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Office of STEM Education Current Projects

SPIRIT – The Silicon Prairie Initiative for Robotics for Information Technology is a project funded by the National Science Foundation, with key partnerships involving the UNL Computer and Electronics and Engineering Department at PKI and the UNO College of Education.  The project is developing a middle school touch point curriculum for the teaching of mathematics and science using educational robots as well as training teachers to use educational robotics effectively for STEM learning. For more information please contact Dr. Neal Grandgenett at

  • SPIRIT Curriculum - The SPIRIT Project is creating a touch point STEM curriculum that can be used to teach middle level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics.  The curriculum site contains hundreds of lessons, classroom resource materials, learning games, lesson illustrations, robotics artwork and a lesson management system.  The curriculum can be accessed at:
  • Nebraska Robotics Expo - The OSTEM helps to run the Nebraska Robotics Expo along with other leading partners that include the UNL Computer and Electronics Engineering Department, the UNL 4H Extension Office, the Nebraska Strategic Air and Space Museum, and Nebraska NASA Space Grant, along with other collaborators.  This event is held every February at attracts thousands of youth and adults in robotics activities, STEM presentations, vendor booths, and lots of engaging STEM activities.  Information about the Expo can be found at:
  • River City Rodeo - The OSTEM assists in holding a large open invitation event at the River City Rodeo, which showcases the use of robotics in formal and informal learning.  The RCR event is typically held every September.  More information on RCR can be found at:
  • Youth at Infotec - The OSTEM helps to facilitate sessions at the Youth at Infotec events, which engage High School Students in STEM related activities with a special focus on technology.  Infotec information can be accessed at:

EUREKA! Project - With the support of Girls' Inc and the SPIRT Grant, UNO hosts
a four-week summer camp for girls focused on
STEM, physical activity, and well-being. The girls spend over half of their time at the camp engaged in inquiry-based STEM activities led by UNO faculty and students with the hopes that the girls will later pursue careers in STEM. The EUREKA! Project extends over a five-year period with the girls each participating in two summer camps with three years of follow-up support. For more information please contact Dr. Angie Hodge at

Omaha Area Math Teachers’ Circle - In alignment with the mission of the national Math Teachers’ Circle (MTC) program, the Omaha Area MTC has two main goals: a) to engage mathematics teachers in problem solving and involve them in an ongoing dialogue about mathematics with students, colleagues, and professional mathematicians and b) to provide guidance, materials, and resources to mathematics teachers that will enable them to promote open-ended problem solving as a way of learning, thinking about, and practicing mathematics in their classrooms. Although the focus of the mathematics is at the middle school level, we encourage both elementary and secondary teachers to attend. For more information on our FREE Math Teachers’ Circle meeting. For more information please contact Dr. Angie Hodge at

Math Club - The Math Club seeks to provide opportunities to develop students' mathematics skills, leadership qualities, and provide social math environments. We do fun math problems, activities, and games and provide resources for students' to find employment, internships, REUs, educational partnerships, and conferences to attend. We also host events open to mathematics majors, mathematics education majors, and any other major interested in math. This gives students the chance to participate in mentoring relationships by learning from students at different levels in their academic careers as well as our advisors who are university faculty. For more information please contact Dr. Angie Hodge at

STEM Teacher Research - In collaboration with the Comprehensive Teacher Induction Consortium, UNO’s CADRE project has published and presented numerous papers on beginning mathematics and science teachers’ development and retention. Researchers, Dr. Sheryl McGlamery  and  Dr. Saundra Shillingstad coordinate the research program. For more information please contact Dr. Sheryl McGlamery at

FUSE - The Office of STEM EDUCATION supports undergraduate research in collaboration with UNO's FUSE Grants. The FUSE, Fund for Undergraduate Scholarly Experiences, provides up to $2,500 per student for faulty-supported student research and creative experiences. For details see the FUSE Request for Proposals document.

Proposals not meeting submission guidelines or poorly written proposals may be rejected without review. Applicants are advised to use available resources, such as the UNO Writing Center, to ensure that proposals meet the guidelines, are well written, and are properly edited.

Jenn Volkmer is currently working on her FUSE proposal with Dr. Austin

For more information please contact Dr. William P. Austin, Roskens Hall 212F.

The Academy of Inquiry Based Learning - The AIBL is an organization that supports engaging, interactive learning in which students are given ample opportunities to take ownership of their learning. At UNO, the AIBL in partnership with the Kelly Foundation has provided funding for professional development for STEM instructors who are looking for techniques in inquiry-based models of teaching and learning.  Workshops opportunities involve three-day summer formats (with academic year follow-up seminars and chat sessions) that offer topics for discussion of successful models for IBL, transitioning from lecture to IBL formats, question/answer sessions both beginners and experienced IBL instructors, and helpful hints/tips for a successful IBL course.  Workshops also involve planning time for curriculum development and implementation.  For more information please contact Dr. Angie Hodge at, Special Projects Coordinator.

STEM Concentration Master’s Degree - UNO Master’s in Secondary Education offers a concentration in STEM for secondary teachers. The STEM concentration provides teachers with the opportunity to focus on two areas of instruction. Teachers may select courses in science, mathematics, technology, STEM education, and engineering.  For more information please contact Dr. Sheryl McGlamery at

MTA - Math Teaching Assistants with Building Bright Futures - For more information please contact Dr. Elliott Ostler at Elliott Ostler.


Avenue Scholars Foundation - Avenue Scholars Foundation is a private foundation local to the Omaha metropolitan area that serves struggling students.  ASF Students become part of community of learners where they have access to community college courses and resources that are offered in a way that makes learning mathematics and science a way of thinking rather than simply as a course to survive.  The Office of STEM Education currently partners with ASF by providing both instructors for courses and for tutoring in math and science. For more information please contact Dr. Elliott Ostler at Elliott Ostler.

ESSEA - OSTEM helps to facilitate local coursework for NASA's Earth System Science Education (ESSEA) online course environment. ESSEA has more than 40 universities across the country that help to design modules for ESSEA courses, as well as facilitating local course options using the NASA curriculum. ESSEA information can be accessed at: For more information please contact Dr. Neal Grandgenett at

Nebraska Mathematics Professional Development Series - NMPDS is a statewide grant funded by the Nebraska Department of Education that is dedicated to improving mathematics teaching and learning across the state of Nebraska.  The grant funds approximately 200 teachers in 4 locations across Nebraska in 5-day professional development formats.  The Office of STEM Education provides instructional expertise and administrative support for this ongoing and very successful project. For more information please contact Dr. Elliott Ostler at Elliott Ostler.

Bennington Gretna Professional Mathematics Development Project - This project involves approximately 60 elementary level teachers from two local school districts in a professional development setting that focuses on improving teachers’ content knowledge within the context of relevant hands-on pedagogies.  The project involves a 6 day training format where each day is broken into mathematical content, hands-on pedagogies, and curriculum development and writing.  Topics are currently focused on Conceptual Fractions and Geometry.  The Office of STEM Education is participating in this program by providing long term instructional support in the participating schools and by providing professional development during the academic year. For more information please contact Dr. Elliott Ostler at Elliott Ostler.