October 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.
Nominate a Teacher for I.O.W.A. STEM Award 
Do you know a deserving teacher who is a champion at STEM education?  Nominate them for the  2019 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award. Sponsored by Kemin Industries, this award celebrates teachers whose leadership and dedication to STEM in Iowa increases students' interest and awareness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

One teacher from each of Iowa's six STEM regions will receive a $1,500 award along with an additional $1,500 to be used in their classroom.

Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, October 9, and winners will be announced in January 2019. To learn more about this program and see previous award recipients, visit the following: https://iowastem.gov/teacheraward  To nominate a teacher, visit the following: https://stemaward.fluidreview.com/

Precision Agricultural Day at Sutherland Research Farms

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach will host its annual Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Field Days for area high school students on Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 4-6 at the Northwest Iowa Research Farm near Sutherland.

Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Field Days received the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Seal of Approval in 2017, and according to Beth Bunkers, event coordinator, plans are underway to make the 2018 event bigger than past years. One hundred fifty agricultural education students and their instructors are welcomed each day to take part in hands-on agriculture, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related activities.

"The two overall goals of Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Days are to engage youth in hands-on learning and to connect them with colleges and business and industry leaders, thereby creating awareness of the ever-evolving agriculture industry and the career opportunities within it," Bunkers said.

There will be 12 different presentations each day, with a keynote speaker during the noon lunch. This year, Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Days will focus on precision agriculture, as well as the beef and dairy industries - from production to consumption.

In the past, 100 students maximum could attend each day, but with demand growing, staff and volunteers worked to increase that number so that this year 450 youth will be able to attend during the three-day time period.

"We always get positive feedback from students and instructors, as well as our industry and college partners," Bunkers said. "The students and instructors appreciate having an opportunity for hands-on, out-of-the-classroom applications of what they are studying, and our business partners appreciate the opportunity to meet and interact with their future workforce. All of this is provided at no cost to the school, youth or presenters thanks to many generous community sponsors and volunteers."

Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Days are hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach with help from several partners. Businesses and organizations providing financial support and in-kind donations for the 2018 Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Days include: the Northwest Iowa Region Governor's STEM Advisory Council, O'Brien County Farm Bureau, Clay County Farm Bureau, O'Brien County Farm Credit Services of America, HyVee Distribution, Western Iowa Dairy Alliance (WIDA), Midwest Dairy Association, O'Brien County Cattlemen's Association, Cherokee County Cattlemen's Association, and Agropur.

View a video recap from past Precision Agriculture and Animal Science Days at https://youtu.be/65MYtX9KSqU
NW STEM Advisory Board Visits Stensland Dairy Farm
It was a beautiful afternoon to tour a 3 generational dairy farm on September 12, 2018.  Doug Stensland, 2nd generation owner of the farm gave the board a tour of the farm. They keep their cows very happy in a covered building with large fans, grooming brushes and even a water bed! They also have a robot that keeps pushing the feed near the cows, similar to a Roomba vacuum. 

"The girls" even line up themselves to go into the robotic milking machines because they get a sweet treat for doing so. Obviously, the most exciting part about the tour was watching the 3 robotic milking machines on the farm. They first clean and sanitize the teets, and then the cups suction to them via laser since the robot knows each cow. All the cows wear a computer-cowbell around their necks to be identified. The robot knows how long the cows are able to milk, usually from 5-6 minutes so it gives it just enough of a treat for it to stay throughout the process. Most of the cows are able to milk up to 3 times per day. Data generated from the machines lets staff know which cows have not been in for milking so they are able to get them in. Each machine runs about $170,000 but they are able to work 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Doug stated the longest any one of the machines has been down was for about 4 hours.  They even have a system that continually cleans out the manure that goes into a lagoon. It was truly remarkable that it did not have an odor in the building like you would imagine. 

Of course, we were able to sample cheeses and enjoy ice cream at the end of the tour. If you have not made it to Stensland Dairy Farms, it is a must!

For more information, please visit: https://www.stenslandfamilyfarms.com/
NW STEM at Clay County Fair
NW STEM and Iowa Lakes Community College had a large presence at the Clay County Fair on  Saturday, September 15.   The hands-on activities range from the microburst, elephant toothpaste and the ever-popular volcano sponsored by Iowa Lakes Community College to the Ramps and Pathways Scale-Up Programs organized by the Northwest Iowa Regional STEM.   Some of the experiments will occur throughout the day; while others are scheduled for specific times. Hundreds for fair goers enjoyed stopping by the STEM tents for give a ways and fun with Ramps and Pathways! 

One major focus for this year's event involves the GuinnessTM record that was set by area students for the 'Largest Practical Science Lesson'. This record was set on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, and was achieved through the coordination of Iowa Lakes Community College, the Northwest Iowa Regional STEM and the Clay County Fair.

STEM Council Takes Part in Regional Future Ready Iowa Summits

Th e Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council is pleased to support the Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits taking place across Iowa this fall to help further the goal of preparing Iowa's future workforce. At several Regional Summits, members of the STEM Network Team will share how the STEM Council work-based learning programs align with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of Iowa's workforce having education and training beyond high school by 2025.

The STEM Council provides work-based learning opportunities for educators and students through programs like STEM BEST and Iowa STEM Teacher Externships.

STEM BEST brings together educators and industry professionals to craft STEM curriculum and projects, where students are able to solve real-world problems. Through these models, students are introduced to career opportunities available in Iowa.

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships builds bridges between Iowa workplaces and Iowa STEM educators to create lasting partnerships. For six weeks in the summer, educated and skilled mathematics, science and technology teachers are matched to a workplace based on their needs. Educators are able to share and apply their experience in the classroom.

For more information about the Future Ready Iowa Regional Summits, visit www.FutureReadyIowa.gov/Summits. Visit www.IowaSTEM.gov for more information about work-based learning opportunities offered by the STEM Council.

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. 

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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