July/August 2020

Jeff Beneke
Northeast Regional
STEM Manager 




Upcoming Events 

August 11
August 23
Teacher Nominations Open
October 5

Have an event
coming up? 

Northeast Region
of the Iowa 
 Governor's STEM Advisory Council

 Advisory Board

Sue Burrack
Upper Iowa University

Lisa Chizek
Iowa State University

Kendra Crooks
 Chickasaw County Extension and Outreach

 Kelly Cooper
 Dubuque Area
Labor-Management Council

 Larry Escalada
 University of
Northern Iowa

 Heather Fransen

Gena Gesing
  Northeast Iowa Community College

Seth Harms
West Delaware
High School

Doreen Hayek
 University of
Northern Iowa

Ellen Heuer
 Martin Brothers Distributing

 Jason Martin-Hiner
 Keystone Area
Education Agency

Kim Miller
TDS Automation

Allison Plunkett
John Deere

Miriam Ohrt
John Deere

Anderson Sainci
City of Dubuque

STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair  
is Going Virtual 
This August 13-23, the Iowa State Fair is going virtual.  The Iowa State Fair is home to so many things you can't find anywhere else and holds a special place in so many Fairgoers' hearts. The State Fair will bring a few favorite Fair memories and activities right into your homes.
The 11 days of the virtual 2020 Fair will consist of a daily theme, sponsor, activities, photos, contests and special videos so you can still be a part of the Fair, even though we can't meet in person.
On Sunday, August 23, the daily theme will be STEM. Join us for a virtual version of STEM Day at the Fair.  For more information about how to participate visit STEM Day at the Fair.   
Most activities will be posted on Facebook, but follow the Iowa State Fair on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for even more fun!
A full schedule of events (and there are LOTS) can be found at: https://bit.ly/33tBy2u.  
STEM Council Hosts  
  Twitter Chat on August 11 for Informal Education     
On August 11, the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council will be hosting a Twitter Chat for informal educators at noon entitled; " Re-Opening Informal STEM Education - Lessons Learned, and Learning Still"
Come out and hear what our STEM partners have to share. 
STEM Scale-Up moves to  
Virtual Training   
Approximately 250 educators across Northeast Iowa are attending STEM Scale-Up professional development training virtually this summer.  
Teacher Externs Share their  
Summer Work Experiences  
Teachers across Iowa who participated in the STEM Teacher Externship Program met virtually to share their experiences.    
Despite the many challenges of the 2020 Summer, six educators in Northeast Iowa worked side-by-side with knowledgeable and skilled industry employees who helped bring the classroom curriculum to life.
Teachers spent six weeks in a business during the summer and learned more about the business, participated in quality improvement discussions, and worked on a project relating the business skills to their classroom curriculum. Teachers earned a $4500 stipend and can earn 3 graduate credit hours.    
Below is a list of teachers from Northeast Iowa that participated in the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship program through the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council;  
  • Hunter Hamilton, Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School
  • Megan Hamm, Denver High School
  • Erin Hogan, East High School (Waterloo) 
  • Kelsey Knebel, Hoover Middle School (Waterloo) 
  • Diane May, West Delaware High School
  • Jenna Olson, Briggs Elementary (Maquoketa)
  • Alisha Smith, Cascade Jr/Sr High School 
Businesses interested in learning more about hosting a teacher extern during the summer of 2021, may visit https://iowastem.gov/externships-host-interest   
Teachers interested in learning more about the Teacher Externship Program, may visit https://iowastem.gov/externships.
New Members Appointed to the  
Northeast Iowa Regional  
STEM Advisory Board 
The Northeast Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board is comprised of a variety of stakeholders all working toward providing broader access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational opportunities and to promote STEM economic development within the region.
We are excited to welcome three new members to the regional advisory board: 
  • Miriam Ohrt, John Deere (Waterloo  Operations)
  • Seth Harms, West Delaware High School
  • Gena Gesing, Northeast Iowa Community College
We also thank Allison Plunkett, with John Deere (Waterloo Operations), and Doreen Hayek, with the University of Northern Iowa, for their continued commitment to the regional advisory board. Both will serve another term.  
'Thank You' to the following board members as they complete their terms on the Northeast Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board;
  • Mason Kuhn, University of Northern Iowa (board member since 2014) 
  • Bill Holland, JB Holland Construction (board member since 2015)
  • Jane Bradley, Hawkeye Community College (board member since 2013)
All three have served on various committees during their tenure on the board and will continue to remain active STEM partners. We truly appreciate them sharing their time and talents with Northeast Iowa.  
If you have an interest in serving on the Regional STEM Advisory Board in the future, please feel free to contact jeff.beneke@uni.edu.