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STEM Events

On-Campus Event Highlights

2014-2015 STEM Speaker Series

"Innovation through Contemplation: the value of practicing Mindful Engineering"
Wed., Sept. 10 from 1:00p to 2:00p in Room TBA Des Plaines
Joseph J. Holtgreive, Lecturer, Assistant Dean, and Director of the McCormick Office of Personal Development at Northwestern University

In addition to advising students through his leadership of the Office of Personal Development, Joe is an educator, counselor, and trained mediator. Joe has collaborated with colleagues across campus to create and deliver curriculum on mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and design thinking. Joe is also an inventor and coaches students on innovation and entrepreneurship. Joe is an industrial engineering graduate of Northwestern University and holds a EdM from Harvard University's School of Education. Joe works in partnership with Thinking Within as a collaborator and educator.

College Math Competition
Tue., Oct. 21 from 1:00p to 3:00p in Room 1606 Des Plaines and Room P103 Skokie

Oakton students are welcome to participate in this one-hour competition. The level of competition questions is precalculus mathematics. Questions are from a standard syllabus in College Algebra and Trigonometry and may involve precalculus algebra, trigonometry, synthetic and analytic geometry, and probability; questions that are completely self-contained may be included as well. All questions are short-answer or multiple choice (multiple choice questions will have at least 4 response choices). No partial credit is awarded. Each student who participates in the competition will receive a certificate of participation. To be eligible for an Oakton award, a student must enroll in a credit course.

Students are permitted to use any scientific or graphics calculator that does not have a QWERTY (i.e. typewriter) keyboard. No books, mathematical tables, computers or questions are permitted during the test.

At the discretion of the moderator, students arriving before the end of the first hour may be allowed one full hour. Students who have classes until 2:50pm may be admitted at 3:00pm. The earliest time that a student can leave the competition room is 3:05pm.

The administration of this math competition shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in accordance with Oakton procedures. Please contact Dorota Zak at by Oct. 11, 2013 if you require accommodations.
Sample tests may be found at AMATYC Math League.

The top five contestants from Oakton who participated in both fall and spring semester competitions will automatically be entered into the national competition for an AMATYC scholarship. See AMATYC SML Rules for entry into national competition and award details.

For additional information about this competition at Oakton, contact Dorota Zak at

STEM Speaker Series sponsored by the Center for Promoting STEM and Oakton Student Government Association.

College Math Competition Award Ceremony
Tue., Dec. 2 from 2:00p to 3:00p in Room 1625 Des Plaines

Guest Speaker: Brad Wright, M.D., Ph.D., medical resident at the University of Utah

"The Incredible Shrinking Brain: Normal Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, and Neuroimaging"

The human brain shrinks as we grow old.  This atrophy happens in normal healthy aging and in various forms of dementia such as Alzheimer disease and frontotemporal dementia.  Can different patterns of brain atrophy be used for the diagnosis and prognosis of dementia?  Traditionally Alzheimer disease and other dementias have been diagnosed with a clinical exam and confirmed only after death with an autopsy of the brain.  In recent years, increasingly sophisticated neuroimaging and biochemical tools - such as FDG-PET, amyloid PET imaging, and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - have been developed as potential biomarkers of dementia.  Biomarkers based on MRI are particularly attractive because MRI scans are widely available and noninvasive, and already routinely included in the workup of dementia.  Our research and other studies have shown that quantitative MRI analysis can detect different patterns of brain atrophy and potentially increase the accuracy of clinical diagnosis.  MRI may even be able to make predictions about the future, i.e., whether a patient with mild memory problems will eventually progress to Alzheimer disease. 

STEM Students Symposium
Tue., Dec. 9 from 3:00p to 5:00p in Room 1550 Des Plaines
Wed., Dec. 10 from 2:30p to 5:00p in Room 1550 Des Plaines

Oakton students present about their findings in STEM research projects. To help us order enough refreshments, register here.

American Mathematics Contest
AMC 8 - Tue., Nov. 18, 2014 at 4:30pm

Register here by October 25, 2014. After October 25, contact Gloria Liu at for availability.

8th Annual Conference for Promoting STEM
Nov. 14, 2014 at 8:30am to 5:00pm

Contact Gloria Liu at for a copy of the powerpoint presentation.

USA Science +  Engineering Festival at Oakton
tentatively Sat., Apr. 26, 2015

Open Session from 10:00a to 2:30p in Rooms 1608 and 1610 Des Plaines

Representing companies and organizations include IEEE, Working Bikes, Civil Air Patrol, IDOT, After School Matters Robotics, American Nuclear Society, Optoelectronic Society, Society of Structural Engineers, and Society of Women Engineers

90-Minutes Hands-on Workshops from 9:00a to 12:15p, RSVP required by Apr. 20, Check-in at 8:45a Room 1610 Des Plaines

Topics TBA

Complete STEM-related activities may be found online.

Many Thanks to:

Oakton's Student Government Association who voted to support the 2013-2014 STEM Lecture Series. This will allow CP-STEM to bring STEM speakers to campus and offer hands-on workshops.

Oakton's Educational Foundation who awarded the Center for Promoting STEM a grant in 2013-2014 to provide an internship stipend to students who successfully complete STEM research course, present their findings, and spend a minimum number of hours on the project.

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Contact STEM

Joe Kotowski
Director, Center for Promoting STEM
Professor, Mechanical Design & Mathematics
Room B231, Skokie
Gloria Liu
Coordinator & Co-Director, Center for Promoting STEM
Room 2166, Des Plaines
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