October  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 Advanced Manufacturing Virtual STEM Festival
Northwest STEM and Iowa Lakes Community College are proud to be hosting the third annual (first virtual), Advanced Virtual Manufacturing STEM Festival during the month of October! 

This festival is open to any students in grades 5-8 in the following counties: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Green, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Monona, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, and Woodbury. This event is FREE for 600 students in NW Iowa! Registration is now closed as we have met our capacity.

Manufacturing companies in NW Iowa have partnered with us to present you with a virtual environment in which students will learn more about the companies, their products, career opportunities, and skills needed to have a great career in NW Iowa! 

Each student that registers will receive a STEM Challenge Kit with materials they will need to complete the challenges. These challenges connect students to the products, skills and career pathways of the Advanced Manufacturing companies. 

We offer great advantages with this festival. It is completely online, so it can be attended at home or in school. We have it open the entire month of October so it can easily fit into your schedule. We have listed the standards that are met by our activities. Students will need little or no guidance to participate in the activities. We have prizes for many of our STEM Challenges. 

We'd like to thank our wonderful manufacturing partners: 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. 

For more information on this festival, please contact Mary Trent at mtrent@iowalakes.edu 
NW STEM Advisory Board Tours Interstates
On September 14, 2020, the NW STEM Advisory Board held their monthly board meeting at Interstates in Sioux Center. Interstates is a construction company with offices throughout the US and in Germany, with the Sioux Center office the original site. Interstates partners with companies to understand what they need using an innovative approach (collecting data to develop more efficient products). Three main goals are identified:

1. Provide opportunities for people (apprenticeships, leadership development)
2. Make a difference with clients (be competitive, grow as organization)
3. Pursue a better way (technological opportunities, collaborations through software components)

Training Facility, Allan Hill, shared with us that Interstates also offers an electrical apprenticeship program to provide training to workers onsite. Workers are moved up the pay scale after successful completion of training modules. Individuals must be 18 years old to enroll. Interstates works in collaboration with NCC. Currently online training is occurring which is beneficial in that travel time/hotel stays are no longer required. The down side is not being able to meet others. Interstates has an extensive apprenticeship program, training individuals on site. It also participated in the STEM Externship program this summer by hosting 2 local educators.

InterFab, David Vander Tuin, shared with us that InterFab is involved in metal fabrication of rigid conduit in Sioux Center. Structures are built on site and shipped to companies. 99% begin as 3D models. Custom fabricators need to be curious, have real world math and program solving skills, and grit. Each day brings something different, a new challenge to address.  99% of employees are based in the Sioux Center office so have very little travel time. Field electricians are involved in setup throughout the country.  Interstates workforce is reflective of the industry standard with 85% male, though they intentionally hire the vast majority of females that apply. 

Austin Sudtelgte shared with us that Interstates uses VR and AR is product design and development. Clients are able to "walk through" designs virtually to approve and identify problems early in creation. Future capabilities include use for industry training and implementation of a live model which will allow changes to appear instantly. Benefits include improvements in customer support by offering remote assistance.

Special thank you to all Andrew Roelfs, NW STEM Advisory Board Member and all at Interstates for a fabulous and safe tour! 
STEM Scale-Up 2020 Programs

242 educators in NW Iowa took part in the 2020 STEM Scale-Up professional development trainings this summer as a part of their STEM Scale-Up award.  As trainings are winding down, some of the program materials and kits are being sent out to the educators.

Sandy Groom-Meeks, MOC-Floyd Valley received her STEM in Action Kits and had this to share,

"I received the STEM in Action kits this week. WOW! The training was great and I'm eagerly going through all the teacher guides and lessons. THANK YOU so much for your generous provision of materials! I'm eager to get started (as much as COVID allows!)."

Many of our NW Educators are patiently waiting the arrival of their materials, never fear, soon all materials will be delivered.  We appreciate your patience with us. 
We are seeking STEM Programs to join our Scale-Up Menu
Deadline is October 5, 2020

Nominate an Iowa STEM Teacher!
Deadline is October 9, 2020

Recognize Outstanding Iowa STEM Teachers

Do you know a STEM teacher that goes above and beyond? Someone whose passion for science, technology, engineering or math has inspired students in the classroom and potentially to pursue future careers in STEM? It's time to recognize their hard work. Nominations are now open for the 2021 Iowa STEM Teacher Award sponsored by Kemin Industries. This award celebrates teachers whose leadership and dedication increases student interest in STEM.

One teacher from each of the six STEM regions will receive a $1,500 award for their classroom, along with an additional $1,500 for personal use. Deadline for nominations is Friday, October 9. Recipients will be announced January 2021. Nominate a STEM teacher today at https://iowastem.gov/teacheraward-application.
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: https://www.iowalakes.edu/stem/stem-resources/

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! 

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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