August 2017 Newsletter

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Building Omaha Future Leaders

August 2017

A STEM Professional You Should Know!

Dr. Jorge M. Zuniga

Dr. Jorge M. Zuniga received Master of Science degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Currently, Dr. Zuniga is a faculty at the Department of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is a member of The Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics. Dr. Zuniga main research interests include the development of low-cost 3D printed prostheses and 3D printed anatomical models for surgical planning. Dr. Zuniga has authored and co-authored over 70 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Zuniga developed a 3D printed prosthetic hand for children named Cyborg Beast ( The Cyborg Beast was named one of the best five inventions of 2014 by

Dr. Zuniga’s Research team is currently conducting several studies related to the development of low-cost 3D printed prostheses, orthoses, and assistive devices.

Dr. Zuniga has developed programs for students at Omaha South High Magnet School and Members of Boy Scout Troop 374) where students participate in 3D Modeling and Printing of Low-Cost Prosthetic and Orthotics Pilot Program at UNO.

The main outcome of this pilot program is to expose high school students to 3D printing of prosthetics and orthotics devices as a possible career path in the field of biomechanics. For those students interested in work in the industry, this program will offer internships at Innovative Prosthetics & Orthotics located in Omaha, Nebraska, which is one of the few companies in the nation that specializes in manufacturing 3D printed prostheses and orthoses. At the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists 2016 annual meeting it was stated that 3D modeling and printing of prosthetic and orthotic devices represent a new and promising career path. This program aims to train the new workforce in this emerging field and provide hands-on experiences at local prosthetic companies. This program will be the first of its kind and will place the state of Nebraska as a hub for innovation and education in this field.

See feature story at:

Omaha STEM Ecosystem Committees Launched!

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem is excited to report that all five committees have held their first meeting this past month and are moving forward with the initiatives and priorities identified in the strategic plan.  The seventy-one committee members represent all sectors of our community including education (formal and informal in PK – 19+), non-profits, science centers and museums, business and industry, government and families.  To learn more about the strategic plan, request a copy at:  

 STEM at Lauritzen Garden committee meeting!

  Committee meeting at Do Space!


Not “Random Acts of STEM”: Building A STEM Centered Workforce

The STEM Ecosystem is excited to host two events on October 17, 2017 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.   Shonna Dorsey – Vice President of Tech Education for AIM Institute – is the keynote speaker at both events.

7:30AM –9:00AM –     Business Sector Conversation on STEM Skilled Workforce

4:30PM – 5:00PM       Tour of New Education Building at HD Zoo and Aquarium

5:00PM – 7:00 PM      Presentation and Networking Reception

Invitations going out soon.  If you are not on our mailing list, go to the website and sign-up: 




Professional Development Opportunities

Professional Development Workshops –  STEM for Elementary –

Most teaches know what STEM stands for (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Beyond the acronym, what does a good STEM lesson look like?  Join us for a two-day workshop geared specifically towards elementary teachers to dive into STEM.  On the first day, we will explore different lessons and learn to identify features of a good STEM lesson.  We will also begin to develop a more concrete understanding of STEM.  On the second day, we will focus on helping you transform traditional science activities into robust STEM lessons.   

September 30th and October 21st (two-day workshop) 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $30 (Lunch included) For more information, go to:

Additional workshops are open to all educators. Explore new curriculum, participate in hands-on activities and build your knowledge of the natural world.  Workshops are available at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and Wildlife Safari Park, located off Nebraska’s I-80, Exit 426

For more information, go to:

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming STEM Events

The Aerospace Evening  – September 15th, Friday, 6-9pm, at the UNO Durham Science Building Free event open to children of all ages.


The Omaha Astronomical Society will provide telescopes to view and discuss observations, aiding Girl and Boy Scout to accomplish their Astronomy badge.  UNO will provide free planetarium shows and allow participants to view celestial objects from the top of the Durham Science Building.  Astronomy magazine, the Planetary Society, Griffith Observatory and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory will also send free literature and handouts for all ages.  We also plan to have displays for each solar system planet, create your own lunar crater demo, touch meteorites, launch straw rockets, try on astronaut suits and offer samples of astronaut ice cream.  Additionally, we will ask for children participation in lunar phase’s demos, scale of solar system and elliptical orbit demos. For more information, go to:…onomical-society/

Lab Girl Author to Headline Omaha Public Library FundraiserMeet New York Times-bestselling author Hope Jahren on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, when the Omaha Public Library Foundation welcomes the Lab Girl author to Omaha. The evening fundraiser will be held at the Institute for Culinary Arts Building on the Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus.


For more information, go to :

Preschool Classes at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Rumble in the Jungle – September 8th, 10:00-10:45am

Squawk like a parrot, sing like a gibbon, and trumpet like an elephant. This class is about noises and sounds that make the Zoo come alive. Let’s get loud!                        

Swim Back to School –September 22nd, 10:00-10:45am

September is the season to go back to school! Join us as we dive deep in the ocean to discover the many types of fish that live in schools all year long.                         


Just Right  September 15th or 16th, 10:00-11:00a.m

Did you know Zoo animals come in all shapes and sizes?  They can be tall or small, heavy or light.  Get ready to go on a hunt around the Zoo to find where different animals fit in.

For more information, contact:

Lights On Afterschool Celebration

Please join Collective for Youth and our partnering agencies at the Sapp Fieldhouse on UNO’s campus, September 30, 2017 between the hours of 10 and 2 p.m. This event will highlight the activities and the providers that are in all 30 of CFY after school programs on each school day between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Lights On Afterschool is an annual event that takes place in hundreds of locations throughout the country. These events highlight the importance of high quality afterschool programs and the youth who attend them. Each year, CFY has hosted this event with great success. Over 1500 youth and adults gather to enjoy lunch, hands on activities, community exhibits, parent activities, and performances by local talent and youth from various afterschool programs in the community.

  Click here to watch Gwyn Williams and Tyrome Williams from Building Dreams talk about LOA 2016.

WOW! That’s Engineering!

The 5th Biennial Outreach Event in Omaha is aimed at encouraging young women to pursue careers in engineering. Saturday, September 30th, from 8:30 am to 3 pm at the College of St. Mary Campus in Omaha. Girls will participate in hands-on activities with local female engineers.  Lunch is provided, and the event is FREE. Local middle school and high school girls are encouraged to attend. Parents are invited to an afternoon session to discuss additional ways they can encourage their child to consider a career in engineering.


For more information, contact: Shannon DeVivo, SWE Eastern Nebraska Outreach Chair at   Or check out the website:

Do you have STEM related news or program to share with the Omaha STEM community? Contact us to find out how to get your story or program featured, or how to become a member.

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