June 2018 Newsletter

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Building Omaha’s Future Leaders
June 2018

Celebrating STEM in Omaha 

A STEM Professional you Should Know:
Kate Cooper, Ph.D

Kate Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Big Data in the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics at UNO. Kate received her Ph.D. in Pathology and Microbiology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2013. Her background lies firmly in bioinformatics and she specializes in the identification of actionable hypotheses using network-based analysis of genomic and proteomic “big” data. Other interests include expanding these approaches to studies in public health, disaster preparedness, and strategic biodefense. Kate has been a member of the UNO Bioinformatics research group since 2005 and has found success collaborating on a number of disease-related biomedical research projects including but not limited to hearing, arenaviruses, HIV/AIDs, Chikungunya virus, Burkitt’s lymphoma, and aging.

Omaha STEM Ecosystem and UNO Mathematics Dept’s “Math Series”,
Provides K-12 Teacher Support 

The latest issue of the University of Nebraska Foundation’s “Pride of Place” magazine features the story of Preska Hinapa Wi Poor Bear and her experience with the UNO/Zoo STEM Initiative.

You can see math, she says, in all the circles of the Earth.

In the sun, stars and moon …

In the rivers, rain and sea …

In the birth, life and death of all the creatures of the Earth.

“Math is in everything,” says Pteska Hinapa Wi Poor Bear, a fourth-grade teacher in Omaha who grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Hocoka Wakan – that’s a Lakota word that means “the Sacred Circle.”

“The Sacred Circle connects everything. It is continuous, and it just goes and goes and goes.”

Poor Bear saw math in everything one night this past November at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha as she and other teachers took part in the “Math Teachers Circle – Math in the Aquarium,” a community outreach program sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the zoo.

The program, an ongoing series of hands-on events for teachers, is part of the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, a citywide partnership led by UNO and the HenryDoorly Zoo, that connects Omaha-area K-12 teachers with exciting new ways to teach STEM lessons to their students through classes at the zoo. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)

Poor Bear and the other teachers took a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium guided by one of the zoo’s marine biologists, who used many STEM words as he talked about the technical side of keeping all the creatures alive.

To view full article: https://www.unomaha.edu/news/2018/05/uno-zoo-initiative-provides-k-12-teacher-support.php

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem Participates in the Aviation STEM Fair

At the Aviation STEM Fair, pilots aimed to spark kids’ interest in planes. Not only did this event cater to young kids, but older students were there as well, where they got to network with local professionals and make connections.

Connections are very important for students. Connections made, can bring job offers that aren’t advertised publicly, and sometimes connections can grow into a positive mentorship that can lead to future development for students.

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem was one among several organizations who were involved at the STEM fair at Millard Airport.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming STEM Events 

CSTA 2018 Annual Conference

Photo:  Visit Omaha
~July 7-10~

CSTA will be bringing its world class professional development and educator community together again in July of 2018. They are excited to offer teachers of Computer Science the opportunity to build skills, meet other teachers, and get inspired right in Omaha!

To learn more about this great opportunity, click on the following link which will provide information on registration, cost, hotel, travel, and more: http://www.csteachers.org/page/2018Conference

CSTA Annual Conference
July 7-10

Hubbard Sustainability Series
July 12

2018 Aquaponics Workshop
July 18

What’s Up? 
August 3-4

Women Advance IT 
October 2-3

Resources and Articles 

Combatting Bias and Steering Girls Towards Careers in STEM

Photo: LinkedIn 

By: Laura Barrowman, CTO at Credit Suisse

Ever since primary school, I have loved mathematics. There’s something about mental arithmetic and the satisfaction of finding a solution to a problem that captured — and has kept — my interest for decades. Augment that early passion with the good fortune of having some great teachers to fuel the enthusiasm, and you have an unbeatable equation for success.

Teachers’ ability to impact and inspire the future career path of their students is so often undervalued. One impactful teacher or memorable learning experience can help shape a young girl’s STEM career trajectory. Inversely, so can one negative one

There’s a well-documented disconnect between girls and the pursuit of STEM subjects in their teens.

And this is largely due to the way young girls are taught STEM subjects and how they are socially conditioned by their teachers, parents and peers to think of careers as gender appropriate or specific.

With the glut of jobs on the horizon that require STEM skills growing exponentially and the number of girls seeking to pursue STEM subjects actually on the wane, the labor shortfall will be great – both in the number of well-trained STEM job applicants, and more particularly, qualified female applicants.

Recognizing this as a cause for real concern, educators are coming up with new and creative ways to teach tailored curriculum for science and maths that better align with research-based differences in learning patterns and preferences among genders – while simultaneously infusing fun into the equation. It is imperative, after all, that we educate our children for jobs of the future.

To view full posting: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/combatting-bias-steering-girls-towards-careers-stem-laura-barrowman/

How to Build an Equitable Learning Community in your Science Classroom

University to House Nebraska’s First Self-Driving Shuttle

Due to vacation season coming up, there will not be a newsletter for the month of July. The newsletter will return in August. Everyone have a great vacation season. 




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