February 2019
SC STEM Hub Newsletter
Iowa STEM's teacher "externship program helped me see the world through someone else's eyes."
-Lauren Buffington, SE Polk
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
2019-2020 Scale-Up Application Closes March 4

The  2019-20 Scale-Up Program application is now open through March 4, 2019.  Programs range from coding to hands-on biotechnology and agriculture projects to STEM career exploration.

What is an Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program?
  • Scale-Up programs are high quality STEM programs that are proven to increase student interest and achievement in STEM.
  • Educators who are awarded these programs receive professional development, curriculum and the materials needed to implement the program.
  • Most programs are at little or no cost to the awarded organizations.

Who should apply to receive one of these programs?
  • Scale-Up programs are available to in-school and out-of-school educators working with preK-12 students.
  • Some programs are implemented as a full course while others are integrated into already established curriculum in schools, libraries, 4H groups and troops among others.
  • Educators may apply for more than one program.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Sarah Derry.
Legislators and STEM Enthusiasts Gather STEM Day at the Capitol
The 2019 STEM Day at the Capitol brought together 32 exhibit tables, 200 exhibitors, and legislators from around the state. Sponsored by Collins Aerospace and Vermeer, the goal of the day was showcase STEM across the state, allowing legislators to see how taxpayer dollars and community efforts are spent.

Lt. Governor Adam Gregg offered an official welcome, saying, "We're making significant progress in attitudes and academics. It takes a remarkable effort, and the stakes are so high."

Guest speakers included STEM Council Co-Chair and Accumold President/CEO Roger Hargens and United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu. STEM has long been a bipartisan effort, with the legislative voice offered by Sen. Bill Dotzler, Sen. Chris Cournoyer, Rep. Cecil Dolecheck and Rep. Dave Jacoby.

Kemin Industries Vice President and General Counsel Libby Nelson awarded six outstanding STEM educators, including Southeast Polk High School's Matt Eddy, with a check. In her remarks, Nelson noted the important influence educators have on the future. "Teachers become the translators," said Nelson, "who reach out to students when they say 'you should think about STEM and doing something with it.'"

After speakers and awards, legislators, invited guests and the general public were invited to tour through interactive exhibits.

Photos (top to bottom): IPTV's Abby Brown and Dan Wardell stopped by to say hello; SC hub manager and board members Sarah Derry, Amber Pargmann, Allison Mohr, Ronda McCarthy, and Creighton Cox (not pictured) staffed the exhibit; Collins Aerospace celebrated their new West Des Moines office; World Food Prize staff members and Drake alums seek out "The Next Norm."
Thank you to the Iowa legislature for supporting STEM education!
Tips for Growing and Maintaining Partnerships
Pictured above: Students from Central Campus, one of this year's STEM BEST recipients, took a NeuroSmart class project on tour at this month's STEM Day at the Capitol, showing it to the United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu. How can schools build relationships with the community? Send their bright, engaging students out into it to share what they're learning in the classroom. Here they're showing the response nerves have to an outside electrical stimulus.
For over 20 years, DMPS Central Campus science teacher, Kacia Cain, left, has been building a network of like-minded people. Professionals who care about students and the future of STEM. Cain has received many awards for her work, including STEM BEST and I.O.W.A STEM Teacher of the Year. She currently serves on the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. We asked her to share advice for creating, building, and maintaining school-community relationships.

