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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Cleveland STEM Tour
2013 State Winter Games in need of volunteers
Hesch attends conference
What's happening at VCSU and in Valley City...
December & January Birthdays

The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter is published weekly during the academic year. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 4:30 pm the preceding Friday.

Cleveland STEM Tour

Cleveland STEM Tour
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of December 24, 2012.

Valley City State University launched the Great Plains STEM Education Center in 2010. The Center was established by funding through a federal grant with the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The mission of VCSU's STEM Center is to, "provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and training for K-12 students and teachers as an essential step in increasing the technology and engineering capacity of the U.S. workforce."

One of VCSU's key partners with the development of the STEM Center has been an organization known as TIES (Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM). TIES is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and is widely regarded as a national leader in STEM Education. Last week, representatives from our STEM Center along with other North Dakota K-12 leaders and I traveled to Cleveland to learn more about innovative STEM efforts in Ohio. While there, we met with officials from TIES, Cleveland State University, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Lorain County Community College.

A highlight of the trip was visiting the MC2 STEM High School in Cleveland. MC2 STEM HS is a project-based school where students actively learn in various settings. The high school's 9th grade campus is at the Great Lakes Science Center museum and its 10th grade campus is located at General Electric Lighting Division's world headquarters (both the GE campus and the Science Center are in Cleveland). During the 11th and 12th grades, the MC2 STEM students complete internships and apprenticeships throughout Cleveland, and are not in a traditional physical school setting. Additionally, these high school students attend classes year-round (10 weeks of class followed by a three week break for four terms) and have the option to receive college credits. Students are rewarded for mastery of subject, not seat time.

The MC2 STEM school was named one of America's three best urban high schools for 2012 by the National Center for Urban School Transformation. In addition, 100% of the students enrolled at MC2 STEM are on free and reduced lunch programs. Over 80% of the students are proficient in science, mathematics, reading, and writing. These are students who, despite some potentially challenging odds, are succeeding in an innovative school setting and are clearly exceeding expectations.

At Lorain County Community College, we toured the first Fab Lab ever installed in the U.S. at a location outside the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a concept developed by MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. The idea of a fab lab is to provide a widespread means for innovation and invention through project-based learning. Fab labs are equipped with laser cutters, milling machines, programming tools, software, prototyping equipment, and computers to enhance the student's real-world learning. There are now approximately 110 fab labs throughout the world, and they are typically 'open-source,' meaning individuals from across the globe can share knowledge and ideas.

VCSU has long been a leader in teacher-education, and the work through our Great Plains STEM Education Center is yet another example of this leadership and innovation. Without a doubt, new methods and ideas embodied through STEM teaching practices will be vital to our nation's success in the years ahead. VCSU is committed to educating the next generation of world-class teachers who will teach and educate tomorrow's leaders, and we know STEM Education will be a critical element in these efforts.

2013 State Winter Games in need of volunteers

For the second consecutive year, the community of Valley City and surrounding area will host the Special Olympics North Dakota (SOND) State Winter Games. This winter's games will take place on Friday and Saturday, January 18-19, 2013.

More than 150 Special Olympic athletes, children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and Unified Partners from throughout North Dakota will complete in the two-day event for the chance to be a state champion. Events include alpine skiing, cross country skiing, showshoe racing, and unified team handball.

Individual and groups are offered the opportunity to volunteer in many areas including:
facilities set up and support
team handball timers and scorekeepers
cross country skiing and showshoe racing competition support
alpine skiing competition support
athlete meal preparation and distribution
all-tournament team support

To learn more about the State Winter Games or to sign up as a volunteer contact SOND Director of Sports Reid Huttunen at 701.746.0331 or email YOU can make a difference by volunteering.

For more information on Special Olympics North Dakota visit their website at

You can also "like" them on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter @SONorthDakota.

Hesch attends conference

Hesch attends conference
Valley City State University Assistant director for Advancement and Alumni Relations Kim Hesch attended the annual conference of the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), December 9-11 in Chicago.

The conference was a combination of two districts of higher education professionals from 14 states with over 1,400 in attendance. The conference included topics in the categories of communication & marketing, alumni relations, fundraising, and professional development. In the 90 sessions available, Hesch attended sessions on social media, connecting with young alumni, alumni engagement, and donor relations. The Conference also included a resource center with over 80 vendors. Hesch looks forward to implementing several new ideas with some of the activities planned yet this academic year and will definitely try some other ideas as they plan for next fall.

What's happening at VCSU and in Valley City ...

What\'s happening at VCSU and in Valley City ...
Wednesday, December 26

Kwanzaa begins

Thursday, December 27

Friday, December 28

2:00 pm EST Viking women's basketball vs Concordia University, Naples, FL

Saturday, December 29

4:00 pm EST Viking women's basketball vs Daemen College, Naples, FL
TBA PST Viking men's basketball at Whittier College Tournament, Whittier, CA

Sunday, December 30

TBA PST Viking men's basketball at Whittier College Tournament, Whittier, CA

Monday, December31

New Year's Eve
Pay Day

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day

Wednesday, January 2

Thursday, January 3

Friday, January 4

5:30 pm Viking women's basketball vs University of Minnesota – Morris, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking men's basketball vs University of Minnesota – Morris, W.E. Osmon

Saturday, January 5

Sunday, January 6

4:00 pm MST Viking men's basketball at Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, SD