June 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 Teacher Externships 2020

The Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program aims to build bridges between Iowa's workplaces and STEM educators across the state by equipping them to work at local businesses, organizations and other workplaces alongside knowledgeable and skilled employees during the summer. Externships...

     * Provide educators with the exposure to answer             questions about real-world application
      * Prepare students for careers they may have in              the future
      * Improve educational experiences
      * 6 weeks, Stipend of $4800 and 3 graduation                  credit

Here are some Extern Superstars of the Northwest! 

John Doornenbal is an Industrial Technology teacher from Sioux Center High School, who is wor king at Interstates, a  company that designs and implements industrial electrical and automation applications for  feed mills, food processing plants, ethanol plants, and the like.  Interstates is a great company that has partnered with John in his classrooms in many  different situations.
John is specifically working at Interfab, a division of
Interstates that cuts, builds, and assembles electrical parts, conduit runs, underground, light assemblies, and the like that can be  shipped to the site. By building and pre-assembling them, many hours are saved at the job site.  John has been learning about tasks that each employee is involved in and the skills needed to complete the task, both
technical (welding, measuring, reading a plan, assembly, conduit bending, threading...) and soft skills (teamwork, communication, critical thinking, adaptability,  attitude, self-motivation...). One of John's primary tasks will be to help to develop a hands-on skills assessment used to evaluate potential employees,  and to help with the process of how to train and upload new employees in a practical way.

Interstates in Sioux Center also hosted Robbie Cundy during his 6-week externship.  During his experience, Robbie joined the Analytics team where he participated in analyzing big data for the clients of Interstates.  With the growth of technology in many areas of life, our world is creating data at an astonishing rate.  Because of this, our students need more experience working with data to guide decisions they make as consumers.  As a math teacher, Robbie plans to incorporate team-based projects in statistics class that seek to accomplish this goal. 

Jon Allen has been working with the DNR in Spirit Lake on curlyleaf pondweed viability ,
fish sampling, and stream restoration. Through the STEM Teacher Externship Program Jon
hopes to be able to continue his relationship with the DNR fisheries department to benefit his
science students. Jon has learned a lot from working with Mike Hawkins (District Fisheries
Biologist) on local environmental issues. By bringing some of the projects he's working on in
the field and lab this summer back to his classroom, he'll be able to enrich the learning of his
students and help to improve some of the natural resources in the area. He feels that his
science and outdoor classes have already made significant contributions to wildlife through
nesting structures and plantings. With these new relationships and projects his students will be
able to positively impact the water quality and biodiversity of our local streams and lakes. Jon is
excited to bring the field and lab work back to his students so they can learn to make a positive
impact on their environment.

Ayn Thoreson, a Spanish and Business teacher at Spencer High School, is working in the Human Resources department at Rosenboom in Spirit Lake this summer.  Rosenboom has seen an influx in the number of employees whose first language is not English.  Ayn is looking at many aspects of Rosenboom's recruiting, onboarding and training processes to help discover needs that can be met to improve communication, job success and retention.


Attention Scale-Up Awardees:
If you can no longer accept your Scale-Up Award, please Email NW STEM Regional Manager at mtrent@iowalakes.edu ASAP. 

STEM Essential, 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.

Dr. 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!
New episodes of this five-part series will be available weekly through June. To listen, click on the link: https://www.iowastem.gov/podcast.

NW STEM Virtual Festival
As many organizations are faced with cancelling summer events and programs for kids, the Northwest Iowa STEM Region rose to the challenge by providing virtual educational experiences for kids.  
The four-week program began on Thursday, June 4. Each Thursday, the Northwest Iowa STEM Region hosts a Facebook Live event on their page (NW STEM Region) at 11 a.m. They provide examples of projects and experiments that kids can do at home. Participants who complete the challenge at home and share videos or photos on the Facebook page can fill out a registration form to receive a free STEM Challenge Kit containing challenge cards and the materials to complete the task. There is a kit for preschool to 4th grade and a kit for 5th grade to 8th grade.
"Our videos have generated a great deal of engagement and the response from participants has been extremely positive," said Mary Trent, Regional Manager. "We know it's been challenging for parents and caretakers to keep kids busy and come up with ideas for activities, so our goal was to provide fun challenges that they can do with items you already have at home."
The STEM Challenge Kits will be distributed while supplies last, but Trent encourages people to check out the videos for ideas on encouraging kids to get creative this summer. There are two Facebook Live events remaining, June 18 has an "Explore" theme and June 25 will focus on a "Create" theme.

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 www.IowaSTEM.gov/TeachableMoment.

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

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:  https://www.iowalakes.edu/stem/stem-resources/.
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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