Beth Van Meeteren is a veteran early childhood classroom teacher of 24 years with an M.A. in Literacy and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Her research focus is STEM + literacy integration in early childhood, with an emphasis on engineering. She designs and delivers professional learning and workshops on early childhood integrative STEM. In addition to work that includes journal publications, key note addresses, panel discussions and guest blogs on STEM in early childhood, Van Meeteren has authored two chapters within the book, An Inquiry Teaching Model for Early Childhood: Ramps and Pathways published by Teachers College Press, and a chapter in Lyn English and Tamara Moore's book, Early Engineering, published by Springer. VanMeeteren serves as Director of the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education and teaches early literacy courses for the University of Northern Iowa
Is your organization an official member of our Chicago Southland STEM Network? Please register your school/district, community organization, or business to be an official member of our Chicago Southland STEM Network.
Complete the STEM Network Membership Form so that we may create or update your profile.
TO STRENGTHEN STEM IN
ABOUT CHICAGO SOUTHLAND STEM NETWORK
By collaborating with partners from across sectors, Chicago Southland STEM Network takes an innovative approach to increase STEM equity, interest, and persistence throughout Chicago’s culturally and economically diverse south suburbs. Chicago Southland STEM Network convenes educators, business leaders, and community enthusiasts to celebrate and strengthen STEM initiatives and workforce development for students. We create pathways:
for educators to access professional development opportunities and learn innovative approaches to teaching STEM.
for industry partners to engage students in workforce development collaboration projects by offering Network Internships.
for female students to explore STEAM careers and find mentors through Girls STEAM Ahead.
for community organizations to share their STEM programs through our online STEM Network Directory,
Chicago Southland STEAM Network originated in 2016 and is powered by Homewood Science Center, a nonprofit organization which inspires scientific wonder, learning, and pursuit.
Free gatherings held twice a year. A forum to meet and mingle, the Network events showcase keynote talks and hands-on demonstrations from leading institutions including Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), and University of Chicago, making STEM expertise accessible to regional STEM stakeholders and educators.
Girls STEAM programming connects girls in 7th-12th grades with professional women in diverse STEAM fields. Girls build networking, goal setting, and communication skills with the guidance and mentoring from professional and college level women in STEAM.
Network Internships Workforce development collaboration projects offered in conjunction with STEM industry leaders along with Homewood Science Center to provide junior high and high school students an opportunity to apply STEM education while working as a team with other students and industry professionals.
STEM Network Directory
an online resource for regional STEM providers to showcase their programs. Families learn about programs through the STEM Network Directory, making STEM learning accessible in Chicago’s Southland.
List or find STEM programs in the south suburbs of Chicago!
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COLLABORATION PROJECTS
CONNECTED LEARNING STREAMS
Students learn by doing. Through the combined efforts of South Suburban STEAM Network, Homewood Science Center, businesses, and institutions, Network Internships are developed in order to create hands-on, inquiry and project-based internship opportunities for junior high and high school students.
Check back regularly for upcoming opportunities for students.
Homewood Science Center is sponsoring a conservation ecology based internship for junior high school students. This internship will complement the classroom science content on ecosystems reflected in the Next Generation Science Standards for middle school.
Led by Patricia Messersmith, Senior Education Museum of Science and Industry and Nicole Fuller, Chicago Public School Science Educator, 6th-8th grade interns will meet at Homewood Science Center and learn from experts as well as work hands-on at Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve where the students will share their volunteer conservation ecology projects with the community on October 18, 2020 during Homewood Science Center's WALK WALTON.
MI-JACK PRODUCTS, INC.
Students worked with Mi-Jack Products, Inc. engineer to build a scale model of the Mi-Jack TRAVELIFT highlighting the simple machines which make the lift function. Students presented their work at Homewood Science Center's PopUp SCIENCE Simple Machines on Saturday May 18th, 2018.
Students worked with Schneider Electric designing hands-on activities to explore energy conservation and energy efficiency! Students presented their work at Homewood Science Center's PopUp SCIENCE Think Globally, Act Locally: You can make a sustainable difference on July 22, 2017.
STEM LEARNING ECOSYSTEM:
A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
STEM LEARNING ECOSYSTEM
"STEM Learning Ecosystems provide the architecture for cross-sector learning, offering all young people access to STEM-rich learning environments so they can develop important skills and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math throughout preK-16.
Strong STEM Learning Ecosystems feature dynamic collaborations among schools, out-of-school time programs, STEM expert institutions (such as museums, science centers, institutions of higher education and STEM professional associations), the private sector, community-based organizations, youth and families."
South Suburban STEAM Network joined the STEM Learning Ecosystems in 2018.
JOINING FORCES WITH STEM ECOSYSTEMS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND CHICAGOLAND
As a nationally recognized STEM Learning Ecosystem, the South Suburban STEAM Network is recognized as taking the lead in STEM learning for the greater Chicago Southland region. Recognized along with EvanSTEM and the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative, Chicago Southland STEM Network joins a continuum of STEM ecosystems stretching across the Chicago Metropolitan region.