June 2019 Re-Cap
SC STEM Hub Newsletter
Dr. Sarah Derry, SC Regional Manager
Phone : 515-271-2403
Website : https://scstemhub.drake.edu/
Email : scstemhub@drake.edu
Calendar : Calendar of Events
Hashtag: #STEMinYourWorld
Lunch &Learn Brings Marigolds Together
Above: Betty Andrews, Executive Director of IMMAW/NAACP IA-NE President; Deborah Kent, Drake Math Professor, Kimberly Wayne, Jewels Academy Director/Siegwerk Chemical Engineer/Manager; Veronica Blake, Senior Manager Collins Aerospace; Theresa Agbaje, Manufacturing Engineer; Priscilla Ulrich, Customer Support Associate
Below: Jan McMahill, Drake School of Education Dean, Wayne, and Sarah Derry, SC STEM Hub Manager.
With over 70 people in attendance, the SC STEM Hub's first Lunch & Learn: Find Your Marigolds provided a place for community networking. Those in attendance registered for a variety of reasons, but they all had one common goal: to do something good for their students.

Opening remarks came from Dr. Jan McMahill, who serves as the STEM Hub's grant Principal Investigator, is Drake's School of Education Dean, and started the first STEM Endorsement program for Iowa teachers. She reminded the c rowd of the incredible opportunities in STEM careers, including those in education, "There are more openings for STEM educators than there are students in teacher education classes."

Mary Bontrager, Exe cutive Vice President of Talent Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, spoke about upcoming changes in the workforce. She noted that, while industry is turning more toward automation in the future, "91 percent of those surveyed says they still plan to grow and hire at the current rate." For that reason, she says adaptability is key. "It's important," she said, "to see change not as a burden but as an opportunity to grow and innovate."

Finally, Dr. Kim Wayne, Siegwerk Chemical Engineer/Manager and Jewels Academy Founder/Executive Director, shared her vision for how schools, mentors, non-profits, and businesses could work together to help students of color, women in particular, succeed in STEM careers. "The greatest reason underrepresented students drop out of college," Wayne said, "is a lack of resources." She told a story of how community members came together to help a student in need get through high school, into college, and secure a job.

Like the theme suggests, planting marigolds in a garden helps all the plants thrive. Reach out to the marigolds in your own community. And, if you don't see one, consider becoming one yourself.
Community STEM:
Poweshiek County Extension
Poweshiek County Extension and Outreach has become a go-to for local STEM programming. They serve school districts, host community events, and sponsor summer workshops throughout the county. The secret to their success: hard work and networking. One way they access resources is through Iowa STEM's South Central Hub.

Working with Scale-Ups
Over the years, Poweshiek County's Extension and Outreach leaders have applied and received the following Scale-Ups: STEM in Action, Pint-Size Science, Ramps & Pathways, STEM Makers, Projects Lead they Way, Engineering is Elementary, and A World in Motion.

Extension employees take their expertise and materials to the communities and schools they serve. According to Executive Director Cathy Lentz, their efforts help bring science programming to teachers who may not have the time or resources to prepare it. Even if scheduling doesn't work out for staff members to visit, the office offers creative solutions to help teachers do it on their own.

"Time is the greatest barrier for us all," said Lentz, "and there isn't enough extension staff to visit every classroom."

Networking Advantages
In addition to Scale-Ups, Poweshiek County Extension has created a network of community partnerships with entities like local business owners and leaders, larger corporations, non-profits, schools districts, universities, and even the county sheriff. Such alliances strengthen relationships between K-12 students and potential employers.

Their goal is two-fold. First, they hope to provide early childhood extension opportunities in STEM. Second, they focus on helping general classroom teachers integrate elements into existing structures. This approach encourages a connection as students get older. Their planning and resourcefulness is creating rich STEM opportunities in rural communities.

Building a Community
If you'd like more information on what Poweshiek County Extension & Outreach offers, please email Cathy Lentz, Executive Director . To learn more about Scale-Ups, please visit the Iowa STEM website or email Dr. Sarah Derry . Finally, if you have a similar Scale-Up story, we want to know! Send a note to the Hub .
Thank you to Cathy Lentz, Executive Director, for the above photos of Poweshiek County Extension and Outreach engaging students through Scale-Up materials and STEM festivals.
Bi-Lingual STEM Camp Comes to Campus
This summer, approximately 70 students in kindergarten through 7th grade were on Drake University’s campus for the second-annual Spanish Immersion STEM camp. The camp was a summer extension of St. Anthony’s Spanish Immersion program, one of the only programs of its kind in the Des Moines Metro. The entire school curriculum is taught in Spanish by native Spanish speakers. Located on Des Moines’ south side, the school is home to students from 22 different zip codes. In addition, half of their student population is of minority status.

