November  2020

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

John Bedward, Storm Lake
Benjamin Bouza, Hawarden
Derek Brower, Orange City
Beth Bunkers, Primghar
Eric Forseth, Sioux Center
Makenzie Reiling, Sioux City
Ginny Gunderson, Lake Park
Kiana Johnson, Primghar
Nancy McDowell, Sheldon
Jordan Menning, Rock Rapids
Teresa Putnam, Hartley
Brenda Welch, Meriden
Mark Zabawa, Spencer
Andrew Roelfs, Sioux Center
Tyler Hahn, Cherokee

NW STEM Virtual Coffee: Creating Business and Education Partnerships

RSVP by November 13, 2020 Register at:

Advanced Manufacturing Virtual STEM Festival 

We have had some really awesome participation in our first ever virtual festival!  Checkout our impact numbers: 
  • 653 students in grades 5-8 participated 
  • 17 Schools participated 
  • 23 schools represented by at home students
  • 63 parents registered their children
Above are some of their submissions of the STEM Challenges associated with our Advanced Manufacturing Companies.  Below you will find some quotes from students and teachers and links to a few videos submitted of a hydraulic lift. Also below are pictures of students working through the process from Inwood Christian School, Okoboji Middle School and Emmetsburg Middle School.

Elizabeth Lucas, Teacher at Inwood Christian, "It's been so fun to see some of my students take on these projects with such enthusiasm! Students who claim that "school isn't their thing" have really grabbed onto this hands-on learning experience! I can see students' minds working to solve problems and coming up with innovative solutions!"

Taylor Larsen, 6th Grade North Union shared a text with her mom, "We started the manufacturing day today. It's SO fun!!!!! And we are actually doing it all month. YAY ITS SO FUN!!!!"

Here are a few links to videos: 

Special thank you to our Advanced Manufacturing Companies: AGCO Agriculture Company, Jackson Minnesota; Diamond Vogel Paint and Coatings, Orange City; GOMACO and GOMACO Trolley Company, Ida Grove; GKN Wheels, Estherville; Interstates, Sioux Center; Pella Corporation, Carroll and Sioux Center; Polaris, Spirit Lake; Rosenboom, Spirit Lake and Sheldon; Sekisui Aerospace, Orange City; RJ Thomas - Pilot Rock, Cherokee; and Wells Blue Bunny, Le Mars. This is a great way to expose students to STEM careers in NW Iowa. 

Also, a big thank you to Iowa Lakes Community College and the intermediary department as well as our marketing department for making this such a great event! We hope to do another virtual festival like this in the Spring. Stay tuned!

STEM Essential Podcast - Season 2

STEM Essential Podcast Season 2 To Launch Monday, October 19 At 7:00 A.M.

You've heard STEM education is essential, but have you ever thought about why?

STEM Essential is an Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council podcast series featuring leading advocates and voices discussing the impact of STEM education on our students now - and what strong STEM education will mean for the future ahead.
Jeff Weld, executive director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, interviews guests about what inspired their path with STEM, how they view the current outlook for STEM and what they expect to see in the years ahead.

Tune in here.

New episodes of this five-part series will be available weekly beginning October 19 through November 16 and will focus on STEM Jobs of the Future. To listen to episodes from Season 1, click on the link below. This podcast is also available on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Teachers Receive STEM Scale-Up Kits 

Teachers across the region are receiving their STEM Scale-up Kits that they were awarded.  Teachers at Riverside Elementary in Sioux City shared some pictures and feedback with us.  NW STEM also sent out masks to our Scale-Up awardees this past month.  Looking Very Stylish Riverside!! 

Nicole Margeas emailed, "Just want to thank you, STEM Scale-Up Grant, and hand2mind for our Differentiated Math Centers.  With the light snow that was falling today it felt a bit like Christmas as we opened up all of our boxes!  We are excited to introduce these activities to our students and are eager to use them to increase mathematical understanding and the overall love of math! 
PS - Thank you for the masks! "

Computer Science Education in Iowa

Computer Science Standards self-paced course is ready for you on @AEAlearning. Earn one license renewal credit! Click here to register:
Access the Elementary / Middle School (K-8) course here
Access the Secondary (9-12) course here.
Graettinger-Terril Gets Wild!
Graettinger-Terril 4th-grade students recently had the opportunity to attend School of the Wild, an accredited 5-day outdoor learning experience offered by the University of Iowa. The program is interdisciplinary and aligned with state standards.  School of the Wild is a week-long program developed by the University of Iowa.  This program promotes student development in the area of environment and knowing what it is to be a caretaker of the earth.  
There was a variety of individuals and staff that assisted with this program.  This includes Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, Dickinson County Extension Office, Dickinson County Nature Center as well as the University of Iowa.  During this five-day-long exploration, students learned about woodlands, archaeology, aquatics, and prairie through hands on learning, problem solving and critical thinking.   On Wednesday, the students learned about the environment at Lakeside Labs through canoeing, fishing, observation of raptors, and Iowa State University provided drones to experiment with. 
St. Rose of Lima - Hispanic Heritage Lesson
Third graders at St. Rose of Lima School in Denison started by learning about guitar makers in Paracho, Mexico.  They took 18 cardboard guitars and they then decorated them.  Paper clips were added as conductive material and then they used a premade scratch program for them to play their guitars. Prior to the lesson, teacher, Angie Stangl, demonstrated how the Makey Makeys worked by attaching them to different conductive materials.  They even made a water piano!  Students learned how guitar makers in Mexico sold their guitars to help with the poverty in their town.  We had a few difficulties with the ground wire, but with a little problem solving they got it figured out!  Here is a link to see and hear their creations!
NW STEM Checkout System

NW STEM Checkout system utilizes the AEA van system to make deliveries and pick ups of all our kit.  You can find a complete list of our items and check out form here:

Please Note: Checkout items will be quarantined upon their arrival for 5 days and also disinfected before shipping them back out. 
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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