ISU Extension & Outreach Red Bar
Contact the STEM Hub
Lynne Campbell
North Central Region

STEM Manager
3630 4-H Extension Building
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50010

515-710-1381 (cell)
515-294-1521 (office)
Skype: lynne.campbell33  

Twitter: @lcampbell3 #iastem   

Upcoming Events


January 9  

North Central Region  

Advisory Board Meeting   

Iowa State University Extension 4H Building 

2:00 - 4:00 pm  


January 20
Scale-up Provider Proposals Due
Online submission due
 5:00 pm

January 24 and 25 

Professional Development  

Climate Change

Blank Park Zoo
Des Moines
Friday 4:00-9:30
Saturday 8:00-5:30

January 28

Libraries / Non-formal Professional Development   

AWIM & Defined STEM

Iowa Falls and Webster City  

9:00 am - 12:30 pm 

Algona and Mason City

2:30 pm - 6:00 pm

January 31
DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition
Online submission 
of Essays

February 1
Computational Thinking Workshop
Iowa State University
Pearson Hall
9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-3 pm

February 13
STEM Day at the Capitol

Des Moines
9am-3 pm

February 13
State Wide
Advisory Board Meeting
Grimes Building
1-4 pm

February 21 and 22  

Professional Development  

Habitats and Adaptations 

Blank Park Zoo
Des Moines
Friday 4:00-9:30
Saturday 8:00-5:30

February 24
Online Scale-up application for LEAs open

March 1
Computational Thinking Workshop
Iowa State University
Pearson Hall
9 am-12 pm and 1 pm-3 pm

March 1
Deadline for CBIRC 
Professional Development

March 4
KidWind Challenge

 Drake University, Des Moines


March 14  

World Food Prize 

Iowa Youth Institute  

Deadline for online submission of research paper


March 22

Curriculum Jam    

Iowa State University Memorial Union


March 28

Statewide STEM Conference

Des Moines 


April 9
Middle School Day

Iowa State University


April 12
STEM Festival

Iowa State University


April 14  

World Food Prize 

Iowa Youth Institute  

Iowa State University


April 18 and 19 

Professional Development  

Wonders of Water

Blank Park Zoo

Des Moines

Friday 4:00-9:30
Saturday 8:00-5:30


April 19
Computational Thinking Competition
Iowa State University
Pearson Hall

May 2
Online Scale-up application for LEAs closes

June 9-July 25, 2014

Research Experiences for 
High School Teachers
Iowa State University

July 7-11, 2013 
Workshop for Elementary
Biorenewables Workshop
Parkview Middle School
Ames CSD

July 7-July 25, 2013

Summer Academy for
Middle School Teachers
Iowa State University
July 14-18, 2014
Workshop for Elementary
Plants in Society Workshop
Parkview Middle School
Ames CSD

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council has identified these nine STEM programs for "scale-up" in 2013-14. 

A World in Motion (AWIM)

Camp in a Can Show & Tell 


 Carolina STEM Curriculum  


 CASE - The CASE for Agricultural STEM Education in Iowa: Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders, Today   


Defined STEM 


 E=HC² Exploration = Health Careers Connection 


 Engineering is Elementary
in Iowa (EiE)

Technology Hub for Iowa Students


 Project Lead The Way: Gateway to Technology Program
Things change......

As we celebrate the new year, I am reminded that one thing is certain: Things change!

In the North Central STEM Region were are looking forward to some changes!  We hope that this newsletter can be a stimulus for change....change for the better! 
  • This month you will notice that the newsletter has a fresh new logo... new mantra:  Greatness STEMs from Iowans.  Change the message.  
  • I am taking a chance and giving blogging a try. This will be my first blog post.  Change can be scary. 
  • Information is shared about how you can get involved in STEM opportunities. Involvement is change.
  • We hope you share information, so please forward our newsletter to someone who might benefit from a story.  Sharing might result in change.  
  • We are in the process of revamping our website.  Change =  improvement
  • We will be using new ways to share information (and that change is not easy). But, I know that ways to communicate are changing and that means I need to change. You will notice more tweets, blogs and Facebook posts from me. Please use the hashtag #iastem when posting your STEM stories.  
  • We want to share what is happening in classrooms.  That is change at it's best and reason to celebrate!  
  • In February we will introduce a new Facebook Campaign:  STEM Stories.  Start thinking about the STEM stories you want to share. Change can be fun.   

