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Dr. Laura Munski deserves credit for contributions to science education

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opinion Grand Forks, 58203

Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

GRAFTON, N.D. -- In last week's story regarding the moth month activities organized by Dr. Carl Barrentine ("Much ado about mothing," Page A1, July 24), the support and assistance provided by the Dakota Science Center's longtime Executive Director, Dr. Laura Munski, went unmentioned. Now is my opportunity to give credit to a longtime contributor to science learning in the Grand Forks community, Dr. Munski, Executive Director of the Dakota Science Center.

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Dr. Munski has worked long and hard to keep the Dakota Science Center alive as a virtual and hands-on teaching resource in STEM subject areas since the closing of the actual Dakota Science Center building in Grand Forks. She has worked tirelessly and, most of the time without pay, to support many community programs, activities, and area schools with their STEM programming, including Moth Day at the GF Public Library, which was part of the Library's STEM for Kids programming. She also contributed the following to the Moth Month programming: moth identification iPad activity, moth fan activity, moth game, and a moth anatomy extended learning handout.

In addition, let me present a partial list of her most recent contributions to STEM education in this region. Doctor Laura Munski has:

• Recently has become an official NASA Spaceflight Explorers liaison, which provides this region with exceptional access to NASA's educational programming.

• Has assisted the Grand Forks Library in the establishment of STEM Kids a program of out-of-school classes, evening family activities, public STEM events and LEGO Robotics programs.

• Is advising teachers in the North Valley Extended School Program on STEM activities that are tied to the core educational curriculum at each grade level.

• Helps organize and presents at the Young Scientists and Engineers Academy at UND each summer.

• Organizes the Water Festival each year that involves over 700 4th grade students in the region.

• Provides planning and support for local, regional, and state science fairs for K-12.

• Plans the annual Super Science Day for the regional community.

• Supports the Mayville STEM professional development for teachers each summer.

• Provides K-12 hands-on activities for many science-based K-12 outreach program provided by UND.

Without the hard work of Dr. Munski, these extensive classroom-ready STEM resources would not be available to area teachers and families.

I believe we should always give credit where credit is due and the article on the Moth Month program gave me the opportunity to do so for Dr. Munski and the Dakota Science Center.

Osowski is the Community Education Coordinator at North Valley Career-Tech Center in Grafton.

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