December 2019

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

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
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. 

Computer Science is Elementary in Denison Elementary
With funds awarded through Computer Science is Elementary, the Denison Elementary Computer Lab began its makeover in May of 2019. With the award money, the school was able to purchase a Chromebook cart with 30 devices, five TV displays, Bee-Bots, Dash Robots, Cosmos, Cubelets, and Spheros. Thanks to the school district they were also able to paint the classroom and purchase new furniture along with a green screen.

A Denison Elementary tech cohort meets once a month to learn new computer science skills to take back to their classrooms. This cohort is made of 15 teachers representing each grade level. The school has also established a tech squad that is made up of 2nd and 3rd graders who meet for 15 minutes every week. These students are taught various troubleshooting skills that can be taken back to their classrooms to assist their peers. Some of these 3rd-grade students also spend time in the computer lab helping kindergarten students log into their Chromebooks.

Another component of the Denison Elementary project is creating a new computer curriculum that will be taught in the Exploration Station during specials time. The new curriculum is also linked to the CSTA and Iowa Core Technology Standards.
Pocahontas County STEM Festival - ILCC

On November 8, 2019, elementary students from Laurens-Marathon CSD, Pocahontas Area CSD and Pocahontas Catholic School participated in the Pocahontas Area STEM Festival held in Laurens. Twenty area businesses, two community colleges, and several organizations collaborated to provide hands-on STEM challenges and activities throughout the day in multiple breakout sessions. A total of 450 students in grades K-6 enjoyed the collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication during the sessions. 
Lawton-Bronson STEM Festival

Preschoolers and their families attended a STEM Festival at Lawton-Bronson Elementary School on November 7, 2019.  During this evening session, attendees were introduced to the following STEM activities: the Ramps and Pathways STEM kit, Circuits, Ozobots, STEM in Action - Ron's Ramps, and Bee Bots.  It's great to see parents and their children interacting and playing together. 
Computer Science is Elementary Training from BootUp

Storm Lake Elementary and MOC-Floyd Valley CSD are taking part in BootUp training and professional development.  Teachers are learning how to navigate in Scratch and find ways to integrate these skills into their curriculum. BootUp empowers all elementary students by immersing them in practical and imaginative curricula that extends beyond coding. These professional development initiatives give students access to important 21st-century skills.  This training also aligns with the Iowa Computer Science Standards.
No Boundaries - Exploring Students' Passions 

No Boundaries is a STEM BEST program that helps students learn in passion-based, real-world settings by connecting curriculum with the community. Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril, and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts participate in this program.  For more information about this STEM BEST, click here for their November Newsletter. 
NW STEM Advisory Board Tours Diamond Vogel and Northwestern College
Nate Vaas, Human Resources, led the NW STEM Advisory Board members and guest Jeff Weld on a tour of the powder paint division. Ninety-five people are employed in the power paint division with lines currently at 70% productivity. 100 million pounds of powder were produced this year. 85% of the employees in the power division work at matching colors and adding pigments since human eyes are still better able to perform matches than computers. Additional staff include maintenance workers to keep production lines operating as well as chemists.

Powder coating is used in industry since this type of painting stands up better to UV light. Powder coating involves adding a negative charge to the powder as it sprayed onto metal which increases adhesion. The metal is then heating to complete the bonding. The board learned a new term: Metamerism - two colors not the same appear to be the same under certain light conditions.

After lunch, the board toured the new science building on the Northwestern College campus. The Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center is a great facility and learning environment for Northwestern students. Chemistry, biology and the nursing programs are housed in the building. NW Board member, Derek Brower, instructor at Northwestern, invited the board to tour. 
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:
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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