into other forms of energy to do various tasks. The US standard household circuit has an effective voltage that takes 120-volts. Volts represent the energy per unit charge. We discussed these basic building blocks of simple circuits in STEM Club this month. Our hands-on simple circuit design challenge uses 3-volt lithium batteries. Before jumping into our design challenges we’ll cover a few basic circuitry concepts and energy principles.
The principle of conservation of energy is an effective tool in solving problems and understanding how different forms of energy directly impact our lives. There are also benefits to this principle. These include recycling of materials, lower energy costs for consumers, less pollution due to a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, and less harm to animals and the environment. We watched a short video, from Two Minute Classroom, that explained the basic concepts of how energy transforms itself into other forms and never truly disappears or is destroyed.
Judy Walley led students through the basic concepts of atoms and electrons, because, without the flow of electrons, we have no electric circuit to work with.
Screenshot of our recorded club meeting where Judy Walley explains the basic concepts of atoms and electrons.
Walley also explained the chemistry of a battery and how chemical reactions occur inside the battery that causes an imbalance or a build-up of electrons (-) on one side of the battery over the other, hence why one side or one terminal of the battery is negative (-) and the other positive (+). We also introduced the basic materials for our hands-on design challenges and explain how a battery works.
Screenshot from our virtual simple circuit presentation.
How a Battery Works
Batteries are important to everyday life. Batteries are essential to most electrical devices. They exist in our cars, cell phones, laptops, and other electronic appliances, and serve as critical backup sources of electricity in telecommunications, public transportation, and medical devices. A battery is essentially a container full of chemicals that produce electrons (-). Inside the battery itself, a chemical reaction produces the electrons.
The battery is a device that stores chemical energy and converts it to electrical energy. The chemical reactions in a battery involve the flow of electrons from one material (electrode) to another, through an external circuit. The flow of electrons provides an electric current that can be used to do work. In our case, students use copper tape to build a paper circuit to create light energy with an LED. Below depicts the inner wors of a battery.
Screenshot of how a battery works from our virtual simple circuit presentation.
The students learned that a battery has three main parts: an anode (-), a cathode (+), and the electrolyte that separates the two terminal ends on the battery. We discussed the chemical reaction happening inside the battery that causes electrons (-) to buildup on one side of the battery causing one end to be negatively charged (-) and the other end positively charged (+). This buildup causes an imbalance of electrons (-), that want to travel to the other side of the battery, but can’t move freely until a conductive circuit is completely looped for the electrons to travel through; in our case, the conduit is copper tape.
When a circuit is complete, or a loop created, the electrons will flow through the conductive paths racing to reach the other side of the battery terminal. When the electrons flow through the loop, the chemical energy inside the battery is transformed into electrical energy running through the circuit. When all electrons (-) make it to the other side, the battery stops working. All of the electric energy was transformed into other forms of energy.
Electrical energy allows us to do work by transforming energy into other forms. We use LEDs in our paper circuit design challenge because it’s a simple way to show how electric energy is transformed or converted into light energy. We could replace the LED with a simple motor and the motor would convert electrical energy into kinetic.
Screenshot of simple circuit components and electricity concepts from our virtual simple circuit presentation.
What’s a Diode?
Both LEDs and motors can easily be added to simple circuits. However, LEDs are somewhat more restrictive than motors, because LEDs are diodes. A diode only allows current to flow in one direction. From the cathode (-) leg of the LED through the anode (+) leg. Note that the anode on a battery is negatively charged, but the anode on an LED is positively charged! The correct way to connect an LED legs to the battery terminals is positive to positive/anode to cathode and negative to negative/ cathode to anode. Study the image above if this is confusing. If the LED or battery are flipped in the wrong configuration then no current or electrons flow through the LED because the diode only allows for current to flow in one direction.
A motor does not have a diode, therefore current can flow in either direction, and depending on how the motor is connected to the battery will decide what direction the motor turns left/right, or moves forwards/backward.
As a virtual group, we challenged ourselves with a few NearPod activities to reinforce our electricity concepts before beginning our hands-on paper circuit challenges. A paper circuit is a functioning electronic circuit built on a paper surface instead of a printed circuit board (PCB). Projects can range from greeting cards to origami, to traditional art such as paintings or drawings. STEM totes went home with the students and included paper circuit design challenges and supplies.
