July 2019
SC STEM Hub Newsletter
Dr. Sarah Derry, SC Regional Manager
Phone : 515-271-2403
Website : https://scstemhub.drake.edu/
Email : scstemhub@drake.edu
Calendar : Calendar of Events
Hashtag: #STEMinYourWorld
Externship Overview: Reignite Learning with the World of Work
Extern Andy Peterson NC
Over the past 11 years, 600+ teachers have been placed in externships around Iowa, with over 80 placed this summer. On July 23, externs and hosts from across the state met to discuss summer progress.

Executive Director Dr. Jeff Weld noted how externships help "bridge the world between work and education." Externship opportunities fell into three general areas this summer:
  • Mathematics & Technology
  • Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Lab & Field Science.

During morning sessions, externs shared their experiences and project plans. From city parks to state wildlife and water efforts, educators and agencies worked with STEM externs to improve Lab and Field Science issues across the state.

While extern assignments varied each day, many involved working with Iowa's endangered species, cover crops, water quality, restoration, bird numbers, pollinator concerns, natural prairie, and pest control.

For example, Tony Brack and Adam Harnack worked with Johnston County Conservation at Kent Park (pictured right in collage below). One of their jobs was to test water quality, looking at phosphates and bacteria. This school year, the teachers plan to take the project into their classrooms. Using Google earth and GIS, students will not only look at contaminates, but also dig further to identify the origin of those contaminates.

Katherine Carman (pictured top center in collage), Urbandale High School, plans to engage her students in a similar study that looks at contaminates and usage of urban water sources. She notes chloride is the metro's largest contaminate, so she will challenge her students to look at de-icing issues.

Kurt Larin of Des Moines East and Sam Edster-Mitchell or Norwalk Schools (pictured left in collage) externed with Des Moines Urban Forestry. They plan to pilot a program aimed at planting trees around schools with a focus of human impact on tree success.

In the afternoon, host partners offered advice on how to best utilize externs.
  1. Teacher externs are not interns. They bring their strong communication and organizational experience to the externship.
  2. Have several project ideas ready and be flexible once you learn the extern's skills and interests.
  3. There's a learning curve in getting to know systems. Be sure to schedule for that.
  4. It takes time to build relationships.
  5. Find ways to invite hosts into the school to contribute to projects.
  6. Invite administrators to meet with extern hosts.

If you're a business or organization, visit Iowa STEM Website to host an Extern. If you're a teacher, find out how to apply for next summer's opportunities!
Externship Details
  • full-time, 6-week summer positions
  • local businesses/ agencies
  • secondary STEM teachers
  • earn $4800 stipend
  • get one graduate
Baily Abbot (right), teacher at Southeast Polk High School, externed at John Deere in Ankeny. His Project-Based Learning plan for students includes designing a system for equipment tracking and ordering efficiency. 
Dean Lange (left), PBL instructor, Valley High School, tells the group about his experience as an Extern at Collins Aerospace in WDM. His project was to improve fuel flow efficiency. This year, his students will work to design a fixture to fit a system part.
Caleb Ferring , Waukon teacher, shows his project based learning project developed from his externship. He is holding the CAD design and welding instruction for the prototype of a desk organizer that his students will create in class this school year. 
  • Accumold
  • Casey's General Store
  • Collins Aerospace
  • Des Moines Parks and Rec
  • Des Moines Public Works - Forestry
  • Iowa National Guard
  • IPTV
  • Jasper Co. Conservation
  • John Deere Des Moines Works
  • John Deere ISG
  • John Deere Ottumwa Works
  • Kemin
  • Neal Smith National Wildilfe Refuge
  • Pella Corp.
  • Polk Co. Conservation
  • Vermeer
  • Webspec Design
Free STEM BEST Webinar Coming Soon!
Des Moines University/Central Campus BEST Offers Free PD
Above : Professional development participants receive expert instruction and access to DMU's medical school lab for in-depth, hands-on neuroscience investigation. Below : Kacia Cain and M.J. Spocter use their collective expertise to compose this specialty professional development.
This month, Des Moines University partnered with DMPL Central Campus to offer a unique STEM BEST opportunity. Des Moines high school students take part in a neuroscience class team taught by DMPL's Kacia Cain and DMU's Dr. M.J. Spocter. The course combines college-level lectures, case studies, labs, and research to prepare students for the academic rigor they'll face in their post-secondary options. DMU invested in developing community and statewide resources, and Central Campus offers a close-by talent pool.

"We are one community," said Spocter, who hopes teachers will reach out and use their local resources. "We want students to succeed, share information, and build relationships." Spocter suggests contacting doctors and nurses, but to also look at anatomy comparatively, which could include taxidermists.

