Bennett Moore of RSM US LLP, speaking at the CBJ's Tech Untangled event. 
The following is one takeaway from the CBJ's recent Tech Untangled event. Check out this week's print or digital editions for more recaps and notes from the event.
It may have been overhyped, but blockchain technology is real and com­ing on in a very big way, according to Bennett Moore of RSM US LLP.
Mr. Moore said blockchain is, at its most basic, a "distributed ledger" in which transactions are recorded, distributed to the parties involved and confirmed in a "pseudo-anonymous" manner. It is an "append only" database in which information, once entered and accepted by the parties, cannot be changed.
Blockchain isn't so much a beneficial technology on its own, as it is an infrastructure that can be used to efficiently leverage other innova­tions such as 3-D printing, the Internet of Things and big data, Mr. Moore said.
Although it can be used in many types of transactions, one of the high demand business applications for blockchain is for streamlining inter­national trade finance.
In that scenario, the importer's bank issues a letter of credit to an exporter promising to pay when documents such as a bill of lading are provided by the exporter, showing that the goods have been loaded onto a vessel bound for their destination. Each side uses their own set of spreadsheets to record documents in each step of the process.
Using blockchain can eliminate the need for multiple copies of docu­ments and compress the time required for transactions, Mr. Moore said. The technology can even incorporate data from smart sensors to auto­matically make price adjustments in a trade settlement if, for instance, the temperature of a shipment in transit exceeds the contractually al­lowed temperature range.
IIowa's STEM BEST program now accepting applications 
The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council is now accepting applications for its STEM BEST program, which recognizes and shares model STEM partnerships from around the state.
STEM BEST model programs feature public-private partnerships between K-12 schools and local businesses, and are cost-shared enterprises that match the STEM Council's investment with local dollars. Working side-by-side, teachers and industry professionals craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for career pathways in the STEM fields of manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance and more.
Fifty STEM BEST programs have been awarded throughout Iowa over the past five years. Those can be seen at the IowaSTEM.gov website.
The latest Request for Proposal can be found online. Award recipients for the 2019-2020 STEM BEST program will be announced this October.
Para3CR Community Foundation to launch new learning series
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation will host Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago economist Susan Longworth as part of its first Community Learning Series event this Wednesday from noon-1 p.m. at the Community Foundation headquarters downtown.
Free and open to the public, the Community Learning Series is a new effort by the foundation to elevate awareness, generate conversation and encourage action around issues of community importance. Each event will have a unique topic, and the format will vary to allow for discussion and collaboration.
Ms. Longworth is a senior business economist in the Federal Reserve's Community Development and Policy Studies division and has more than 20 years of community development experience. She will present a study on what cities like Cedar Rapids can do to extend economic opportunity to all residents. Cedar Rapids was part of the study, which conducted focus groups in Midwestern cities whose economies are becoming less concentrated on manufacturing.
After Ms. Longworth's presentation, there will be time for questions. To RSVP, call (319) 366-2862 or email [email protected] . Space is limited and lunch will not be provided.
For more information about the learning series, click here.

Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids will offer a new English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement area for teachers as part of MMU's Masters of Arts in Education (MAEd) program.
The need for teachers with ESL certification continues to be a shortage area in Iowa. Mount Mercy's program will prepare graduate students to complete the 23-credit hour endorsement in 15 months. Classes begin June 3.
"We are thrilled to be able to provide the ESL endorsement to help serve the needs of area students and in-service teachers here in the Corridor," MAEd Program Director Dawn Behan said in a release. "We know our area teachers and administrators provide a high-quality education to students in Iowa, and we are happy to assist in providing the necessary professional training they need to better serve our most vulnerable student populations."
Teachers pursuing an ESL endorsement may also be eligible for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. The TEACH grant provides college funding for individuals preparing to teach in shortage areas at high needs schools.
For more information about the ESL program, visit www.mtmercy.edu/maed .  
Para5ACT receives grant to advance Tessera edtech platform
Iowa City-based ACT Inc. has received a grant from the national nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund to advance its work on social and emotional skills among learners.
The grant, which is typically awarded to early-stage innovators and educators, rather than established organizations such as ACT, will support further development of ACT Tessera, a social and emotional skills measurement program, including the ability to conduct critical research among underserved learners, according to the nonprofit. Funding will also provide a real-world application to demonstrate the efficacy of the ACT Tessera Teacher Playbook for improving social and emotional skills.
"We are very proud and excited to have won this grant, which will assist our efforts to help students, particularly those who are underserved, succeed both in and out of school," Jim Larimore, chief officer for the ACT's Center for Equity in Learning, said in a statement. "We are committed to leveling the playing field for all students, regardless of needs, backgrounds or resources, in their efforts to learn essential skills and navigate their pathway to college and career readiness."
The grant is part of the NewSchools Ignite Expanded Definition of Student Success Challenge, a program open to innovators developing tech-enabled learning experiences, instructional content, learning diagnostics, administrative tools and other products that promote an expanded definition of student success.
ACT's study will involve approximately 14,000 students at 25 middle schools in south Texas who participate in GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a program designed to help underserved learners prepare for college. The research will be conducted over a full calendar year.
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stockCorridor Stocks