Conductive copper tape
Plain card stock, or templates printed on card stock
We went through two paper circuit-build challenges with an independent bonus design challenge. The first design is depicted below. It had a basic road map for us to follow, which we added labels to ensure our understanding of which direction the electrons were flowing and which direction the current was flowing as well as how to position and connect the battery and LED to the circuit correctly.
Once you start learning the basics of paper circuit design you can explore more crafty designs to create circuit cards for all occasions and topics. A few ideas shared at our club meeting:
Jeni Ruisch, Director of Outreach and Academic Programming, Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University joined our November 14th club meeting to share some animals from the Columbus BugZoo via Zoom. Jeni curates a collection of live critters for outreach activities on or near The OSU campus. During COVID-19 she is providing virtual educational outreach programs. She not only shared her passion for animal husbandry but left the students with a newfound respect for our bug friends around the world. Many students were interested in the Latin names of the insects shared, they can be found below. Keep exploring insects and Entomology careers – the work is very rewarding and offers many interesting career pathways.
By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, Community Development & STEM, Pickaway County
Live clip from our first STEM Club Meeting, Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator introduces the basics to Virtual Club Etiquette and the rules club members promise to follow. Full presentation link: go.osu.edu/videomeeting_digitalcitizenry
We covered the basics for our club members to follow while in a virtual meeting. If any members missed the meeting a recording link has been added to our Schoology classroom materials. The general topics discussed: Digital Citizen, Academic Conversation, Future of Learning, Cultural Awareness, Video Meeting Etiquette, and Schoology classroom tour. Click here to access the unit’s presentation.
The Rise of Virtual Learning
The rise in virtual learning requires extra effort from today’s students. Students have to develop added knowledge and skills to effectively use the internet and other digital technologies, especially in order to participate responsibly in social and online civic activities and platforms. Digital Citizenship is the quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities. Students have to recognize that their citizenry now extends to their quality of digital engagement.
Not only are there behavioral and decision-making skills required online, but there are core discussion skills that students can start practicing to develop reasoning skills of understanding content and different perspectives. Academic conversations are critical to language and content development. Some basic prompts shared with the club members are below:
We discussed the Future of Learning and how learning systems are shifting and redefining themselves, and although ‘change is a constant,’ the rate of change schools have been going through has been escalated because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Cultural Awareness Skillset
Being aware of the many different cultures around you and afar is essential to living in a community, attending school, going to college, and being effective in your workplace – whether that be in-person or virtual. Being culturally aware is the backbone of communication and the foundation of respect. It is essential to grow as a person and be able to interact in a broader range of social groups. Being aware of cultural diversity can build confidence in a person and their interactions with others. Cultural intelligence is a 21st Century Skillset and essential to function in today’s diverse workforce!
We also covered some basic tips on how best to engage, communicate, and listen in virtual meetings. These tips apply in the virtual classroom as well as their future virtual workspace.
Image source: unit presentation slide by Meghan Thoreau.
Ensure your technology works correctly– don’t delay meetings, run a few tests prior to a virtual meeting.
Be on time.
Mute yourself when not speaking – mics pick up minor noises, like coughs, sneezes, dog barks, or typing. It’s distracting.
Wear school-appropriate clothing.
A good example of school appropriate clothing.
Frame the camera correctly – sit eye-level to the lens and try to position yourself so that it shows your midsection and up.
Have the right lighting – ensure enough lighting is in the room so the video isn’t grainy.
Look into the camera – ensure the camera lens is the equivalent of looking into a person’s eyes.
Make sure the lighting is in front of your face and the computer is at the right level to make eye contact with its camera.
Have a clean, simple, and organized backgroundor upload an appropriate virtual backdrop.
Schoology Course Walk-thru
We explored the Schoology course and how it organizes its resources, materials, and STEM Challenges. The materials landing page was designed to have quick links to the Zoom meeting link and club resources.
By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, Community Development & STEM, Pickaway County
We have a full line up for the month of November. We’re starting with an important first club meeting, Saturday, November 7, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m. where club members and parents get to meet virtually for the first time and say hello. STEM teachers will share the club’s expectations, resource blog site, video conferencing etiquette, and provide a virtual walk-thru of the Schoology Club site.
(Students and parents please note that all Zoom meeting details can be found in Schoology’s Virtual STEM Club class! If you have any questions or issues finding the announcement please email STEM teachers.)
