Amber Quirk

   Regional Superintendent 

   DuPage County Schools

Regional Office of Education

421 N. County Farm Rd

Wheaton, IL 60187


STEM News You Can Use

April 2024


U.S. Leads in R&D Spending and Faces STEM Workforce "Crisis"

The National Science Foundation reports that the U.S. spends more (3.5% of its GDP in 2021) on R&D than any other country. The U.S. also depends on 19% of its STEM workers having been born outside the U.S. and foreign-born workers accounted for 43% of all doctoral-level scientists and engineers in the U.S. Read the full article here.

Learning Science Might Help Kids Read Better

A recent study makes it clear (as have a few others recently) that it is possible to combine reading with social studies and science curriculum in powerful ways to improve literacy and content knowledge.

NCTM - Teaching Data Science in High School

High-quality experiences expose students to new and different kinds of content that can energize and motivate them and enable them to see many uses for mathematics and data science as they make sense of the world around them. Click here for more information from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Three Steps to Enhance Inclusivity in STEM Classrooms

Problem-based learning, real-world problems, and representation in lessons all help bring inclusivity in STEM classrooms. Use this link to learn more. (Photo Credit: FStop123/Getty Images)

Rethinking Our Definition of STEM

How might our teaching change if we think of STEM as standing for sustainability, transferable skills, empathy, and motivation? Access the article here. (Photo Credit: Adobe Stock)


STEMtastic Teaching Showcase - April 13, 2024; 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

Elmhurst University is excited to offer this conference for STEM educators. This is a free event that will feature STEM presenters, vendors, and resources, including our own DuPage ROE STEM Squad, and more. Click here to register.

Desire to Obtain a Middle Grades Science Endorsement?

The SESAME Program at the University of Chicago offers mathematics and science courses for teachers. Courses place a strong emphasis on content and conceptual foundations, and pedagogical techniques to bring to your classroom. An online middle school methods course starts in mid-April and counts for the "methods requirement" for the MG science endorsement. Registration is $1,250. For more details, go to

Baxter Center for Science Education - Spring and Summer Opportunities

The Baxter Center provides a variety of professional learning opportunities for high school and middle school educators. Build your lab skills and connect with a community of local science teachers. All workshops are FREE and eligible for ISBE PD hours. Learn More & Register.

TCD's 36th Annual 7th Grade Career Exploration Event - April 22 - 26, 2024 (Virtual)

Join TCD for its 36th Annual 7th Grade Career Fair, in partnership with Junior Achievement of Chicago. This year’s Fair will be an online event, Experience week-long festivities with live presentations, pre-recorded videos, activities, and more. The recorded event will remain on the TCD website through the end of May. Direct questions to Michelle Miklinski at: or 630-691-7600.

STEMCON - April 27, 2024; 10 am to 4:00 pm; College of DuPage Physical Education Center

From soldering and robots to microorganisms and fossils, STEMCON lets you explore the fascinating world of STEM. Get hands on with dozens of high-quality, well-facilitated experiments and demonstration designed to inform entertain, and spark interest. Be sure to stop by the DuPage ROE STEM Squad activity tables. Free Admission.

Mathematical Marvels: Celebrating the Genius of Teachers and Students - April 27, 2024

Join your colleagues at a locally led, remotely connected site, as our moderators engage participants in productive conversations and tasks with ready-to-use classroom strategies to take back to your school. Illinois Professional Development Hours will be available for all participants. The conference runs from 9 am to 12:30 pm, with locations in Carbondale, Champaign, Macomb, Mascoutah, Naperville, South Chicago, and Skokie. Register here:

ISBE-sponsored NO COST Professional Learning for Illinois Educators Through NSTA

The Making Sense of Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning: Topic Study for K-12 Educators webinar series provides the opportunity to develop or deepen understanding of three-dimensions of teaching and learning through immersion in high-quality instructional materials, analysis of classroom videos and vignettes, and individual and guided reflection. The series meets on Tuesdays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm, starting April 30. To register for this series, log into you NSTA account if you already have one or create your free guest user account at After logging into your account, use this link to register. Direct questions to