AEGON AEG 4.61 -0.06 -1.28%
Alliant Energy LNT 47.65 -1.07 -2.20%
Casey's General Stores CASY 133.11 -0.17 -0.13%
Deere & Company DE 137.57 -1.38 -0.99%
Dow Jones ^DJI 25,347.77 -237.92 -0.93%
General Mills GIS 51.09 -1.72 -3.26%
GoDaddy GDDY 75.28 0.49 0.66%
Great Western Bank GWB 32.24 -0.71 -2.15%
Heartland Express HTLD 18.67 -0.25 -1.32%
KemPharm KMPH 1.67 -0.02 -1.18%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 94.85 -0.53 -0.56%
MidWestOne MOFG 27.89 -0.25 -0.89%
Pearson PSO 10.17 -0.01 -0.10%
Pepsico PEP 127.63 -1.87 -1.44%
Principal Financial PFG 54.12 -0.10 -0.18%
QCR Holdings QCRH 33.07 -0.37 -1.11%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 2,802.39 -23.67 -0.84%
Procter & Gamble PG 104.46 -2.23 -2.09%
United Fire Group UFCS 47.77 0.12 0.25%
U.S. Bank USB 50.67 -0.66 -1.29%
United Technologies UTX 129.92 -1.48 -1.13%
Wells Fargo WFC 45.59 -0.58 -1.26%
West Bank WTBA 21.40 -0.10 -0.47%
Whirlpool WHR 122.50 -2.39 -1.91%
Short-Term Event Planner
May 29
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more . Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MillionCupsIC/ .
Investing on Tap, by Hills Bank, 4:30-6 p.m., Tin Roost, 840 W. Penn St., North Liberty. Join Hills Bank Wealth Management for drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Candice Tse from Goldman Sachs Asset Management will share a summary of trends in socially responsible investing. Free. Register at HillsBank.com/BusinessAcademy.
June 1
The Views Grand Opening, by The Views Senior Living, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 720 Oakbrook Drive, Marion. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and live music while touring the new senior living community. Free. For more information, visit viewsofmarion.com. 
June 5
Fastest Growing Companies, by Corridor Business Journal, 5:30-8 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 350 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids. A ranking of the region's 25 fastest-growing companies will be revealed, culminating in the announcement of the No. 1 Fastest Growing Company. The CEO of the Fastest Growing Company and the 2019 TLC Associates Entrepreneur of the Year will share their stories. Tickets: $55 until May 29; $70 after. For more information or to register, visit corridorbusiness.com/events  or contact Ashley Levitt at  [email protected] or (319) 665-6397, ext. 311.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
With the expected approval of the Cedar Rapids City Council Tuesday, Automated Traffic Enforcement cameras, or ATE's, will start issuing tickets on June 1. For the first month, the tickets will be sent out to speeding violators with a warning. But on July 1, the tickets will include a fine for anyone driving more than 11 mph over the speed limit. A series of court cases led Cedar Rapids Police to stop issuing tickets more than two years ago. But the cameras remained on, collecting data on driving habits. Figures released by Cedar Rapids Police Department show that once tickets stopped going out, hundreds of thousands of more motorists traveled much faster than the posted speed limit of 55 mph through downtown Cedar Rapids. That speed, police say, led to an increase in the number of crashes as well. The Cedar Rapids City Council has already approved changes to the ordinance police are asking for before issuing tickets again. The second and third readings are expected to both be approved at Tuesday's meeting.

Two people were hurt in a motorcycle crash in Benton County on Saturday night a little after 8 p.m. The Benton County Sheriff's Office say Dale Butterfield, 49, of Vinton, lost control on a curve heading west on 61st Street, five miles southwest of Vinton. He and a female rider were thrown from the bike and hurt during the crash. Both were transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment. The crash is being investigated by the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast
A front will be stalled out to our south this morning and begin to lift to the north this afternoon. There will be the chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms this morning and early afternoon. Otherwise it will be mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The warm front will lift north to around I-80 this afternoon and storms will begin to develop near and north of the front after 5 p.m. These storms may be strong to severe with very strong winds. Hail and an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out either. Widespread, heavy rain will also fall and lead to the potential for flash flooding. The front will remain stalled out in the area and there may be a few scattered showers and storms Wednesday. Otherwise it will be partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. The front will begin to exit Thursday and lead to a chance for a few more showers.