The following two Saturday’s will focus on bugs and learning about the benefits insects perform and provide vital functions within our ecosystems. For example, bugs provide foods for many birds, mammals, and fishes on which fishing and hunting depends. They also decompose dead materials, and reintroduce nutrients into the soil. On Saturday, November 14, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.Jeni Ruisch, Director of Outreach and Academic Programming, Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University will be joining our club session. Jeni curates a collection of live critters for outreach activities on or near The OSU campus. During COVID-19, she is personally housing the Columbus BugZoo & providing educational outreach programs via Zoom.
She Majored in Psychology, minored in English, Pop Culture Studies, and Neuroscience. Her education focus is on human and non-human animal cognition and behavior, and professional background in husbandry. She has additional education in writing and publishing, with 10-years of professional writing experience, including three years as the editor of a magazine. Hobbies are pretty much like her job, diverse and pet friendly. She has lots of bug pets, stays busy caring and maintaining their enclosures, and also trains dogs. Jeni’s career is quirky, but throughly rewarding. Below are some photos of Jeni with some bugs at the Cincinnati Zoo. (The giant stick bug is over a foot long!) During our Club meeting we’ll learn more about iNaturalist, an online social network of naturalists, citizen scientists, and biologists built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe. iNaturalist may be accessed via its website or from its mobile applications.
If you can’t wait still we meet, enjoy this Life of Insects educational video by environmental steward, David Attenborough, with some arthropods!
On Saturday, November 21, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m. we’ll engage in more bug challenges and learn about Entomologist Careers and why entomologists are so important?
OSU Extension, Pickaway County and Teays Valley School District have teamed up to offer the district’s fourth annual elementary-wide STEM Club. We’ve adjusted our delivery method to virtual format due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. That said, our program will remain interactive and focused on exploring STEM fields and careers. (Opportunity now available to 4th and 5th grade only!)
We are developing take-home project kits and a technology lending program to allow students a more interactive experience at home. We’ll meet virtually approximately 1-2 Saturdays per month – exact dates and times TBA and based on guest speakers and participant availability. Virtual sessions will be recorded and available to club members only for student security. Register now closed.
Take-home project kits and a technology lending program will be used to engage students in hands-on challenges with virtual instruction. Photo source: https://www.azscience.org/educators/outreach/stem-clubs/
If accepted, a $20 fee for the year can be turned in at the first STEM Club meeting or mailed to OSU Extension, Pickaway County, P.O. Box 9, Circleville, OH 43113. (Please make checks out to OSU Extension, Pickaway County).
We will be updating our STEM Club blog regularly, u.osu.edu/tvstemclub/ with club highlights, activity summaries, resources, and club calendar for virtual meet-ups.
The goal of the program is to promote student interest and engagement in STEM. Students who may enjoy STEM club are those who enjoy being challenged and who are interested in:
the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
the process of learning, asking questions, and problem-solving
helping people and making a difference in the world
Get a chance to listen to world-renowned space scientists behind innovative Mars research and the scientists who created the Mars Base Camp Challenge. If you missed this opportunity make some popcorn and click here to watch the recorded webinar now!
Meet the Scientists for the Thursday, October 1st, 7-8 PM Panel!
Dr. Juliane Gross is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. Her academic interests are focused on understanding the formation of history and geochemical evolution of differentiated celestial bodies and early Solar System processes. Currently, she is investigating the mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry of extraterrestrial planetary samples using a variety of experimental and microanalytical techniques. Dr. Gross is also a NASA Early Career Fellow.
Dr. Shaunna Morrison is a Carnegie Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth and Planets Laboratory, is co-director of the 4D Deep Time Data Driven Discovery Initiative and is a CheMin co-investigator on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission. Her research centers around mineralogy, crystallography, planetary science, and data science applications therein. Her recent work has focused on characterizing Earth’s mineralogy through deep time and its correlation with geologic processes, its co-evolution with the biosphere, and its relationship to other planetary bodies, particularly Mars.
Dr. Lujendra Ojha is a NASA, Co-Investigator of the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), a NASA science team member of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars, the co-investigator of the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program on Martian Dust Devil Tracks: Albedos, Lifetimes, and Dust Deposition Rates, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University.
Need Help thinking of a Question? Here are some Tips
You have heard the phrase “there are no dumb questions”. This is very true when we are trying to encourage your creativity and passion for science.
