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!

March 2020
STEM Scale-Up Applications Due Tomorrow, March 2, 2020!
Kingsley-Pierson Presents at 
21st Annual State STEM Meeting
Kingsley-Pierson Elementary School gave a powerful presentation at this year's STEM Executive Council.  Three fourth grade students and two teachers from the Kingsley-Pierson Community School District spoke about being a 2019 recipient of Computer Science is Elementary funding. They highlighted their numerous business partners and described their influence and involvement in the program. 

Erin Chute, Curriculum Coordinator and Jen Conrad, 4th grade teacher shared how this program allows all students to have access to computer science materials, learning, and curriculum. They also noted that many students don't have access to technology at home, and sometimes even district technology was unreliable. Only when state leaders, business and industry, educators, and community members come together can real change happen. And Kinglsey-Pierson is a great example of a rural community making a difference in education!!  NW Iowa is a shining example of STEM education making a difference!
STEM Day at the Capitol 2020
On February 19, 2020 many gathered for the STEM Day at the Capitol.  Students and teachers from Denison Elementary and Kingsley-Pierson share with legislators and the Governor their projects for Computer Science is Elementary.  Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril, Ruthvan-Ayrshire middle schoolers share their projects from No Boundaries STEM Best Program.  

Matt Hansen, MMCRU Industrial Technology teacher, was honored as STEM Teacher of the Year and was awarded $3000 from Kemin Industries.  

Board members: Beth Bunkers, Andrew Roelfs, Jordan Menning, and John Bedward gathered with other board members for a picture with the Governor.  

Special thanks to Legislators: John Wills - Dickenson County, Steve Holt - Crawford county,  Tom Jeneary - Plymouth county, Chris Hall - Woodbury County,  Megan Jones, Woodbury County for taking time to meet with our students and teaches. 
MMCRU Elementary STEM Festival
On February 13, 2020 MMCRU Elementary and NW STEM hosted a STEM festival at the Remsen Elementary. School. 14 Area businesses and organizations presented hands-on STEM Challenges.  Students rotated among the 30 minute sessions.  Families enjoyed a pizza dinner and a wide variety of activities such as aquaponics, examined lungs, practiced being a dentist with play-dough, programmed Dash robots, and learned how to dust for fingerprints, and many more.  It was a great night!
New Timeline for 2020-2021 STEM BEST

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:

December, 2019
Gather a community-based team
Teams could include students, educators, parents, business, post-secondary entities, non-profits, etc.

January, 2020
Ensure district administration and community support.
Draft plans for a long-term work-based learning experience that's customized for your community.

February 10, 2020 -- BEST Application Opens
Districts may apply for funds for an exploratory year, implementation plan, or expansion idea.
Reach out to past BEST schools and your Hub Manager.
Write to the rubric.

May 15, 2020 -- BEST Application Closes
Look for informational webinars and in-person gatherings before this deadline.
11:59 PM deadline.

July, 2020 -- BEST Awardees Announced
Schools awarded the $25,000 in funds will need to commit equal in matching funds. Matching funds may be defined in several ways. Click here for examples of Cost-Share ideas.
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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