April/May 2019

Jeff Beneke
Northeast Regional
STEM Manager 




Upcoming Events 

May 10
Cedar Falls

May 10
Kindergarten Exploration Day (Keystone AEA)

May 16
Northeast STEM Regional Advisory Board Meeting

July 1
Educator training
begins for 2019-20 scale-up program awardees

Have an event
coming up? 

Northeast Region
of the Iowa 
 Governor's STEM Advisory Council

 Advisory Board

 Jane Bradley
 Hawkeye Community  College

Sue Burrack
Upper Iowa University

Lisa Chizek
North Tama County Community School District

Kendra Crooks
 Chickasaw County Extension and Outreach

 Kelly Cooper
 Dubuque Area
Labor-Management Council

 Erin Dragotto
 National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

 Larry Escalada
 University of
Northern Iowa

 Doreen Hayek
 University of
Northern Iowa

Ellen Heuer
 Martin Brothers Distributing

Bill Holland
JB Holland Construction

 Mason Kuhn
 University of
Northern Iowa

 Jason Martin-Hiner
 Keystone Area
Education Agency

Kim Miller
TDS Automation

Anderson Sainci
City of Dubuque

Cora B. Darling Elementary Awarded Computer Science is Elementary Grant

Governor Kim Reynolds announced this week the six schools selected to receive $50,000 grants each as part of the Computer Science is Elementary project. The Governor's STEM Advisory Council and the Iowa Department of Education are partnering with businesses and industries to support six high-poverty elementary schools in transforming themselves into models of innovative computer science instruction. The goal is to create more opportunity for their students and establish a network of computer science expertise as a statewide resource.
The six schools are:
  • Cora B. Darling Elementary in the Postville Community School District;
  • Denison Elementary in the Denison Community School District;
  • Lenihan Intermediate in the Marshalltown Community School District;
  • East Union Elementary in the East Union Community School District;
  • Perry Elementary in the Perry Community School District;
  • Richardson Elementary in the Fort Madison Community School District
"Computer science is a new basic skill that's required for success in a workforce constantly impacted by innovation and technology," said Gov. Reynolds. "With tomorrow's workers sitting in today's classrooms, we must prepare our students to be continuous learners and adaptable for the disruptive economy of the future."
From Left to Right: Jennifer Schutte (Principal for Cora B. Darling Elementary), Tim Dugger (Superintendent for Postville Community School District), Governor Kim Reynolds, Lindsay Salinas (Technology Integrationist for Postville Community School District), and Danielle Rose (K-6 Instructional Coach for Cora B. Darling Elementary).  
Thirty schools competed for the six awards, made possible thanks to generous support from private-sector partners who invested $350,000 total: Collins Aerospace as the lead sponsor, Principal Financial Group, MidAmerican Energy, Kemin Industries, Microsoft, Google, ITC Midwest, Alliant Energy, Technology Association of Iowa, Verizon, Paragon IT, AT&T, School Administrators of Iowa, Workiva, Pella Rolscreen Foundation, Merchant Bonding and Bankers Trust.
The six schools selected to receive the $50,000 planning grants will implement their programs no later than the 2020-21 school year with regular school funding.
   BESTSTEM BEST Lab Results      
The goal of STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers.  In 2016-2017 West Delaware High School was awarded a STEM BEST® grant to begin DelCo BEST.  
DelCo BEST connects students with local businesses to undertake real-world, work-based projects and create authentic learning opportunities. The school itself can present projects and pitch problems which have been identified. One such project was the school's chemistry lab. The lab had grown dated and potentially unsafe, rendering it in urgent need of an upgrade. After struggling to find a good design themselves, administrators decided to tap into one of their greatest assets, their students.
The project was pitched to the DelCo BEST class and student Karley VanTheemsche became the lead in this undertaking. VanTheemsche designed the new lab working closely with the Wisconsin Bench Company, Superintendent Kristen Rickey, the architect in charge of this project and multiple teachers in the school. 

It highlights up-to-date technology including smartboards, TV's and iPads. Students can even connect their cell phones to the TV and show the whole class a successful experiment. The design incorporates new desks that can move into pods for easy collaboration. One of the most important aspects is the addition of the new fume hood to ventilate the lab of any residual experimental fumes.
May 2018 Old Chemistry lab at West Delaware High School
(Picture courtesy of Claire Rausch)
December 2018 New Chemistry lab
(Picture courtesy of Danielle Krogmann)
Not only does this school benefit from a wonderful new design and chemistry lab, the student leadership in directing this project has enticed others to take part in DelCo BEST. One year later, students cite the "Chem Lab" as an inspiration for signing up for DelCo BEST. They, too, want an opportunity to leave their mark and legacy at their school.  
The next request for STEM BEST ® applications will open soon.  Eligible applicants may apply for up to $25,000 to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models, known as Iowa STEM BEST® Programs across Iowa.  For further information, visit https://neiowastem.com/stem-best 
STEM Festivals in April were STEMtastic! 
In April, the Northeast STEM Region held two STEM festivals in Northeast Iowa.   
A beautiful 67 degree day on April 6 resulted in 840 STEM enthusiasts visiting the Dubuque Area Family STEM Festival.
Quotes from participants:

Great event!
My family learned a lot   
I had an awesome time  
Exhibitors interacting with attendees at the  
Dubuque Area Family STEM Festival.
Hard to believe only five days later, on April 11, we were concerned with snow and ice when we held t he Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival in Cresco.  The poor weather did not keep away the nearly 350 people in attendance from engaging and experiencing 20 STEM exhibitors.    
Quotes from participants:

My son said this place/activities were amazing!  
Thanks so much 
Excellent activities!!   
Amazing!!!! Awesome!!!!!   
Exhibitors interacting with families at the  
STEM Festival in Cresco. 
To all the volunteers and exhibitors that made both events a valuable experience for the families in Northeast Iowa. 
Scale-Up Programs Awarded in  
Northeast Iowa
The Northeast Region of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council awarded 198 educators with one of the STEM Council's STEM Scale-Up Programs which will impact nearly 14,600 students in the region during the 2019-20 academic year.     
Educator training with the new programs can start as early as July 1 with implementation of the program following. 

The 2019 STEM Education + Workplace Partnerships Summit was held on April 30 at the Iowa Events Center. With a sold-out audience of over 1000 people, Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg welcomed attendees and ushered in a day filled with keynotes, panels, showcases, and breakouts.