July  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. 

Gov. Reynolds Announces Six Additional
Computer Science is Elementary Awards

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council and Office of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds are pleased to congratulate six more Iowa elementary school programs with $50,000 Computer Science is Elementary awards to kickstart and advance computer education. This increases the total number of participating schools to twelve across Iowa.

Latest awardees:
  • Pocahontas Elementary in the Pocahontas Area Community School District
  • Franklin Elementary in the Boone Community School District
  • Hospers Elementary in the MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District
  • Storm Lake Elementary in the Storm Lake Community School District
  • Kingsley-Pierson Elementary in the Kingsley-Pierson Community School District
  • Whittier Elementary in the Clinton Community School District
The 2019 Legislature appropriated an additional $1 million for the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, which allowed the Council to designate $300,000 for the six additional schools. Private-sector partners contributed $300,000 for the first six schools, plus $50,000 for Loess Hills Computer Programming School in Sioux City, which inspired the project and will continue to serve as a resource. All 12 schools will start their programs by 2020-21.

The Computer Science is Elementary Project aligns with Future Ready Iowa, which sets the goal of 70 percent of our workforce having education or training beyond high school by the year 2025. The initiative also focuses on strengthening preK-12 education and career exploration and preparation.

For more information on Computer Science is Elementary and other STEM Council projects, visit https://iowastem.gov/community-partners.
STEM BEST Grant Application Open 

In 2014, the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council launched the first $25,000 STEM BEST grant application to help public and private schools develop authentic school-business partnerships to bridge the gap between school and career.  The STEM Advisory Council is now accepting applications for the STEM BEST® Program thru September 13, 2019.
  A total of 50 STEM BEST® Programs have been awarded throughout Iowa over the past five years. These programs are now creating new excitement around the state as roles and responsibilities for meaningful activities are created and refined in the K-12 educational area. Models feature public-private partnerships between schools and local businesses and are cost-shared enterprises that match the STEM Council's investment with local dollars. Further details on these awarded programs can be found at   http://www.IowaSTEM.gov/STEMBEST.
The goal of STEM BEST® Program is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers. The STEM Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to support the establishment of Iowa STEM BEST® Program models, preferably evenly distributed across each of Iowa's six STEM regions. Successful applicants will become an Iowa STEM BEST® Program model of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council.
A hallmark of Iowa STEM education is the connection of classroom learning to meaning beyond the school walls. Overarching guidelines are provided to assist proposers, though ample flexibility in design is encouraged to support organic development of STEM BEST® Programs which match local strengths, challenges and resources. STEM BEST® Program models are open to public and private K-12 schools. Past STEM BEST® Program award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs.
2019 Teacher Externship Orientation 

The 2019 Teacher Externship kicked off again this summer with 80 Iowa teachers participating in the program. Orientation took place in Huxley and Cedar Rapids.  Jeff Weld spoke about the history of this great program and prospects for the future to increase participation of teachers and business partners. 
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.
The NW Region has 6 Externs: 
  • Tricia Reichert - Emmetsburg High School, Science Teacher
  • Bob Grant - Storm Lake, Math Teacher
  • Nicole Cote - Carroll High School Physical Science Teacher
  • Rob Cunningham - Spirit lake, Math Teacher
  • Terri Cuttell - Spencer High School, Math Teacher
  • Kevin Kaufman - Okoboji High School Science Teacher
We are highlighting a few of them in this newsletter...more to come!
Terri Cuttell  
Terri Cuttell, a math teacher at Spencer High School in Spencer, Iowa, had the opportunity to work as an extern in the Continuous Improvement Department at Rosenboom Machine & Tooling.  Rosenboom is a family owned/run company that is a leading manufacturer of custom hydraulic cylinders.  They have plants in Sheldon and Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Bowling Green, Ohio.  While at Rosenboom in Spirit Lake, Iowa, she helped develop standard work for specific hydraulic cylinders being produced in a specific area of the plant.  Standard work is a plan to be followed in production that will allow any worker coming into that area to produce a quality product efficiently.  Terri, also, had the opportunity to meet with several other departments to hear about the jobs available within their department and the necessary qualifications to be successful.  
Rob Cunningham
Rob Cunningham worked through the Governor's STEM Council Externship program at Rosenboom Machine and Tooling in Spirit Lake, Iowa.  He worked in the Continuous Improvement (CI) department which focuses on creating a more efficient production site.  Rob has been doing time studies to help create standard work, or a roadmap for operators to complete their production tasks.  The goal is to produce a plan that is sustainable for the operator, maximizes their production level, and minimizes the waste of time and resources for the plant. 
Tricia Reichert
Tricia Reichert, Emmetsburg High School Science Teacher, is completing a six-week Iowa STEM Externship with MaxYield Cooperative this summer. In line with MaxYield's mission of "Seeing More In Your Fields", Tricia has been tasked with assisting this progressive cooperative with "seeing more" in their young agronomy interns in terms of recruitment and retention. She will accomplish this task through an appreciation of the MaxYield Cooperative brand and mission paired with an understanding of the company's roles in start to finish crop production, client care practices, and team member roles as she works cooperatively to evaluate and modify current practices. She is also focusing on assisting MaxYield Cooperative in developing effective and meaningful communications. By better understanding the needs of industry, Tricia hopes she can better prepare her students to enter into the workplace. 
Kevin Kaufman
Okoboji High School science teacher Kevin Kaufman, through the Iowa STEM externship program, is spending his summer at the DNR Fish Hatchery in Spirit Lake Iowa. Kevin is being exposed to the many, wide ranging activities and skills the personnel of the Fish Hatchery perform for the people of Iowa. He is mainly involved in the myriad of components of lake restoration. Throughout the summer, Kevin hopes to become more involved in the research arm of the hatchery. Although not being there at the very beginning of the process, he has also been exposed to the rearing of fish, which are distributed throughout the state. Kevin's main project this summer will be learning and acquiring the skills needed to use and implement GIS, Geographic Information Systems.

Broadly, GIS is any digital data that contains location based information. The value of GIS is that it allows one to visualize data as a map, thus providing an efficient mechanism to obtain answers to complex questions. Consequently, it is very useful in restoration work, and also many other career fields, as it allows one to analyze isolated locations as well as large areas. In addition to Kevin's project, the Fish Hatchery is also possibly planning on incorporating GIS into their upcoming No Boundaries partnership with area schools, exemplifying the wide ranging applications of this process. When data is a core part of a career, GIS is a powerful tool of which students should be exposed to and Kevin can hopefully take back to the classroom.
Nicole Cote
Nicole is working at POET Biorefining for her externship.  At the ethanol plant she is working with the plant operators on finding the right back pressure on a valve to create more oil production. To do this you need to take samples and use the NIR instruments in the lab and by collecting that data and analyzing it to find the correct back pressure along with the correct placement for the fine tuner on a centrifuge. Other tasks were updating the valves to the new numbers to easily locate and working with the roller mills. 
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


Checkout STEM Kits - Closed for the Summer!

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. 

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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