April 2020 Newsletter

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Building Omaha’s Future Leaders

April 2020

Message from the Director

As I settle down in my home office, the jolt from communal workspace to isolation wears away and is replaced by awe. Science is powering on to find a cure, technology fills in the distances between us, engineering repurposes factories for life-saving equipment manufacture, and mathematics forecasts when this will all be over. STEM professionals keep the country moving through changing norms and will save us from invisible threats surrounding us. Educators, artists, and entrepreneurs are using digital networking and social media to reach their audiences now more than ever. How difficult will it be to reverse back to old ways when the threat disappears? How much should we return to? As super virus threats increase, it would be prudent to continue many of the hygienic rituals we have adapted to.
These are strange, unnerving times, but STEM can bring us comfort and friends even if they are stuck secluded miles away. Here are some resources to explore how STEM steps up in times of crisis.

Julie Sigmon


Resources for virtual connections.


Are you hosting an online event using Zoom Webinars or Zoom Meetings? Download an Online Event Best Practices Guide for pre-event, live-event, and post-event best practices ranging from how to manage Q&A, engaging attendees, and following up after the session concludes. (Link above takes you to the page with the download links).

“Liz and Annie here with the next installment of how to get good at Zoom…” they create online tutorials on how to instruct using Zoom, a video conferencing service, and other online utilities. Follow this link to an article by J.D. WARREN with more information about their process.

Zoom meetings keep getting hacked? Here’s how to prevent ‘Zoom bombing’ on your video chats. Link Here (Registration to Fortune required for full article).


Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is dedicated to educating all Nebraskans about our state’s amazing wildlife, plants and natural resources. Knowing how people want to engage with education is as diverse as our natural resources, they have developed a variety of interactive resources. Link Here

JOSLYN’S DISTANCE LEARNING program offers teachers and students the opportunity to virtually visit the Museum to learn about highlights of the collection. Joslyn continues to develop program topics as theyreach out to more classrooms. Link Here 

MackinVIA has compiled free content, helpful videos, links, downloadable resources and more to help you with this distance learning transition. Link Here


4 Ways to Keep Your Children Engaged While You Work from Home UNO early childhood education professor Debora Basler Wisneski, Ph.D., shares her tips for keeping children active while parents work from home. Link Here

10 tips for talking about COVID-19 with your kids In this article by she provides some advice for communication during this time. Link Here

Play, explore and discover the great outdoors of Nebraska by going to the Wildlife Safari Park! Please Note: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the Wildlife Safari Park will be limited to a drive-through experience only until April 30, 2020. Several areas will not be accessible by guests on foot including the hiking trails, Visitor Center, the Hands-On Corral, Eagle Aviary, and the Bison Overlook and Nature Play Area. Link to more info Here

We will be adding more Resources for Staying at Home onto a page under our resources tab, so keep your eyes peeled!

City Nature Challenge 2020: Omaha Metro

Join Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium on April 24-27, 2020, for a Nature Break. A once friendly competition, the City Nature Challenge 2020: Omaha Metro is now focusing on embracing the healing power of nature and encouraging the collaborate aspect of urban biodiversity. The international community will join in this four-day period to get out in nature and document plants and animals around the world. City Nature Challenge can still offer people all over the planet a way to safely connect with nature and each other during these difficult times. Neighborhoods, backyards, and walking trails present nature and opportunities to make observations and document our world around us while practicing social distancing.
Sign up today at inaturalist.org and join the project City Nature Challenge 2020: Omaha Metro. You’ll start receiving journal posts about activities that you can do to practice before the event, hints on how to improve your photography, and even ways you can help others identify their observations.

Join us and take a Nature Break!

When: April 24-27, 2020
Sign up at: iNaturalist.org
Project name: City Nature Challenge 2020: Omaha Metro
More info at: www.OmahaZoo.com/citynaturechallenge

Mark Your Calendars!

We want to wish all our community partners and friends the best during this time of social distancing as a result of the COVID 19 virus. The health and safety of our community continues to be a priority.  Our current events have been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.  All OSE committee meetings will be held via virtual meetings.

We want you to be a part of the conversation about how to find solutions for addressing the shortfall of STEM professionals in the Omaha community. To collaborate with innovators, educators, researchers and leaders of tomorrow, join the Omaha STEM Ecosystem today at https://omahastem.com/get-involved/.

2 Comments so far:

  1. Dr Victor Winter, a professor in the Computer Science Department at UNO has developed a free online course titled Exploring Visual and Spatial Thinking. This course is suitable for grades 7-10. To enroll in the course go to:


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