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

Mary Trent

NW Regional STEM Manager


 Send me an email!

April 2020

I want to start this newsletter by expressing my sincere hopes and wishes that all of you are healthy and safe.  These are truly difficult times that none of us were expecting.  I do believe that we will be back on our feet soon and ready to conquer the world again!  Know that NW STEM will be in force as soon as everyone gets the all clear and we are ready to meet your needs when that happens!  Stay safe everyone!!
~Mary Trent
STEM Scale-Up Awards Announced on 
April 7, 2020

STEM Scale-Up applications are being reviewed and award letters will go out April 7, 2020.  I'd like to thank the NW STEM Advisory Board for their time and effort in this evaluation process.  Be on the lookout for these emails! 

In response to the sudden shift from classroom learning to at home learning, the STEM Council has launched Teachable Moment - a collection of lessons and activities that are right at your fingertips and easy to implement at home. Students, parents and educators will find free access to resources from STEM Scale-Up Program providers, direct links to our Pinterest boards and some of our favorite pinned activities, lessons from partners and much more.

Check out Teachable Moment today at

Help spread the word! Share information about Teachable Moment and your experiences with the lessons and activities on our website using #TeachableMoment.

NW STEM Lunch & Learn - Spencer
On March 10, area businesses and educators came together for a Lunch & Learn at the Prairie Lakes AEA in Spencer.  The NW STEM Regional Advisory Board wanted to address a growing request from educators and businesses alike, "How do we get involved in education/business partnerships?" To facilitate this discussion, we have planned several Lunch & Learns in our region.  Around 30 educators and business leaders met to create partnerships.  Matt Hansen, NW STEM Teacher of the Year, STEM BEST awardee, and STEM Teachers Extern, presented to the group sharing ideas and tips to find, create, and maintain education/business partnerships. Attendees participated in a STEM challenge to exchange all 10 of the business cards that were provided with their contact information.  May we able to meet the challenge and several share planned events for the future!  Great event and we plan to replicate this in other areas in our region in the future.
 Apply to be a STEM Teacher Extern or 
Host Business!

 How many times have you heard a student ask, "When will I ever use this?"

The Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program aim to help teachers answer that age-old question.

During the summer, educators work side-by-side with knowledgeable and skilled industry employees who help bring the classroom curriculum to life. Teacher Externships provide educators with the exposure to answer questions about real-world application, prepare students for careers they may have in the future, and improve educational experiences.
Teacher Externships began in the summer of 2009 with a few goals in mind:

Create lasting partnerships between businesses and local schools.
Connect Teacher Extern experience with STEM content and 21st century skills identified in the Iowa Core.
Give students real-world career information about career possibilities right here in Iowa.
Give teachers the opportunity to see and use the latest real-world applications STEM disciplines in a local business or industry.
Teacher Externships are full-time, six-week temporary summer positions in local businesses and agencies for secondary teachers of mathematics, science and/or technology. Teachers earn a stipend of up to $4,800 (including two paid professional development days), as well as three graduate credits through the University of Northern Iowa's Continuing Education program.

Learn more about Teacher Externships by reading the Extern Blogs, FAQ or Brochure.

To apply, go to

Please contact for additional information.
 2020-2021 STEM BEST Applications 
Close May 15, 2020

To better serve our schools in Iowa, the timing for STEM BEST applications and awards has changed this year. If you would like to begin or expand a current work-based learning program, this application is for you!  For more information, visit:

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council has awarded 63 STEM BEST® Programs since 2014 with an opportunity to grow a series of community collaborations involving school+business partnerships.

Each awardee demonstrated through a rigorous proposal process substantive commitments on the part of school and business stakeholders to bridge these two cultures through education programs deeply interwoven with business applications. Working side-by-side, teachers and industry professionals will craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting career pathways in the STEM fields of manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance, and more.

Click here  for examples of Cost-Share ideas.
NW STEM Checkout System
(Suspended until further Notice)

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:
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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