Most youths are curious about what it’s like to be a NASA or space scientist – the challenges, daily routines, and technology. In addition, you may want to know more about scientists’ motivation, career path and inspiration. We definitely encourage these types of questions! Please prepare for this unique experience by reviewing these websites to help think of a question:
Please note, registration is first come first served, so do not wait! Register for the panel and our 4-H STEM Mars Basecamp Challenge! You MUST register for the Oct 1st panel to attend the Oct 3rd challenge. Once you register, the Mars kits will be mailed to you directly!
Invite a Friend! Use these flyers to spread the word about this event
The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge will explore sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.
The Scientist Panel is Co-sponsored by the Free Public Library of New Brunswick, NJ
ENIGMA: Searching for Life on Other Planets
Are we alone in the Universe? To answer this fundamental question, scientists from Rutgers University and NASA are going all the way back to Earth’s beginning — back before there were people, dinosaurs, or even plants!
Video Lecture Coming Soon!
Figuring out how life developed on this planet will be key to discovering if or how life could have formed on other planets, including Mars. As part of the 2020 4-H Mars Base Camp STEM Challenge, ENIGMA’s goal of finding where, how, and why the key ingredients of life develop will be a critical part of any Mars mission.
On our blog, we posted a week-long series of activities in celebration of World Ocean Day 2020. Those activities have been archived here for use during any time of the year. The activities have been bundled together as an interactive slide deck, which you can check out below!
Join us for a STEM-related virtual Short Term Exploratory Program (STEP). Young people in grades 5-8 are invited to join us for three consecutive sessions to explore a science theme with a real scientist. Sessions are limited to 30 youth to engage in interactive science activities developed from current research projects. Youth will join the fun online via Zoom videoconferencing for these one-hour sessions.
Explore Life in the Southern Ocean
Help identify some of the amazing marine organisms that live in Antarctica! Join Andrew Corso, a Ph.D. candidate at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and identify “mystery” creatures from his recent research cruise off the coast of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Youth will learn how to use a dichotomous key and will receive at-home challenges to explore and discuss with their family, friends, and online STEP club participants.
*This program has concluded – but you can follow along by using the resources and recordings posted below. The slide deck is a visual, Internet-powered walkthrough of the activities listed on the table.
Get ready STEM Club, because we have four guest professionals coming to join us for some lively discussion on their STEM careers, life experiences, and tips when considering working towards a STEM Career. Save the date: Thursday, 21 May 2020 @ 4:00 P.M. (Zoom meeting details are found in our Elementary STEM Club’s Google Classroom.) Click here to watch the recorded club meeting. Our panel includes the following:
WILLIAM MILLER-LITTLE is a M.D. Ph.D. Medical Candidate & Researcher at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology/Immunology actively works in a research laboratory.
MELISSA SMITH is a Phlebotomist & Clinical Lab Supervisor Technician at OSU Medical Center, Outpatient Care East Lab in Columbus, OH (and STEM Club mom.)
KARINA HANKENFOF is a Product Engineer & Lab Technician, specialized in materials and mechanical systems with Cincinnati Testing Labs in Cincinnati, OH (and Teays Valley alumni.)
CLAY BURGETT is a Chemist & Information Technology Manager at the American Chemical Society for the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society in Columbus, Ohio.
Come join us and learn about the basics of coding, computer technology, and software. If you enjoy exploring computers or apps then you’ll love learning in this totally virtual environment with people your own age. Learn about hacking, coding, computational thinking, and more!
Every Tuesday & Thursday, starting May 19-June 4 | 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Upon completion of this form, you will be enrolled in Ohio 4-H in the Ohio 4-H Computer Science SPIN Club. Once your online registration is confirmed you will receive an email with a link to join the virtual meetings. The link to join the meetings will be the same for all 6 meetings. If you are already enrolled in 4-H your home county will be notified that you are participating in this SPIN Club. If you have any questions or need help with this registration please contact Elliott Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Light at email@example.com.
‘Mystery Doug’ has been apart of our STEM Club programming, so we wanted to share an educational opportunity coming up!
Next week, Mystery Doug invites you to another LIVE SCIENCE SHOW. Doug is excited to answer kids’ questions with the help of astronaut Jessica Meir, who filmed videos for us while she was in space! (Seriously!)