Education

Girls sink their teeth into STEM … and sharks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The slimy, smelly spiny dogfish sharks were placed on the lab tables in front of the young girls. “Ewwwww,” one girl said squeamishly. “I can never eat gummy sharks again,” another girl said. This was the moment they had been waiting for at Tech Trek week – shark dissection. They were armed with gloves, scalpels and scissors to open up the gray sharks native to Australia. Some were a little timid about slicing into the sharks. “Oh my goodness,” one girl said with apprehension. Others were ready to explore. “I call dibs on making the first cut,” another said with glee. The shark dissection class Wednesday at Bowling Green State University’s Tech Trek week was just one of several sessions to help the participants realize that their female gender should not keep them from careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The fifth annual Tech Trek, supported by the American Association of University Women, is intended to make STEM educations and careers more accessible to girls. The program is only open to girls, so they are encouraged to pursue their STEM interests in an environment free from stereotypes, and given the chance to believe in themselves. Tech Trek is based off of the research titled “Why So Few?” which shows that women enter STEM fields at much lower rates compared to their male peers.  The research also showed that the crucial time to get to girls before they give up on STEM careers is in junior high. “The most critical time to impact them is between seventh and eighth grade,” said…

Read More

Young Africans leaders congregate at BGSU to learn from Ohio & each other

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The future of Africa is at Bowling Green State University. The university is hosting 25 organizers and activists as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The institute hosts 1,000 fellows at institutions across the country. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-hosting-young-african-leaders/) A conversation with nine of fellows included men and women from Mauritania and Niger in the northern end of the continent to Zimbabwe near the southern tip. The issues they were concerned with were similarly broad, from helping those caught up in the sex industry, education, and environmentalism. And they said they were finding ways of addressing those issues here in the Northwest Ohio meeting with civic leaders and during outings as close to home as the farmers market and as distant as Columbus and Detroit. Tuesday they toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab and crime scene building. Jon Sprague, the director of the Governor’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, also spoke about the opioid crisis. Yet their greatest source of support and knowledge, they said, was each other. “I think the best art of this program was my colleagues,” said Chibuzor Azuuike, of Nigeria. “Africa has to move forward .So meeting people who are of like-mind, who are very passionate about making an impact back at home, is important. I’ve learned a lot from them, and we hope to partner on projects.” Loice Kapondo, of Zimbabwe, said in the week they’ve been at BGSU “we’ve been sharing stories formally and informally. … Their strategies are easy to adapt to my country because of the similarities.” While Africa is…


BG’s Scruci tries to dispel rumors about bond issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci tried to stop the rumor mill from churning Monday evening. For 90 minutes, he presented details and answered questions from a packed meeting room at the public library about the school district’s building plans and the bond levy to support them. Scruci has heard “all kinds of stories” about the district’s plans. “We wanted to get this information out now,” he said. “We want to get out in front of those” rumors about costs, cuts, kids and more. So he started by explaining the building plans and the $72 million cost to taxpayers. “I’m going to be the first to tell you that’s a lot of money, and we know that,” Scruci said. The 6-mill bond issue will appear on the November ballot for the projects. “Schools are always going to be the investment in the future in every city,” he said. “If we kick the can down the road, the cost is going to grow.” For the owner of a house valued at $100,000, that means an extra $210 a year. But since the average house value in Bowling Green is $170,000, Scruci said that would add up to $357 a year. And for those on the higher end, with a $250,000 home, the bond issue would mean another $525 a year. When he said the bond issue was for 37 years, someone in the audience whistled. “People are going to say that’s a lot of years, and it is,” Scruci said. But a bond issue with fewer years would mean greater payments that could be…


BG high students experience the magic of London

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green High School students who traveled to London last week experienced a foreign culture and a little bit of magic. Drama teacher Jo Beth Gonzalez accompanied eight students on a tour of London. The tour organized by E.F Educational Tours also included 35 teachers, students and parents from London. The students and their families were responsible for raising all the money to pay for the trip. No district funds were used. The trip left June 15 and the bleary-eyed travelers returned on June 21, having experienced five-and-half packed days in London and Stratford, England. Gonzalez and four of the students gathered two days after their return to discuss the trip. These are early impressions. Gonzalez said. The full impact on the students probably won’t be felt for a year, as they absorb what they experienced. Tressa Greiner, who will be a sophomore in August, said that she’d always loved the score from the musical “Wicked.” Getting to see it on the London stage was something else again. “It was really magical.” While most of the students who went were involved in the school’s drama program, Greiner hasn’t been able to fit it into her scheduled. Gonzalez said they all hope that will change next year. Julia Maas, who will attend Bowling Green State University in fall to study physical education and health, was also impressed with the musical. She’d seen it before, but now she saw it in a new light. “The characters were so clear and bold.” The characters were given a different interpretation and accent by the British cast, said Elaine…


BG schools to hold public forum on bond issue

Bowling Green City Schools will hold a community forum Monday, June 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The forum will give community members a chance to ask questions and get information about the school district’s November bond issue to build new schools.  


BGSU’s Pathways of Promise program gets state funding

By OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The Ohio Department of Higher Education recently approved $5 million in funding for projects that will enhance the quality of higher education throughout the state while making it more affordable for students by stabilizing or reducing tuition rates. Bowling Green State University received $750,000 for its PK-16 Pathways of Promise (P³) project. P³ proposes to develop and field-test a scalable model for identifying key performance indicators of college-readiness in university data systems. The data is then shared with PK-12 partners, building a system for continuous program improvement for institutions of higher education and local education agencies. Dawn Shinew, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, was excited to learn the project had been funded. “This project makes a lot of sense and has the potential to have a significant impact, not only for BGSU’s students, but for P-20 education in the state of Ohio.” Shinew serves as a co-principal investigator on the project along with Dr. Brian Campbell, associate dean for Operations, Analytics and Assessment, and Dr. Matthew Lavery, assistant professor, School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy. The original pilot of the program began in summer 2016 after Shinew noticed a theme in conversations she had had with local superintendents – they didn’t have good data about how their students do in college. Shinew discovered that the data was available, it was just a matter of what could be pulled that was meaningful and respecting the students’ privacy. In June, data was shared with six local school districts: Bowling Green, Springfield, Fostoria, Otsego and Maumee and Toledo School for the Arts,…


Dream comes true in Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sky Frishman is an old hand at playing Cinderella. The 2017 graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts first played Cinderella when was 9 in the Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale.” “In My Own Little Corner” from the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has even been her go-to song for showcases and auditions. Now Frishman gets to put that favorite tune in context as the lead in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “Cinderella.” The musical runs June 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School. “Cinderella has always been one of my dream roles,” she said. Director Cassie Greenlee said the familiarity of the story is part of the attraction. Everyone knows the tale. That allows room for interpretation. The tale has lessons to teach. The story is about choice, she said, about how people choose to act toward others, talk to others, “and what happens when the choice is taken away from them.” The show’s featured bullies are the stepmother and two stepsisters. As the stepmother, Narnia Rieske is comically haughty. But the script explains that she’s anxious to marry off one of her daughters to the prince because they are running through the money left by Cinderella’s father. Not that the stepsisters (Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz) are concerned. They are too self-involved, two brats who are always bickering with each other when not joining forces to bully Cinderella. The pair do a great job on one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s funniest songs “Stepsisters’ Lament,” a deliciously comic number. Thomas Long’s prince also gets fleshed…