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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Great Plains STEM Education Center
Mugan Recognized with RRVRC Pathfinder Award
Promethean Board Training Scheduled
Brownbag Seminar October 20
Instructional Design Tip of the Week: iTunesU
Congratulations to ...
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...
October Birthdays

Great Plains STEM Education Center

Great Plains STEM Education Center
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record this week.

Last week in Fargo, Valley City State University coordinated an event to help officially launch the new Great Plains STEM Education Center housed at VCSU. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM Education has been a major focus at VCSU, and this kick-off event to formally launch the Great Plains STEM Education Center was a milestone event in VCSU's history.

The STEM Conference brought together teachers, administrators, and students from several school districts as well as a number of individuals from various area colleges and universities. In addition, there were representatives from the business sector along with several governmental agencies to discuss the important topics associated with STEM Education. The conversations during the kick-off event focused on how STEM Education is critically tied to the long-term success and effectiveness of our nation. The United States currently has a shortage of students going into fields such as Engineering, Mathematics, and the Sciences, and it is clear some changes must be made to reverse those trends. The goals of the STEM Education Center strive to do just that. Tangible results of these reforms are underway in North Dakota, including the new STEM Middle School that now exists in the West Fargo School District.

Last week's kickoff event for the STEM Education Center featured speakers who are national leaders representing a variety of organizations dedicated to making STEM Education succeed. Time and again, the speakers reiterated and stressed the trans-disciplinary and engaged approach to learning required for STEM Education to be successful. Valley City State University looks forward to being a statewide leader in these efforts as we work to move North Dakota to the forefront of STEM Education. The Great Plains STEM Education Center, directed by VCSU professor Don Mugan, will serve as a resource for educating and providing training opportunities alike to teachers and students from both K-12 and higher education. The Center has already been active in providing meetings and hands-on workshops, and we look forward to offering many more of these outreach activities in the future.

As VCSU continues to expand its efforts in STEM and science-based education, we will become more proactive in partnering with the business sector. Students who are going into the STEM fields are preparing for many of the most in-demand current employment fields, and VCSU will take an active role in providing the necessary educational foundation for these important career sectors. The Great Plains STEM Education Center links closely with other initiatives underway at VCSU, and it will provide a key resource for the state of North Dakota as we work to ensure the students of our state are the best educated and most skilled in the nation. STEM and science-based education are fundamental components to North Dakota's successful long-term future, and it is exciting to have Valley City State University actively participating in these important endeavors.

Mugan Recognized with RRVRC Pathfinder Award

Mugan Recognized with RRVRC Pathfinder Award
Dr. Don Mugan, the Director of the Great Plains STEM Education Center at Valley City State University, was recognized with the Pathfinder award at the Milestones and Horizons conference co-hosted by U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan and the Red River Valley Research Corridor. In presenting the award to Dr. Mugan, Senator Dorgan said, "North Dakotans should be extremely proud of Don Mugan for his work to boost high-tech education initiatives in the state. Don's efforts will help continue to grow our state's future high-tech workforce in the Red River Valley Research Corridor."

The Pathfinder award recognizes exceptional achievement in developing and deploying technologies, products, processes or services in the marketplace that have a significant effect on the way business and society operates. Previous winners of the Pathfinder award are Doug Burgum (2008) and James Carlson (2009).

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education is an emerging set of trans-disciplinary teaching methods and content in which students learn how to apply rigorous academic concepts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to real-world problems. Its goal is to increase student engagement and literacy in the STEM fields and ultimately increase the number and ability of students entering into STEM-related careers.

The State Board of Higher Education approved the Great Plains STEM Education Center in June, 2010, and it was established $1.13 million federal funding, largely due to Senator Dorgan's support and influence. The Center provides STEM Education and training opportunities for K-12 students and teachers, and has formed partnerships with various national leaders in STEM Education including the National Center for Technological Literacy of the Museum of Science Boston, LEGO Education, The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, and others. Dr. Mugan has been with VCSU since 1973 serving in several capacities including the Chair of the University's Division of Math, Science and Technology.

The Red River Valley Research Corridor was founded in 2002 under the leadership of Senator Dorgan to increase high-tech research and development in North Dakota. Since then, nearly $700 million in federal investments have been directed to Red River Valley Research Corridor activities. The RRVRC hosts the Milestones & Horizons conference to recognize research, development and commercialization accomplishments in the Red River Valley Research Corridor.

Promethean Board Training Scheduled

Check out these times and places (BRING YOUR COMPUTER TO EACH SESSION!):

Monday, October 18, 1:00-3:00 pm: In the Beginning (Learn about the capabilities and basic information of this technology, including browsers) (LOCATION: Student Center Lower Conference Room)

Thursday, October 21, 2:00-4:00 pm: In the Beginning (A repeat of Monday, Oct. 18th's training) (LOCATION: McCarthy 254)

Monday, November 1, 10:00 am-12:00 noon: Intermediate Capabilities (Learn various ways to implement this technology into your classes) (LOCATION: Student Center Lower Conference Room)

Tuesday, November 2, 2:00-4:00 pm: Intermediate Capabilities (A repeat of Monday, Nov. 1st's training) (LOCATION: Student Center Lower Conference Room)

Attend as many sessions as you want!

If you have class during one of these time periods consider putting your class(es) online instead!

For each session you attend, your name will be entered in a drawing for a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet/Pen.

What's that? Check out this YouTube video

Brownbag Seminar October 20

Brownbag Seminar : Blackboard Early Warning System, Dashboard, and Course Evaluations

Join us as we discuss how to maximize results in your classes through the Early Warning System. Additionally, Diane Burr will lead us through the all-course all-online evaluation being implemented this fall.

When? Wednesday, October 20, Noon-12:50 pm

Where? Norway and Presidents Room

Lunch is just $5! Please RSVP to Shannon VanHorn by 9:00 am Wednesday

Instructional Design Tip of the Week: iTunesU

Missing class due to illness or a conference? Send your students to iTunes! iTunesUniversity offers more than 350,000 free lectures, podcasts, videos, and films from around the world, created by professionals worldwide. Check out the offerings HERE.

Congratulations to ...

Heather & Nate Kvilvang welcomed a new baby girl, Ellie Marynn (Ma-rynn) Kvilvang on Monday, October 4, 2010, Ellie weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19 inches. Ellie joins big brothers Adam and Griffin.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, October 18

1:00-3:00 pm Promethean Training: In the Beginning: Learn about the capabilities and basic information of this technology, including browser, Student Center Lower Conference Room

Tuesday, October 19

5:30-7:30 pm VCSU Tuesday @ Green Mill Restaurant, Fargo, ND
7:30 pm Abby Road Band, Lisbon, ND

Wednesday, October 20

12:00-12:50 pm Brownbag Seminar: Blackboard Early Warning System, Dashboard, and Course Evaluations, Norway/Presidents Room

Thursday, October 21

2:00-4:00 pm Promethean Training: In the Beginning: A repeat of Monday, October 18 training, McCarthy 254
7:00 pm Lecture Series presents Lori Orser, "Spirits of the Northern Plains," Barnes County Historical Museum

Friday, October 22

7:00 pm Viking Volleyball vs Mayville State University, Graichen Gymnasium

Saturday, October 23

Viking Cross Country @ Mt. Marty Invitational, Yankton, SD
1:30 pm Viking Football @ Mayville State University
7:00 pm Viking Volleyball vs Dakota State University, Graichen Gymnasium

Sunday, October 24