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We are dedicated to building a community of researchers and educators who together innovate ways to engage students and the public in STEM fields — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

23 September 2016

The Case for Optimism on Climate Change

Here’s a great TED Talk with Vice President Al Gore about climate change and the reason why it’s not an apocalyptic topic. If you aren’t familiar with the TED Program it involves bringing in experts to talk to a non-expert audience about exciting STEM topics… Needless to say there are quite a few fans here in our offices! This video is succinct and powerful so feel free to use it in your science courses.

21 September 2016

MWCCOE HackSpace Competition

Last Chance to Register Teams!

Know a 6-12 grade student who would be interested in learning more about Cybersecurity? Or what about a student interested in winning a Raspberry Pi kit? MWCCOE is hosting a FREE CyberPatriot recruitment event, MWCCOE HackSpace Competition.

The goal of this CyberPatriot recruitment event is to get middle/high school students excited towards STEM disciplines and to encourage students to participate in this year’s CyberPatriot IX National Competition.

The students will compete against one another in an effort to test and expand cybersecurity skills and awareness. Participants will be challenged with cybersecurity related puzzles from categories like network exploitation, cyber forensics, cryptography, and cyber trivia.

The competition is geared towards students with little to no cybersecurity experience and is aimed at improving the student’s cybersecurity knowledge. Technical mentors provided for each team.

16 September 2016

2016 Breakthrough Junior Challenge

The STEM Center is excited to support the Breakthrough Junior Challenge this year, which we connected with through our Math Teacher Circle program.

The 2016 Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual, global competition for students, designed to inspire creative thinking about science. Students aged 13-18, from countries across the globe are invited to create and submit an original video (5 minutes max) that brings to life a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics, or mathematics. The submissions are judged on the student’s ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating, and imaginative ways.  

One winner is recognized every year and awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The teacher who inspired the winning student receives a $50,000 prize. The winner’s school also receives a state-of-the art science lab valued at $100,000.

Please share this opportunity with your networks.

For more information, please see the following links:

02 September 2016


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The STEM Center has been doing a lot with EarthCaching over the years and so we were happy to celebrate International GeoCache Day this past August. With International EarthCache Day coming up on October 9, we want educators who are interested to know a little more about EarthCaching.

Started over a decade ago, geocaching involves following GPS coordinates to a hidden box (a cache) where you can exchange trinkets with other geocachers and sign your name to leave your mark. Earthcaching is similar but rather than finding a box you are led to a natural feature of the world around us: a striking rock formation, a stream that’s an excellent example of erosion, a beautiful collection of minerals, or something else compelling. Geocaching is a great use of technology for educators but earthcaching is even easier to connect with standards like the Earth & Space Science core ideas from the NGSS.

If you’ve been wanting to try this hobby out or if this is your first exposure to earthcaching, October 9th is a great opportunity to get involved. Lots of sites (with in particular) will be posting new earthcaching challenges. Tie it into your classroom, go out with your kids, or try it yourself and see what earthcaching is all about!

29 July 2016

A World Without Polymers

Sometimes you’re going over things with students, sometimes they ask a devastating question: why does this matter? It can be disheartening to a teacher who might (correctly) gather that the students really aren’t invested in the subject matter. On the other hand, you can also say that they aren’t invested yet. When your students ask this, take it as a cue that they are primed for hearing the answer to this question. If you are approaching a subject that might be obscure, take a look at some descriptions and/or videos that go through the importance of the subject and bonus points if it’s from someone that they can see as a peer! For instance, here’s a video below for any educators about to teach polymers.

22 July 2016

Cryptography: The Science of Making and Breaking Codes

Want to learn more about encryption, or introduce real-world uses of math and computer science to your students?
Show them this video explaining the different ways messages can be coded and decoded! This video also describes history of cryptography, including developments and every day uses. Showing this video could be a fun way to introduce computer science to students, and you could even have a creative code making project based on it!

15 July 2016

Vernier LabQuest 2 Training Videos

LabQuest 2

If you want to learn how to use our Vernier LabQuests, check out the links below. The online training videos will help you get started or help expand your knowledge on the LabQuest 2 interface!

The Vernier LabQuest 2 is a standalone interface used to collect sensor data with its built-in graphing and analysis application. The large, high-resolution touch screen makes it easy and intuitive to collect, analyze, and share data from experiments. Its wireless connectivity encourages collaboration and personalized learning. You can also use LabQuest 2 as a computer interface for advanced analysis and video features. […]

08 July 2016

Crash Course!

Looking for new educational resources? Try YouTube! This video introduces one of the many resources on YouTube for teachers, students, or any learners. Crash Course has a wide range of topics to learn about, including Astronomy, Anatomy, Ecology, and History. Explore the YouTube page to find more playlists of each subject, or search the uploads to find a specific idea to review. These videos are also great for introducing, or previewing, before starting a new section or chapter.

27 June 2016

Summer Hours

The STEM Center has a lot of programming coming up in the next few months so we’ll be observing Summer Hours until August. This means we won’t be open at set times, but only available by appointment. If you need to come by and see us, use one of the methods below to set up a time. Thanks!

Phone: (618) 650 – 3065     |     Email:

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15 June 2016

Telescope Project

Here’s a great video about a program for any kids interested in astronomy. The Glen Carbon Library is using some telescopes provided by Dr. Tom Foster of the Physics Department to do some awesome programming this summer. Check out the video below; all the information for signing up is on there!