The Minnesota STEM Network, Northeast Region formed in 2012 to address continuing concerns about interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among youth and adults. The Leadership Team of the Northeast Region has met regularly to guide the larger community of STEM stakeholders toward creating more opportunities for engagement in STEM.
The leadership team presented “Strategies for Advancing STEM in Northeast Minnesota” to the 2nd annual gathering of the regional STEM network on November 14, 2013. Seventy-five stakeholders discussed and selected actions toward four success markers detailed on pp. 10-11.
Third Northeast MN Regional Meetings a Success
The leadership team of the Northeast Minnesota region hosted its third regional meeting on September 29 and 30, 2015 in Duluth and Chisholm. The meeting agenda focused on developing a digital inventory of STEM programs and resources in the region and broader engagement in and use of the *MoeZone*, a bimonthly STEM challenge based on Northeast Minnesota geography and published in the*Hometown Focus* in the Iron Range.
Moe Benda, co-chair of the leadership team of the Northeast Region, has created a series of challenges featuring STEM phenomena and processes that are based upon everyday experiences living in Northeast Minnesota. He developed the first MoeZone challenge in early fall 2014, and has since produced 22 more as of August 2015. He publishes new challenges, and solutions to past challenges, in the Iron Range publication Hometown Focus twice monthly. Each challenge encompasses three levels—elementary, advanced, and professional—relating to the same theme. The tiered challenges show how we experience basic STEM principles in simpler as well as more complex contexts. The professional level addresses STEM challenges relevant to life in Northeast Minnesota and its industry. Moe is Director, Iron Range/UM Duluth Graduate Engineering Education Program and Instructor, Chemical Engineering. To find out more about the challenges (and test your problem-solving skills), click on the link in the gray box to the right.
Leadership Team of Northeast Region Creates Strategy Booklet
The leadership team refined the four success markers from input gathered at the first regional meeting held in November, 2012. The stakeholders chose strategic actions focused on showing that STEM is fun and exciting, increasing opportunities in project-based learning, and engaging and retaining girls/women and cultural minorities in STEM.
The leadership team is now pursuing grant support for a relational database to house a program inventory, and workshops and events to foster more project-based learning and workshops on increasing access to underserved groups. Contacts: Moe Benda, Donald Hoag, Michelle Ufford, and Anne Hornickel
View the document by clicking here.
Northeast Region of MN STEM Network Hosts 2nd Annual Meeting
The leadership team for the Northeast region hosted the second annual regional meeting on November 14, 2013 in Duluth. Jeff Maas, Director of Curriculum Development and Educational Outreach of the Duluth Children’s Museum, presented an overview of the of the leadership team’s activity since the first annual meeting in November 2012. The work resulted in a booklet, “Strategies for Advancing STEM in Northeast Minnesota” which summarizes goals, a needs assessment, success markers and strategic actions for advancing STEM education and workforce development. The needs assessment was largely informed by the new STEM portal on MN Compass. The booklet can be downloaded from this site.
The keynote speaker, Caryn Mohr, formerly of Wilder Research and lead developer of the STEM portal on MN Compass, presented the STEM portal data for Northeast MN: student proficiency in math and science; STEM engagement in and outside the classroom; and workforce opportunities in Northeast
Leadership team members then presented the four success markers and strategic actions for discussion.
Attendees of the regional meeting selected the initial strategic actions to be addressed through
1) Awareness of STEM and its importance to Northeast Minnesota
• Show children and youth that STEM is fun and exciting and present in all aspects of daily life
2) Exposure to STEM Experiences
• Provide more hands-on, inquiry, or project-based learning to youth of all backgrounds and ages to sustain curiosity and excitement about STEM.
3) Enthusiasm and identification with STEM
• Collaborate with educators, employers, and community organizations to offer more or assist in project-based STEM activities.
4) Awareness of future STEM opportunities
• Provide women and minorities in STEM specialized retention efforts that reduce isolation, build community, feature role models, support academic success strategies, and build professional
The leadership team is now pursuing a grant to develop a relational data base to house a regional program inventory, workshops and events to foster more project-based learning, and workshops on increasing access to underserved groups. The inventory format will be made available to other regions.