With space provided by Drake University's Dr. Tom Buckmiller, the camp utilizes materials from the SC STEM Hub's checkout library, among other creative planning resources. He was approached by Marisol Guerra, kindergarten teacher at St. Anthony's, about a partnership. She brought fellow teacher Ana Rodrigo on board to co-teach. The two translate curriculum into Spanish, including Hub Scale-Ups.

STEM Summer Externs Build Bridges to the "Real World"
"When are we going to use this in real life?"

This summer, 26 educators at 17 host sites in South Central Iowa are participating in Iowa STEM Teacher Externships. Extern host sites gain a driven professional to support industry projects for 6 weeks in the summer, and the teacher externs develop experience and relationships that help them infuse relevance when they return to their classrooms in the fall. Across the state, a record 84 STEM teacher externs are lending their talents in 54 workplace hosts. Throughout their experience, externs use chat boards, virtual meetings, and in-person conversation with Extern Mentors to translate the experience into their teaching practice. For more information about the Iowa STEM Teacher Summer Externships, visit https://www.iowastem.gov/externships
A. Mitchell Extern
Extern Ashley Mitchell
Extern Ashley Mitchell, mathematics teacher at St. Theresa's Catholic School is working with the Iowa National Guard's on Geographic Information System (GIS) data interpretation and map building.
Drake Professor Pilots Genetics Test with STEM BEST Teachers
When it comes to summer salsa, everyone either loves or hates cilantro. Now we know why—genetics!

Hoping to bridge the gap that exists between younger students natural curiosity toward science and those who seek a science major in college, Dr. Pramod Mahajan (left), associate professor of pharmacology in Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, created the cilantro experiment.

Mahajan thought it would be interesting to isolate the gene that dictates whether we taste a lovely spice or a bar of soap when eating cilantro. "It's a very tangible way of seeing how genetics can manifest. Our genes actually make us love or hate something," he said.
Here's how it works. High school students spit in a test tube. Next, they eat fresh cilantro and decide if they like it or not. Then, in a school lab, their spit is analyzed to see if they have the gene. Finally, students identify the correlation between those who have the gene and those who think cilantro tastes like soap.

"It gives students a tangible introduction as to how genes influence and control our lives," said Mahajan, who hopes to replicate the project in every Iowa school. To pilot the program, he partnered with Des Moines Central Campus' Kacia Cain and Waukee APEX's Dr. Holly Showalter. Both teachers are part of STEM BEST programs and have received I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Awards from Kemin Industries and the STEM Council.

Mahajan is seeking funds to expand and improve upon his current pilot. "There is a challenge to making the procedure simple enough, but to keep the intent and integrity in the science," he noted. No matter what side of the cilantro debate you fall upon, there's no denying the value of hands-on, sense-filled science experiment.
Want more STEM?
Calendar of Events

Scale-Up PD Calendar
June 11-14 & 17-21 CASE: Animal and Plant Biotechnology, Ankeny
June 10-14 -- CASE: Environmental Science Issues, Ankeny

Computer Science Discoveries
July 15-19 -- Computer Science Discoveries, Storm Lake
July 15-19 -- Computer Science Principles, Storm Lake

Engineer Your World
July 8 - 19 -- Engineer Your World, Iowa City

Light and Shadow
July 29 -- Light and Shadow, Grinnell
August 5 -- Light and Shadow, Bondurant
September 27 -- Light and Shadow, Grinnell
October 26 -- Light and Shadow, Bondurant

Making STEM Connections
July 30 -- Making STEM Connections, Des Moines
August 9 -- Making STEM Connections, Southeast Polk
September 17 -- Making STEM Connections, Des Moines

Pint Size Science
July 15 -- Pint Size Science, Ottumwa
August 1 -- Pint Size Science, Des Moines
September 10 -- Pint Size Science, Des Moines

STEM in Action
July 24 -- STEM in Action, Johnston

STEM Innovator
July 15-19 -- STEM Innovator, Iowa City

Other STEM Opportunities

August 18 -- STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair

If you were awarded a Scale-Up and have questions regarding professional development, please email Dr. Sarah Derry.

For more events and details, please visit our website calendar .

If you're hosting STEM events, please send the details our way. We can add them to our calendar and social media. Email Dr. Sarah Derry with specifics.