Top 10 Relationship Tips by Kacia Cain

  1. Consider various channels when seeking community volunteers/opportunities. Keep in touch with former students, seek out active alums, use social media.
  2. When attending events and conferences, make an effort to thank the speakers for their message. This is a good time to exchange cards, so have yours ready.
  3. If you're reticent about meeting new people, think about your students. Simply say, "Would you like to meet my students?" or "If you'd ever like to visit a class..."
  4. If someone shares a business card, follow-up with an email that offers an invitation or next step. Make sure he or she has an interest or background in the topic area.
  5. In the invitation, ask for help about a specific, smaller project in a short time frame that doesn't involve holding the attention of a whole class, like being a judge or extra eyes for a lab project.
  6. As partners arrive, have students greet them and make them feel welcome. Have needed materials ready, like clip boards, pens, forms, a comfy place to sit, a spot for coats and bags.
  7. Send a thank-you note. It's much better from the students, so have class members sign it. Include photos of the event, if possible. Send it in the mail, as people often save these to hang in offices.
  8. If you can't get a physical address, then do send a thank-you via email. Attach a photo of the class holding a big thank-you sign.
  9. Remember to bring in professors and post-secondary instructors. "This allows kids to interact with professors," says Cain. "Then students know they're not scary" as they consider life after K-12.
  10. Be persistent. Even if people decline or don't respond, invite them again, and/or encourage them to send a colleague.
Congratulations to five years of SC Regional STEM teacher award winners: Kacia Cain, Holly Showalter, Heather Anderson, Ryan Lensing, and Matt Eddy! Thanks to Kemin Industries for sponsoring the award across Iowa. And thanks to so many other educators who go the extra mile for their students and STEM!
Data Shapes Future at ICEC Winter Workshop
"Don't start a learning example with a problem. Let students find the problem to solve," explained Iowa STEM Executive Director Dr. Jeff Weld during his opening keynote at the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition's (ICEC) Winter Workshop, February 22-23. Hosted at Drake University through partnerships with the SC STEM Hub, over 50 educators participated.

This shift in education helped frame the entire conference and the importance of diving into data related to environmental science. This year's event, entitled Data Deep Dives and Field Experiences, provided the opportunity to choose one of three grade level tracks. Participants spent their weekend engaged in hands-on practice, learning tips and tricks, and modeling STEM-based activities.

Data plays such an important role in the future of environmental science. It provides a contextual gateway for infusing mathematics with relevance and rigor. Weld spent the last year working with federal agencies who want to align with STEM learning goals across the nation, and many of those agencies will make big data more accessible to the public.

Educators also learned strategies to help students and themselves feel more at home with STEM disciplines within the environmental science realm. In the past, teachers were expected to be the expert; now they're part of the inquiry process. One attendee noted: "As an elementary teacher, that you don’t need to know the name for everything is really freeing."

If you'd like to learn more about bringing the outside into your classroom, visit ICEC's website . If you'd like to know more about the federal report Weld helped create, checkout the full document here .
Some keynotes and facilitators pictured at right. Complete list included: Jeff Weld, Gabriele Villarini, Leslie Berckes, Linette Bernard, Barb Gigar, Maryanne Huey, Karen Koening, Jenny Koska, Kim Richman, Joel Van Roekel, and Peg Steffen.
Panelists from left: Kelly Bergman, Liz Siepkar, Lilly Jensen , Lauren Buffington, Lindsey Kasuga, Shane McQuillan, and Sarah Derry.
Externs Share Program Highlights
Three externs and two hosts took the stage during ICEC's Winter Workshop to talk about summer experiences. Besides professional gains, externs are paid $4800 and receive graduate-level credit. For Lindsey Kasuga, Des Moines Central Campus, the experience "changes how you notice things in the world."

Moderated by NC Regional Manager Dr. Kelly Bergman, here are their collective responses to questions revolving around one central theme: WHY EXTERN?

  • If you're a teacher looking to infuse energy into your career, consider externing. "It renews your passion to continue teaching," said Lindsey Kasuga. "Sometimes you have to get away from teaching to get ready to come back to it. I wanted to be better at my job."

  • When Liz Siepkar, Howard-Winnehiek Schools, filled out her application, she noted businesses where she wanted to extern. With a little extra effort from her and Iowa STEM, she spent the summer exactly where she'd hope to be. Now, it's going to be an ongoing position.

  • Lauren Buffington, Southeast Polk Schools, was looking for a way to show students an enthusiasm for learning. "There are students who aren't engaged when they sit in the four walls of a classroom," she said. "Once outside doing real-world work, they're excited and confident about learning. That enthusiasm carries over to the things we do inside."

  • If you're thinking about hosting an extern, look for projects that are always on your to-do list. "Throughout the year, I carry a notebook and jot down projects as I see them," said Shane McQuillan, Des Moines Public Works Forestry Department. "I try to create relationships where we do something afterwards with their students."

  • Be sure to plan your summer schedule with the six week commitment in mind. It takes that long to build trust and work independently with confidence. "Six weeks was the perfect amount of time to spend with the externship," noted Lilly Jensen, Winneshiek County Conservation. "Any less time, and it becomes more of an extended job shadow."

The application for summer 2019 is open NOW! If you're interested in learning more, please visit the Iowa STEM Extern page .

