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

Register to get your Free STEM Challenge Kit! Here's how:
1.  Share pictures or videos of you doing the challenges on our Facebook page
2.  Fill out this registration form: https://bit.ly/VirtualSTEMFestival
STEM Challenge Kit containing challenge cards and materials to complete the task. While supplies last!

STEM Scale-Up Program Awards 

On April 7, over 240 educators across Northwest Iowa were awarded one of 13 available Iowa STEM Scale-Up Programs. These programs will impact over 9,000 students in Northwest Iowa and offer curriculum in agriculture, robotics, cybersecurity, innovation, interactive math and more. Now approaching its ninth year, these programs were awarded to cross-curricular educators from PreK-12 schools, after school programs and other educational organizations.

Year after year, the Iowa STEM Council has shown that students who participate in these programs perform better on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress compared to students who did not receive STEM Scale-Up Programming.

Congratulations to all! We look forward to sharing your stories.


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. 
A Year in Review - NW STEM Festivals & Events

What a great year and we have really made some great STEM impact! Click here to view a slideshow of NW STEM 2019-20 events. 

Introducing 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.

Episode 1
Join Dr. Aris Winger for a fascinating conversation during the first STEM Essential podcast. He talks about his the power of teaching, career path, classroom equity, grading, perceptions of math, the future of STEM, where he finds his own optimistic outlook, and more.

Winger will be conducting a two-day STEM Equity workshop on June 18-19. It is full at this time, but stay tuned for more on this topic.

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.

COVID-19 Iowa Lakes Engineering Technology Collaborators to Create 3D-Printed Medical Face Shields for Local Health Facilities

NW STEM is excited to be contributing to this project.  At the beginning of April, NW STEM delivered another 3D printer to the SERT building to help this process.  We have been told that their efforts have more than doubled due to our contribution.  We are so happy to contribute!

The Iowa Lakes Engineering Technology program is partnering with Rick Ayres, Lakes Marketing and Print, and Adam Perry, Band Director at Sioux Central Schools, and many other businesses, individuals, and schools to help combat the shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals. This equipment will be used by healthcare professionals who are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in the Iowa Lakes District and throughout Northwest Iowa. 
Together, they are creating 3-D printed personal protective equipment and ear savers for healthcare facilities. 
While the project initially started by Perry and Ayres, the group has grown to include more than 23 3D printers running to meet the needs of Northwest Iowa. 
"I started this project as a way to help out during this crazy time and partnered with Rick Ayers to make laminated face shields. Rick posted our project on Facebook, and we reached over 43,000 people in under 24 hours who had an interest in obtaining the face shields," said Perry.
With the demand outweighing the supply, Iowa Lakes Community College joined the consortium's efforts. Chad Tischer, Iowa Lakes Engineering Technology Program Coordinator, Mike Gengler, Iowa Lakes Wind Energy Program Coordinator, and the Iowa Lakes Engineering Technology program are all contributing to the project. 
"Mike Gengler and I are printing headbands and ear savers via our Dreamer 3D printers located on the Estherville campus. We can produce about six headbands per print, and each print takes about 22 hours. We are currently able to output about 18 headbands per day," explains Tischer. 
Tischer also noted, "We are using a fourth 3D printer to create ear savers. The ear savers are worn by healthcare professionals to help reduce the soreness that can occur when wearing face shields all day. We can print about four ear savers in about 90 minutes so that we can print 32 ear savers in 24 hour period."
On Monday, April 6th, Iowa Lakes Community College delivered 58 face bands to Lakes Printing to help fill an order for AVERA Holy Family Hospital located in Estherville, Iowa.  
The Iowa Lakes Engineering Technology program will continue to print headbands and ear savers daily. It will contribute to supplies needed by each of the healthcare facilities located in the Iowa Lakes Community College district. 
Additionally, students currently enrolled in the Engineering Technology program and other programs like Wind Energy and Turbine Technology have the opportunity to take part in this project. 
"Students in the Engineering Technology program are trained to integrate technology to solve real-world problems. Making components for face shields for our frontline healthcare providers is a perfect example of this application. Our students take part in this project virtually, and it allows them to expand their knowledge base and skills further," explains Tischer.
For more information about this project or the Engineering Technology program at Iowa Lakes Community College, contact Chad Tischer at 712-362-8366 or by email at  ctischer@iowalakes.edu

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.

 2020-2021 STEM BEST Applications 
Now Close on June 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.


To aid school districts and community partners in the application process, the STEM Council's network team has hosted a series of five webinars covering an array of topics that drive a successful STEM BEST Program. Program partners, as well as experts in the field, have shared their experiences and tips as they traversed the application process. The recording for each session is below:

Session 1: "Work-Based Learning and STEM BEST: What is it and why do I need it?" on February 12, 2020. Hear from leaders in education on how work-based learning has shaped the opportunities and culture of the communities and districts they work and live in.

Session 2: "Tips to building partnerships with local business and industry."STEM BEST partners will share their methods of reaching out and engaging the leaders of your community to establish meaningful partnerships.

Session 3: "Grant-Writing 101" on March 5, 2020. Listen to tips and track to effective grant writing as well as how to develop a budget.

Session 4: "Cost-Share: What is it and how do I plan for it?" on March 10, 2020. Find out how and why cost-share is important and hear specific examples of possible ways to meet cost-share requirements for STEM BEST.

Session 5: "How to navigate the Online Database for application submission" on March 31, 2020. This provides you with a step by step walk through of submitting and completing a STEM BEST application online.
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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