July 2018

Mary Trent

NW Regional STEM Manager


 Send me an email!

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. 
NW Teacher Externships 2018

NW Iowa was lucky enough to sponsor 6 Externs this summer.  They are in the middle of their experiences and have shared with me some information about their experience and some pictures.  

Megan Bezdicek:
Megan participated in a Real-World Externship at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory located in Milford, Iowa, on Little Miller's May in West Lake Okoboji. The Iowa Lakeside Lab is a part of the State Hygienic Lab. She worked in the Water Quality Lab where her main focus area was on the watersheds draining into Little Miller's Bay. She took samples and tested the water quality on three different watersheds. At each of the three sites, water samples were taken from two locations: the mouth and midway up the stream. Once the samples were collected, Megan then took them to the water quality lab and ran tests for total phosphorus, orthophosphate, nitrate, turbidity, pH, and flow. Megan was able to learn many new skills and gained many new ideas to help make her classroom more real-world authentic.

Joann Kenny:
Joann participated in a Real-Work Externship at the State Hygienic Lab- Lakeside in Milford, IA. She worked in the water quality lab. Her job was to study three different watersheds on the 147-acre property. In the water quality study, the water was tested in different locations, both in the middle and near the mouth entering Little Miller's Bay on West Lake Okoboji. The samples were analyzed for dissolved oxygen, conductivity, nitrate, total phosphorus, ortho-phosphate, turbidity, pH, temperature, and flow. In addition, an aquatic invertebrate survey was conducted in the same watersheds. She keyed out the organisms and compared with known tolerances to organic pollution. Joann learned many new skills while testing and analyzing the water; she developed many news ideas to make her classroom have more real-world connections. Joann can't wait to take these skills back to the classroom and use them on field trips.

Sue Jarvis:
During her externship at the Pocahontas County Extension, Sue was involved in a potpourri of projects, programs, and personnel. As she worked with the CYC, she was responsible for working youth implementing educational programs that promote the development of life skills. These programs are all researched based and supported through ISU. She also worked with the county program specialist through Agronomy. There were field days scheduled at various locations that examined planting crops, crop production, and weed control. The Extension works with several other counties around Pocahontas which allowed Sue to network and collaborate with several staff and departments. Finally, she was involved in the Pocahontas County Fair on multiple levels. Sue's externship aligned with her goals for her school garden project and gave her an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between ISU and her classroom.

Wendy Heemstra:
Wendy participated at Rosenboom in Sheldon. While she was there, she worked in the chrome plating department. She helped with capability studies on machine output by looking at the data gathered from the production floor. She also helped with data collection in the salt spray testing process. Another one of her other tasks was to enter the data gathered daily from each production shift into a spreadsheet to aid in the capability studies. Wendy learned many new things about analyzing data and developed many ideas to make her classroom more real-world and authentic.

Jacob Weber:
Jacob participated at the Iowa DNR Prairie Resource Center. He assisted with planting, maintaining, and harvesting various species of plants. He also developed a photographic inventory of the harvesting process that will allow for dated record-keeping. Jacob is happy that his project will be around helping future employees for years to come.

Matt Hansen:
Matt participated at Simonsen Industries in Quimby.  He has been helping to build spreaders and tenders which are sold all over the world. 
Future Ready Learners Conference

The Future Ready Learner's Conference was held on June 13, 2018 at the FFA Enrichment Center. Joseph Fuller, Professor of Management Practice and Director, Managing the Future of Work Project, Harvard Business School spoke to the crowd of educators and business partners.  He shared with us some rather surprising information about the state of our economy in Iowa and the workforce.  His findings supported the Future Ready Iowa Initiative and the work based learning experiences we are striving to achieve in the the state of Iowa. 
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 .
NW Advisory Board Tours Polaris & Spirit Lake Middle School Makerspace

On June 8, the NW Advisory Board toured Polaris Industries makers of the Indian Motorcycle in Spirit Lake.  Polaris bought Indian Motorcycles in 2011, only factory that makes them in the world. Indian Motorcycles has 2 lines: Scout Line (light weight), heavier weight line. Make 70 lightweights/day, 40 heavier weights/day. They test all bikes simulator, do not put seat on until end so owner is the first one to sit on it! 

Next, the NW Board toured the STEM BEST winner, Spirit Lake Middle School and their Makerspace room.  Rick Reinking presented a brief overview of their Makerspace for the Board. Spirit Lake Middle School has 4 goals for the makerspace: 1) Get students involved with Making and Maker Ed STEM. 2) Provide access to some new technologies.  3) Provide support for curriculum areas (PBL) integrating STEM.
5) Connect with local business, nonprofits, higher ed. The Makerspace has 14 station-based learning spaces.  Some include: 3D Additive Printing Station, Digital Making Station, Construction Station, Vinyl Printing Station, Shirt Shop Station, Button Station,
and Craft Station. At this time, 400 middle school students have opportunity to be involved in the Makerspace. 
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. 

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! 

Email: mtrent@iowalakes.edu


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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