A fire for learning feeds itself and starts others. "I'm always looking for a way to spark passion in my classroom," said Southeast Polk's Lauren Buffington. "The externship program helped me see the world through someone else's eyes."
Top: Extern host Lori Foresman-Kripes tests the water with teacher extern Mark Pedersen. Above: Abby Tibbets externing at Kemin Industries.
Lucas County STEM Festival

WHEN: Thursday, March 28
TIME: 5-7 pm
SET-UP: 4 pm (onsite at 1pm)
WHERE: Chariton Community
(318 Osage Avenue)

Exhibitors register HERE !
Attendees register HERE !
Computer Science is Elementary
Apply Today!
Applications are now open for Computer Science is Elementary . Apply now through March 29. One school is each region will receive $50,000 to transform six high-poverty schools. Awards must be used in buildings where at least 40 percent of the students are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch.

To learn more and apply, visit: https://iowastem.gov/cselementary
WOYC Event

WHEN: Saturday, April 6
WHERE: Olmsted Center
Drake University

Free, open to the public! Bring your kids for a mini-STEM festival from 8:30-9:30, followed by a storytime with IPTV's Abby Brown.

Look for more info coming soon!
Ankeny Orbis Expands Student Possibilities
If your district is looking to build a college/career readiness program, consider utilizing Iowa's STEM BEST network . Ankeny's Orbis program was a BEST recipient in 2017 , and we've been following their accomplishments since. The Hub visited this month, and here's what participants had to say about the value of the experience:

On Motivation:
“The hand-holding is gone. The mentors are there for support, and the business professionals are there, but it’s very self-driven.”
– Tayler Bloom, student

“It’s been fun to make an impact on the world while you’re in high school.”
– J.J. Schraderbachar, student

“You can take your passions and make them meaningful. It provides meaning that’s really motivating”.
– Maxwell Smith, student

On Community Engagement:
“Work with local businesses and our entrepreneur partner helps me grow. I learn skills from the workforce”
– Maxwell Smith, student

Business Partner Involvement:
“I like volunteering my time to help Orbis students for the same reasons I enjoy building startups. My mentoring of the students is kind of like another startup of mine. It's even possible that I could take what I'm learning from this process and expand on it to offer startup mentoring to more people [outside of Orbis]."
– Jake Kerber, Entrepreneur & Orbis volunteer mentor

On Growth Mindset:
“Successful educators [in an Orbis/STEM B.E.S.T. model] know outcomes and processes to break traditional classroom norms and tolerate “structured chaos…Even in traditional classrooms, these educators [Joel Fox and Chad Brooks] were always about relationships”.
– Dr. Jill Urich, Director of College and Career Readiness, Ankeny Schools

“Be agile. Be good at building relationships with kids.”
– Joel Fox, Orbis Project Mentor

“21 st Century Skills is the focus here. There's an opportunity to apply content from other courses.”
– Chad Brooks, Orbis Project Mentor

If you're a school district looking for BEST ideas and seek more info, please email Dr. Sarah Derry or Dr. Jill Urich . Next month's newsletter will take a look at Orbis from a community mentor's perspective.
What is Orbis?

Under the leadership of Dr. Jill Urich , Ankeny Community School District began building a new college/career readiness program. In 2010, students named it Orbis, which is Latin for “compass.” It was to be a program that allowed students to map their paths to success, while working on real-world projects with a positive community impact.

After years of planning and piloting, the official program launched in January 2018. From smaller classroom projects to scheduled work off-campus, students choose between options that fit individual needs.
J.J. Schraderbachar models the tool belt an Orbis team developed to reduce ladder injuries by providing easier access to tools. The team had one hour to develop the concept, prototype, and pitch the idea at StartUp Storm, an entrepreneurial event at Simpson College.
An Orbis project team including Maxwell Smith, Ankeny High School senior, begin with their daily “Stand Up” – a practice from the world of work where teammates share a short updates on progress made on the project. Max came to Orbis during his free period last semester, after his friend Kayla told him he’d like it. And he just kept coming, even though it was too late to add the class for credit. Now Orbis is officially on Maxwell’s schedule.
Want more STEM?
Calendar of Events

March 4 -- Scale-Up Applications Close
March 12 -- SC STEM Advisory Board Meeting
March 28 -- Lucas County STEM Festival
March 29 -- Computer Science is Elementary Due
April 1 -- SC STEM Advisory Board Meeting
April 6 -- WOYC Event, Drake University

For more events and details, please visit our website calendar .