March 2019 Newsletter

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Building Omaha’s Future Leaders

March 2019

Celebrating STEM in Omaha

A STEM Professional You Should Know!

Mike Girón

Mike Girón is a painter, muralist, graphic artist and educator.  He began working large-scale on New Orleans Mardi Gras parade floats in 1992.  In the past five years, he has designed and/or painted eight public art murals in Omaha, solely or collaboratively.  From November of 2013 through August 2014, he has led collaborative mural projects at Creighton University, the Benson Theater, Metropolitan Community College and with Why Arts?  These involve an estimated 200+ participants.   Another project, working with young graffiti artists, is due to start in September, 2014.

The Diversability Mural Project involved the generation of ideas and imagery developed through collaborations between Mike, four WhyArts? artists and participants from Munroe-Meyer Institute, Ollie Webb, QLI and Vodec.  Even the painting of the mural was made accessible to all.

Mike and frequent partner Richard Harrison received community development awards from the City of Omaha and the Governor of Nebraska for their 2012 Startlab Avanza mural project, which has been nominated for the 2014 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards for public art.

In 1995-96, Mike mentored in Project Interact, at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  This program provided “at-risk” youth, caught doing graffiti, a legal means to paint AND comply with their mandatory community service.  He introduced traditional painting methods.  Kent Bellows Studio’s project, “Inside/Outside”, generated murals now hanging at the Douglas County Youth Facility through exchanges between students Mike and Richard mentored and incarcerated youth.

Mike’s experience as an instructor of Arts began in 1994 and continued at Metropolitan Community College and Bellevue University.  His mural classes at BU worked on Philadelphia artist Meg Saligman’s giant mural in downtown Omaha and six public murals for South Omaha.  He lectures on murals, including the Mexican artists Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros.

 NE Science Olympiad

Nebraska Regional Science Olympiad Competition took place on Saturday, March 2nd at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Academy.  More than 500 6th to 12th grade students representing about 50 schools and teams in the Midwest will compete in the 16th annual Regional Science Olympiad.

The Regional Science Olympiad was started by the Zoo in 2005 as an outlet for students to advance to the Nebraska Science Olympiad in April. The Olympiad brings excitement to science education through rigorous challenges in the following areas: anatomy and physiology, meteorology, earth science, forensics, genetics, geology, mechanical engineering, physics and technology.

Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair

 The 40th Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) took place March 8th, at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.  Over 300 students, the best and brightest 6th -12th graders, competed with 275 projects representing 7 high schools and 13 middle schools. The student competitors represent public, private and home schools from Douglas, Sarpy and Washington Counties.

MSEF is designed to promote interest in science and engineering, encourage students to do a research project in one of those areas and reward students for their efforts. The top projects will advance to the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences (NJAS) in Lincoln on April 11 and could potentially take part on a national level at the American Junior Academy of Science Conference.


Mark Your Calendars!

March 26th  4:30pm -6:30pm  Math with an Engineer

Join for the last in our math series, Math with an Engineer at Olsson.  This event brings math concepts into the real world to help build the STEM pipeline.  An event for middle -level school administrators, educators and pre-service teachers.

For more info go to:


NE SciFest – April 5th – 28th  Omaha City-wide and across the NE

For more information, contact Kacie Gerard at:


April 23rd  4:00pm – 6:00pm  OSE  Community Conversation

Join us for a Community Conversation, “Bringing the Gap in the STEM Workforce.”  Sponsored by the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, this conversation will together business and education professionals to prioritize the critical employable skills in STEM fields and to build mechanisms for developing those skills in students and employees.

For more information, contact Julie Sigmon:


April 26th -29th City Nature Challenge  Omaha Citywide

City Nature Challenge is an international competition that encourages communities to document as many organisms in their city as possible. Anyone can participate – Its a great family or organization event.

For more information, go to:

For information on more events,

check out our website:

We want to celebrate STEM professionals in the Greater Omaha area.  Do you know of someone who has an awesome job using STEM applications in their everyday work? We would love to highlight them in our newsletter.  Contact Julie Sigmon:

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