November 2018

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
Teresa Alesch, Emmetsburg
John Bedward, Storm Lake
Kathleen Bottaro, Sioux City
Benjamin Bouza, Hawarden
Derek Brower, Orange City
Beth Bunkers, Primghar
Eric Forseth, Sioux Center
Linda Gray, Everly
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. 

Governor's STEM Advisory Council
STEM is the foundation for innovative problem-solving and discovery through exploratory learning. It is important for teachers, students, parents, businesses and communities to connect and have awareness, and access to world-class STEM education opportunities. In Northwest Iowa, we are committed to growing STEM education and opportunities.
Iowa STEM Council Awards 13 STEM BEST® Programs 
The Iowa STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to award 13 of 23 proposed new or expanded STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program programs. This bring the total to 50 BEST® programs in Iowa since 2014.

The STEM BEST® Program provides a learning environment where students are able to participate in real workplace projects designed by business professionals and teachers and apply K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics to skills, knowledge and behaviors needed for STEM careers.

Awards are used for equipping collaborative work spaces, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and curriculum development and coordination.

The 2018  STEM BEST® awardees in the Northwest region are: 
  • Sioux City Community School District: Sioux City Community School District will expand the GeoPhysics (Geometry + Physics) STEM curriculum implemented during the 2017-2018 school year to establish authentic partnerships with three new business partners. Community partnerships will integrate real-world questions for students to practice problem-solving utilizing 21st century skills of collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.
  • Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril, and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts: A consortium of schools, including the Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril, and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts, are embarking on a shared program called the No Boundaries Project. In addition, a middle school pilot of the No Boundaries Project, called Iowa Middles, will start in January with 8th graders at Okoboji Middle School. The vision of this project is to provide real-world and relevant opportunities that don't exist in the traditional school setting and to expand this model to students across the region.
Congratulations to all! For more information on these and other STEM BEST® Programs, visit 
Advanced Manufacturing Day at Iowa Lakes Community College 
NW STEM was a proud partner with ILCC hosting an Advanced Manufacturing Day help on October 2, 2018 at the SERT ( Sustainable Energy Resources & Technology) Building on the Estherville Campus. Over a hundred students in seventh grade from some area schools attended.  Students rotated through the following sessions: Engineering Tech Seminar- Iowa Lakes Engineering Tech Program, Plant Tour- GKN, Iowa State Engineering Seminar, and Local Manufacturer Fair.
Kue mper Teacher Recognized at ITEC Conference
Nancy Peterman was awarded Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) Local Leadership Award at their annual conference in Des Moines. Peterman is Kuemper's technology integration specialist, IT assistant and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) coordinator. She also supervises the high school technology and journalism and social media clubs and the middle school hyperstream club. She has developed the STEM Innovator course, which students will be able to take for high school and University of Iowa (UI) course credits in the future. I had the privileged of working with Nancy for many years - a well deserved award!  Nancy is pictured here with Sioux City Diocesan teachers.   
NW Advisory Council Tours 185th Refueling Wing 
NW STEM Advisory Council toured the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City for their November board meeting.  Members of the board were led on a tour by CMSgt Joe Donovan. The board first took a "windshield" tour of the entire infrastructure of the base and soon discovered it is nearly its own city with its own police force, fire department, gym, etc. Members were also able to see one of the U.S. Air Force aircrafts take off on a mission. 

While on the tour, all members got to play with the "BOSS" which is the "Boom simulator." It is a $1.5 million simulator of the boom that goes down into the plane below to refuel. This simulator paid for itself within the first month or two because the cost to train pilots with fuel and other expenses is so costly. Members also got to view an aircraft that is currently in its maintenance stage. The 185 Air Refueling Wing takes such great care of its aircrafts that if you put it next to a car it would be as old as a 1957 Chevy.

Unbeknownst to most, the 185 Air Refueling Wing is actually one of Sioux City's largest employers with civilians being employees as well. While the nature of its business is defense, they are open to sharing as much information as they can with the public and would welcome them to tour their infrastructure. Finally, the board was able to take a peek at their Innovation Lab that is in process with 3D printers. The goal is to allow for creativity and advancement in STEM-related fields and activities.

***CMSgt Joe Donovan has invited the Board to attend an "Educator Boss Lift" on Thursday, November 29 from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Mary has sent the flyer and registration information out. Please ask if you have any further questions or would like to join.

Checkout STEM Kits

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. 

A Ramps and Pathways Story

Before classes started in August I had a young kindergartner and his mother stop into our school to register since they were new to the community. We were informed that his first language is Spanish. Our principal, preschool teacher and special education teacher joined me in a meeting. We decided at that time what placement would be best for him since he had only had four months of preschool in the late spring. During the meeting he would not speak to anyone and only answered questions in Spanish from his mother. We decided as a committee, mostly due to his age, to keep him with his peer group. Just as I expected, the first few weeks he was very quiet around everyone- even on the playground. After a few sessions of using the Ramps and Pathways, I noticed he started to verbalize more to his peers than ever before. His confidence carried over to the playground where he loves to play soccer. Since then, his communication skills have grown enormously in all academic areas. Today he is verbalizing in English complete sentences, reading simple books and communicating with other students. Ramps and Pathways do make a difference in my classroom! Thank you! Traci Steil, Twin Rivers Elementary
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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