STEM BEST Webinar August

Since 2014, the STEM BEST® Awards have been helping schools create opportunities for students to connect what they learn in the classroom with real-world applicability and potential careers. Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in grades K-12 are welcome to apply. Join us to learn more! 

STEM BEST® Informational Webinar

August 20, 2019 3:30-4:30

To join, go to:  or dial in by telephone to (669) 900 6833, meeting ID #849 600 201. This webinar will be recorded .
Nathan Maiers (left) is an STEM Extern at Barilla in Ames. Neil Seeley (right), a Des Moines area teacher, is the Externship Mentor for the North Central STEM Region.
STEM Teacher Externship: Nathan Maiers, Barilla

This year is the 10-year anniversary of the STEM Teacher Externship program. Nathan Maiers of Boone High School is one of 80 externs placed at workplaces across Iowa. The STEM Hub had an opportunity to visit Mr. Maiers at Barilla and ask him some questions about the Externship experience:

What was your position or role at Barilla and what project(s) did you work on?
The department that I was a part of was the Quality Assurance team. My main role was to work on some of their excel documents and automate them so they update with as little manual entry as possible. One of my favorite projects I worked on was a Palletizer Reporting Summary that gave the different amounts and cuts of pasta for each of their 8 processing lines. It took a lot of research to find the correct formulas to write and make it work, but it was a fun challenge.

What skills did you utilize in your position? What new skills did you learn?
A lot of math skills were used not necessarily to calculate numbers, but to write functions so that the worksheet did what it was asked to do. Some new things I learned from having to research were different functions in Excel and more formatting shortcuts to make the document easy to read.

What did you learn that you can take back to the classroom?
I will be taking all my new found Excel expertise into the classroom to aid in teaching students about money management. Excel will provide a very good way of making the computer do the calculations while the students can make sense of what the numbers mean.

How will you be able to improve students' educational experience after being a STEM Extern?
After having my STEM Externship experience, I know I will be more comfortable pushing technology onto students for budgeting projects, loan information and analysis, and delivering data. My students should leave my classroom with an above average understanding of how and when to use spreadsheet data.

Did you have any "aha" moments during the Externship?
One “aha” moment I had was actually in a discussion with another extern on our discussion boards. He was also working with spreadsheets and mentioned treating a cell as a variable and maybe teaching solving equations using that idea. I do not know if it is something I will implement in my classroom, but it was something I never thought about before and I found it very interesting.

Dr. Kelly Bergman
Iowa State University
1259 Stange Rd
Ames, IA 50011-1002

Phone: 515-203-7247


Interested in Professional Development in STEM Principals?

The Central Rivers AEA is partnering with the NC and NE STEM Regions in offering the course: Meeting the Needs of all Students through STEM Principals (Course #180263). The course will be offered in three locations, Clear Lake, Marshalltown and Cedar Falls. Strands available include:

-I have (or just received) a STEM Scale Up Grant
-What does STEM Integration Look Like (How to Integrate)
-Project-Based Learning(PBL)
-I am starting from scratch – HELP
-Maker Space
-Early Childhood STEM Connection

Participants can sign up for the following sessions:

Clear Lake Office: Sept.19 and Jan. 24

Marshalltown Office: Oct. 29 and Feb. 20

Cedar Falls Office: Dec. 12 and April 4
2018-19 NC STEM Advisory Board

Lindsey Falk, St. Ansgar
Ashley Flatebo, Garner
Doug Jacobson, Ames
Sara Nelson, Ames
Michael Pedersen, Marshalltown
Ben Petty, Conrad
Kathy Rogotzke, Mason City,
Sarah Rosenblum, Marshalltown
Camille Sloan Schroeder, Boone
Kerry Weig, Nevada
Nancy Woods, Boone
Richard Wrage, Boone
Michael Young, Ames
David Zrostlik, Garner

Upcoming Events:

August 18
STEM Day at the Fair

September 12
STEM BEST application deadline