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STEM Events

On-Campus Event Highlights

2014-2015 STEM Speaker Series


"Adventures in Our Microbial World"

Tue., Feb. 10 from 2:30p to 4:00p in Room 1610 Des Plaines and via streaming live Room C240 Skokie
Jack A. Gilbert, Ph.D., Microbial Ecologist at Argonne National Laboratory and Associate Director of Institute of Genomic and Systems Biology at University of Chicago

Think you know your closest neighbors? Think again. While you may have never seen them, your body teems with microbial life. Learn how lifestyle, diet, and medical treatment affect your microbiome – and find out how these organisms influence your health, your neurological development, and even your behavior. You might even get the chance to have your microbial world sequenced and interpreted at Argonne National Laboratory!

"Problem Solved: How Civil Engineers Are Tackling Today’s Infrastructure and Sustainability Challenges"
Tues., Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. in Room 2816, Des Plaines

Didem Ozevin, Ph.D., P.E. and  Mustafa Mahamid, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., LEED AP

Explore ways in which civil engineers are addressing infrastructure challenges and incorporating sustainability into design – and learn more about the civil engineering program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Ozevin, assistant professor of civil and materials engineering at UIC, received her Ph.D. from Lehigh University in 2005, and has worked as a research scientist at Physical Acoustics Corporation. A member of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), ISHMII (The International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure), and ACI (American Concrete Institute), her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NCHRP (National Cooperative Highway Research Program), and NAVAIR (Naval Air Warfare System).

Mahamid, clinical associate professor at UIC, served as a structural engineer at GRAEF and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. His research interests include the behaviors of steel structure and connections, reinforced concrete joints, and masonry structure, as well as earthquake resistant design. In addition to teaching a wide variety of structural engineering courses, he serves on several technical committees, and chairs the reinforced concrete slab ACI-ASCE joint committee.

American Mathematics Contest
AMC 10a & 12a - Tue., Feb. 3, 2015 at 4:30pm - Results will be emailed.

AMC 10b & 12b - Wed., Feb. 25, 2015 at 4:30pm

Register here by Jan. 21, 2015 to guarantee your spot. After Jan. 21, spaces are available on a first come first served basis.

Two-Days Workshop on "Introduction to Robotics for Girls only"
Feb. 21 and 28 from 9:00a to 12:00p in Room 1550 Des Plaines
Spaces are limited. Registration is required.

College Math Competition
Mon., Feb. 23 from 2:00p to 4:00p in Room 1608 & 1610 Des Plaines and Room P104 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. 20, 2014 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.


“Guidance for Successful STEM Careers”
Tue., March 3, at 1 p.m., Room 1604, Des Plaines
Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, PhD, VP for Global Academic & Research Relations for Elsevier

Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, PhD, is the VP for Global Academic & Research Relations for Elsevier where she is focused on how insight from data and analytics guide strategic planning for the research enterprise. Dr. Falk-Krzesinski’s engagement emphasizes strategic alliances around important issues for research/research training, such as: research analytics/metrics, economic development, early career researcher development, scholarly communication/open access, and expertise discovery/collaboration. Dr. Falk-Krzesinski serves on the Business Steering Group for ORCID and on the External Scientific Panel for the NIH's BEST Program.

Prior to joining Elsevier, Dr. Falk-Krzesinski had been a faculty member in arts & sciences and medicine at Northwestern University where she led initiatives related to research development, grantsmanship, and team science. She facilitated trans-institutional grant programs with a special interest on approaches to evaluating collaboration and interdisciplinary research. She retained a faculty appointment at Northwestern where she continues to teach grantsmanship courses in the Philanthropy and Nonprofit program.

Through her leadership with the Annual International Science of Team Science Conference, Dr. Falk-Krzesinski has been instrumental in developing a strong community of practice for team science and interdisciplinary research.  She also launched the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), serving as the organization's founding president.  Dr. Falk-Krzesinski has developed a number of STEM related career development programs with a special emphasis on early career scientists and women.
Dr. Falk-Krzesinski is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Chicago with a BS in Biological Sciences and Chemistry.  She earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Two-Days Workshop on "Robotics for Girls only, Take II"
Sat., Mar. 7 and Mar. 14 from 9:00a to 12:00p in Room 1550 Des Plaines
Spaces are limited. Registration is required.

Womens and Gender Studies Conference
Evening of Thu., Mar. 26 and Fri, Mar. 27, 2015

Veronica Arreola, assistant director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender and the director of their Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on "Glitter Science"


Skyway STEM Poster Competition
Fri., Apr. 17, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Prairie State College, 202 S Halsted St, Chicago Heights, IL 60411

USA Science +  Engineering Festival at Oakton
Sat., Apr. 25, 2015
Open Session from 10:00a to 2:30p in Rooms 1608 and 1610 Des Plaines


College Math Competition Award Ceremony
Mon., May 4 at 3:30p in Room 1550 Des Plaines

Guest Speaker: Eugenia Cheng., Ph.D., senior lecturer at University of Chicago and University of Sheffield and author of "How to Bake Pi"

STEM Students Symposium
Tue., May 5 from 3:00p to 5:00p in Room 1550 Des Plaines
Wed., May 6 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.

Preview of 2015-2016

9th Annual Conference for Promoting STEM for Educators
Nov. 6, 2015 at 8:30am to 3:00pm

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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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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