August 2018

Mary Trent

NW Regional STEM Manager


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Northwest Regional Advisory Board Members
A special thank you to the STEM Advisory Board
of NW Iowa
Teresa Alesch, Emmetsburg
John Bedward, Storm Lake
Kathleen Bottaro, Sioux City
Benjamin Bouza, Hawarden
Derek Brower, Orange City
Beth Bunkers, Primghar
Eric Forseth, Sioux Center
Linda Gray, Everly
Ginny Gunderson, Lake Park
Kiana Johnson, Primghar
Nancy McDowell, Sheldon
Jordan Menning, Rock Rapids
Teresa Putnam, Hartley
Brenda Welch, Meriden
Mark Zabawa, Spencer
Your Community -
Your Events

Learning happens inside and outside of the classroom.
Learning can happen to anyone at any age.

If you know of any STEM events happening,  please submit your STEM event  
learning can happen anywhere, anytime, for  anyone. 

Governor's STEM Advisory Council
STEM is the foundation for innovative problem-solving and discovery through exploratory learning. It is important for teachers, students, parents, businesses and communities to connect and have awareness, and access to world-class STEM education opportunities. In Northwest Iowa, we are committed to growing STEM education and opportunities.
Northwest STEM Advisory Board Positions Open

The NW Advisory board has opening for a Science Teacher and Workforce Development.  The goal of the board is to provide oversight for the STEM regional network. The membership of the Board is comprised of prekindergarten through grade twelve school districts and schools, higher education institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, youth agencies, local and state government officials and other appropriate stakeholders. The purpose of the regional networks is to provide broader access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational opportunities and promote STEM economic development within regions and across regions where it makes sense. It is a three year term. 
One Teacher's Externships Story

 Matt Hansen is working with Simonsen Industries to develop a welding training program for untrained workers joining their workforce. He is spending his time welding and assembling products that they consider entry level products, mainly building hydraulic oil reservoir tanks and other small assemblies. He is engaged in these activities so that he understands what the expectations are for new employees. He is participating in the on-the-job training that the company currently provides and is developing a better way to train new employees within the company for welding jobs. He will be working on the welding floor for 4-5 weeks with the expectation of providing feedback on what skills or training activities can be implemented into a training program for new hires. His goal is to provide a brief, 3 week course guide for what younger employees should be exposed to as the complete their on the job training, essentially developing a training process that new hires will be walked through.  Matt is also collaborating with the engineering team on ways to improve or alter products that allow for faster assembly as well as less welding processes. Because Simonsen Industries is located in a very small town, skilled labor is always tough to find, especially people that possess the ability to weld the products they produce.  Along with taking notes over training processes to be implemented, he is analyzing products that can be altered to cut down on production issues. Matt reports that he is really enjoying the fact that the company is utilizing his teaching background as well as his welding and drafting skills to improve something that truly matters within their company.

Matt's school, MMCRU School District unveils a 2.75 million dollar industrial technology center It was an awesome night with 400+ people in attendance as well as many Iowa legislators and all of my industry partners.  He will be able to integrate his newly gained knowledge into the his curriculum in the new facility! 

STEM in Your World
Share STEM as you experience it in your world everyday! STEM is everywhere and present in all we do, so now is a great time to recognize it and share it. What does STEM sound and look like in your world? We will all find out at the Iowa State Fair on August 19, 2018. For more information, go to STEM in your world .
2018-19 Scale-Up Professional Development Underway! 

The 2018-19 Scale-Up awardees are enjoying some quality professional development to go along with their STEM programing.  K-12 teachers have been gathering, networking, collaborating, and forming cohorts as they explore the Scale-up programs.  They are also learning some STEM teaching best practices that they will then be implementing this year in their classrooms. Congratulations to all!
Checkout STEM Kits

Be sure to check out our STEM kits we have available for checkout on our website:  Resources Page  We pick up and deliver!  You can have them for an extended amount of time if needed. 

STEM Teacher Externship Year-End Forum

On July 24, teachers across Iowa joined in the forum discussions at DMACC.  Teachers and business partners shared their take aways from this summer's Externships.  Some comments shared were: "It was great to regularly feel uncomfortable, it helped me to relate to students and how they must feel learning something new." "Seeing people working in their area in which they are passionate for was inspiring." "It made me excited about science again!  To learn more about the STEM Teacher Externship, go to

Share your Scale-Up Story with Us!

Were you awarded a Scale-Up Program this year?  If so, please share your story and pictures with us!  We will share your story in our newsletters and social media. Invite me out to see the Scale-up Program in action! 



Check out NW STEM Website!

Northwest STEM Calendar  - Stay up-to-date on all Northwest STEM regional opportunities and even a few state-wide. Use this calendar to share your STEM events with others.
NW STEM Lending Resources - Check out the STEM lending library for educators and place you order online.
Don't forget to connect with NW STEM on social media as well!

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