This year, part of their BEST award was to be used to fund teacher professional development opportunities. This gives teachers around the state access to expensive lab materials, like human brains and related parts. It also gives educators access to the expertise of an award-winning high school educator and Ph.D.-level researcher. The afternoon involved an in-depth lecture, hands-on dissection, an opportunity to document with photos and diagrams, and answers to sophisticated anatomical questions.This fall, teachers will take the experience back to their high schools, teaching subjects like anatomy, biology, and psychology.

"We hope teachers take the information, anecdotes, stories, and pictures back to their classrooms to enhance what they're already doing," said Cain. "The experience also provides access to a vertical connection between what they're learning in high school and where they could work in the future."

This dynamic duo plans to continue developing state-wide resources. After this summer's pilot class, participating teachers are encouraged to form a community and continue connecting via email. Next year, they hope to offer an extended professional development class to Iowa teachers.

To learn more about STEM BEST , visit Iowa STEM's website. To learn more about DMPL's partnership with DMU, please reach out to Kacia Cain for ideas on growing your own program.

Beyond this partnership, DMU offers several student outreach opportunities, such as Girls Exploring Medicine and Science (GEMS), Mini-Medical School, Live...from the Heart, Campus Tours, and more. Visit the DMU website for details.
Light and Shadow Creates Endless Possibilities
Top left: Professor Allison Burgess presents the types of questions educators can ask to get students thinking and talking about light and shadow. Right and bottom photos: Using a box, cellphone flashlight app, and tri-fold board, teachers create vignettes based on items they have in their bags.
One of Iowa STEM Initiative's newest Scale-Ups is University of Northern Iowa's Light and Shadow. On July 29, 17 early childhood educators gathered to receive materials and learn a little more about incorporating it into their classrooms. The purpose of the program is to evoke joy, curiosity, and creativity through the understanding and manipulation of the science of light.

The program can be integrated into science, literacy, writing, math, or art. With so many points of entry, teachers can set it up as an inquiry station or introduce it to the whole class. UNI Professor Allison Burgess, workshop facilitator, noted, "The endless possibility makes this so unique."

Teachers who attended the professional development were excited to leave with materials. Dawn Johnson of Kid's World Daycare & Preschool in Centerville said, "We may work it into a holiday unit. We do a holiday lights tour with the kids, and it would pair well with that. A lot will depend on the kids' questions and where their curiosity lies."

Kelli Daly teaches kindergarten at Bondurant-Farrar. All of the PreK and kindergarten teachers will have kits in their rooms. Teachers will scaffold learning to incorporate various levels of science, fine motor, and spatial skills. A solid sense of spatial awareness creates a foundation in math literacy.

"We'll likely find a spot and leave it up all year," said Daly. "We have STEM Time and teachers encourage students to try everything. Some days we'll likely just open the Light and Shadow station, too."

Burgess said her goal for the day was that "teachers leave with a new or renewed sense about how to create inquiry-based learning opportunities...Sometimes it's hard to step away from the scripted approach." She wants them to be say to themselves, "I can put the trust of learning back into my students' hands, empowering their experiences."

To learn more about UNI's Light and Shadow, visit their website . For information on Scale-Ups, please visit Iowa STEM's website .
NEW! Project-Based Learning Clearinghouse Goes Live
Dr. Ryan Wise, Director of Iowa Department of Education, recently provided an overview of one of the state's newest programs, the Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning Website.

The website is dedicated to matching business partners with K-12 students in order to give them an in-depth work experience, bringing real-world application to their classrooms. According to Wise, the projects offer "ongoing, real-world, first-hand experiences" that teachers around the states can access.

Features of the site include the following:
  1. Businesses and organizations post projects with a scope appropriate for students.
  2. Teachers anywhere in the state can access work-based learning opportunities via the project board.
  3. Educators can also post the types of projects for which they're looking.
  4. Examples of past projects are available.
  5. Search by keyword, such as Job Shadow.

If you have questions, reach out to the project manager, Jake Welchans, at jake.welchans@iowa.gov or contact SC STEM Hub Manager, Sarah Derry, at scstemhub@drake.edu .
Want more STEM?
Calendar of Events

Scale-Up PD Calendar
Training complete.

Computer Science Discoveries
Training complete.

Engineer Your World
Training complete.

Light and Shadow
August 5 -- Light and Shadow, Bondurant
September 27 -- Light and Shadow, Grinnell
October 26 -- Light and Shadow, Bondurant

Making STEM Connections
August 9 -- Making STEM Connections, Southeast Polk
September 17 -- Making STEM Connections, Des Moines

Pint Size Science
August 1 -- Pint Size Science, Des Moines
September 10 -- Pint Size Science, Des Moines

STEM in Action
Training complete.

STEM Innovator
Training complete.

Other STEM Opportunities

August 18 -- STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair

For more events and details, please visit our website calendar .
If you're hosting STEM events, please send the details our way. We can add them to our calendar and social media. Email Dr. Sarah Derry with specifics.