STEM Network - May 1, 2024; 4:00 to 5:15 pm

Kathleen Meyer, STEM teacher at Indian Trail Middle School, will host the next STEM Network session at her school, located at 222 N. Kennedy Drive in Addison. Join other STEM educators and champions from all grade levels as we learn and share with colleagues. We will discuss STEM program challenges and share ideas about end-of-the year STEM projects. Raffle prizes and light snacks will be provided. Bring a friend and be sure to register here so that we can prepare. Licensed educators who attend are also eligible for 1 PDH. Questions or interested in hosting a meeting next year? Email Dr. Susan Camasta.

Math-ish! Book Talk with Jo Boaler - May 8 or 9, 2024

Mathematics is a fundamental part of life, yet every one of us has a unique relationship with learning and understanding the subject. Working with numbers may inspire confidence in our abilities or provoke anxiety and trepidation. Stanford researcher, mathematics professor, and the leading expert on math learning Dr. Jo Boaler argues that our differences are the key to unlocking our greatest mathematics potential. Dr. Boaler is hosting two free webinars to coincide with the release of her new book, Math-ish! Finding Creativity, Diversity, and Meaning in Mathematics, to be released on May 7th. Learn more or register for the book talk here:

Unleashing the Power of AI in Education - June 11, 2024 in Addison

Interested in Attending? Complete this form. Click here to RSVP and ensure you are among the first to receive notification when we open registration.

Rocketry and Avionics - Taking Data to New Heights - June 10-13 or June 24-27, 2024

Experience the thrill of rocketry for yourself as you learn to integrate rocketry with avionics curriculum in your classroom. This free, dynamic workshop at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will guide you through modules focused on developing foundational knowledge, predictive modeling, and fabrication skills. The opportunity includes 20 PD hours, housing and modules. Seats are available for novice and advanced learners but are limited. For more information, contact Heather Arnett at


April Is Citizen Science Month

Learn more about getting your students, clubs, and communities involved. Aside from this being Citizen Science Month, you might want to explore other Citizen Science Programs that occur year round!

H2O On the Go Grant Program - Due Date April 30, 2024

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation are accepting 2024 applications for the annual H2O On the Go grant program. The program replaces existing water fountains with new water bottle-filling stations at Illinois elementary, middle and high schools. Apply here.

DuPage County Farm Bureau Container to Food Project

The Bureau has launched “Grow Your Own Food — A Container to Food Project,” in collaboration with the College of DuPage, Ball Horticulture, Midwest Groundcover, Country Financial, Compeer Financial, and the DuPage County Fair Association. This initiative is poised to make a significant impact on approximately 4,000 DuPage County fourth-graders this spring. For more information about this and other Bureau projects and work, call Kara Norton, executive director, at (630) 668-8161 or visit the website.

New Insights in Math Learning - EdWeek Spotlight

New Insights in Math Learning is a collection of articles hand-picked by EdWeek editors for their insights on math curricula schools are selecting, the disconnect between math education theory and the methods teachers actually use, how teachers can optimize how they introduce math facts and still prioritize conceptual knowledge, effective strategies to improve student math outcomes, and more. Register for the free download.

The DuPage ROE STEM Squad - We Are Here to Support You

Below is a list of some ways in which the STEM Squad can support you and your students. If something is not on the list, simply ask and we will do our best to assist. Email Mary Biniewicz for more information.

  • Loan one or more STEM Trunks designed for K-12 students.
  • Work with you to help plan a STEM event or STEM Club activities.
  • Arrange to facilitate an activity at your STEM event.
  • Conduct an after-school STEM workshop for students in Grades 5-8.
  • Support an in-classroom activity for your younger students.

Just a Few of the Reasons to Celebrate April and May!

STEM Starters

Have you explored our collection of STEM Starters? On our web page, you will find links to more than 90 activities designed to begin class, end class, initiate conversation, or just to have fun.

Visit our website for more information and resources!

Direct newsletter questions, comments, and suggestions to Dr. Mary Biniewicz.