And lastly, a STEM approach is about change:  

  • Science is finding answers to questions.  Change.  Technology is creation of new things to make something better. Change.  Engineering is solving problems.  Change.  Mathematics is the language of science.  Helps us understand change. But collectively, STEM changes our approach to teaching, learning, and working.   
Let's collectively embrace change. 

Lynne Campbell

Governor's STEM Advisory Council
has a new look and message: 

With only 26 percent of Iowans understanding what STEM stands for - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - a public awareness campaign is launching this week to inform more Iowans about the importance of STEM-related education.


Selected this summer through an RFP process, West Des Moines-based Strategic America was chosen to design the public awareness campaign that will focus on making sure students in Iowa are competitive with those in other states and countries when it comes to STEM education and interest. This interest and achievement will be needed in the next 10 years, as projected STEM-related job growth will increase by 16 percent due to the recovering economy and our growing reliance on technology.


"We look forward to rolling out our new brand to students, families, educators, corporate partners and others in the coming weeks because we believe all interested parties will connect with the idea that Greatness STEMs from Iowans," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is co-chairing the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "The new logo leverages the STEM   acronym and prominently ties it with our state's roots, which is important because STEM is a vital economic development advantage for Iowa." 


STEM Training Part 2
for Non-Formal Educators  
In October forty-seven non-formal educators including librarians, home school educators and ISU Extension & Outreach staff gathered at Iowa State University to learn about two of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council's scale-up programs:

A World In Motion and Defined STEM
Part two of this training will occur on January 28 at four libraries in the North Central Region to continue this innovative partnership approach to implementing STEM Scale Up Programming in the North Central STEM Region: 

9:00 am -12:30 pm at Webster City    
9:00 am -12:30 pm at Iowa Falls
2:30 pm - 6:00 pm at Algona  
2:30 pm - 6:00 pm at Mason City   

A World In Motion is a hands-on program that addresses science and engineering concepts in grades K-3 and has a strong literacy focus.  The workshop includes training on four kits:  Rolling ThingsStraw RocketsPinball Designers and  Engineering Inspired by Nature
Defined STEM is a web-based resource that features literacy tasks, performance tasks and real-world videos. Defined STEM provides opportunities for K-12 students to see the relevance of STEM concepts as they relate to real-world careers. 


All formal and non-formal educators in the NC Region are eligible to implement Defined STEM. For more information about implementing Defined STEM please contact Lynne Campbell at      


To sign up for one of these workshops click here.  Please contact Tracie Miller at for more information. 



For Educators and Parents: 
Computational Thinking =
"T" & "M" in STEM   

Computational thinking is a critical thinking skill that, according to some, is a required skill for success in the 21st century.  For most students, exposure to computational thinking as a problem solving tool comes late, or not at all.  Computer science develops students' computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. SCRATCH is a program that can foster computational thinking in the elementary grades.


With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations - and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively - essential skills for life in the 21st century. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Why Scratch Club?
Why Scratch Club?


 Computational Thinking at   

Iowa State University  


The Computer Science Department at ISU is making efforts to change this in Iowa K-12 schools with a series of events and workshops designed to help K-12 educators, parents and students learn about computational thinking.   

Link to ISU K-12 Outreach page:  


Computational Thinking Workshops for K-12 Students, Teachers, and Parents   

2014 Workshop dates: February 1, 2014 and March 1, 2014    


Students, teachers and parents interested in learning more about computational thinking, or preparing for the CTC can attend one of our CTC workshops, held on Saturday morning from 9-12, with an optional additional workshop on Scratch programming from 1-3pm. These workshops are free, but space is limited, so please register early!


Held in the Pearson Hall Computer Labs on campus, the CTC Workshops offer students a chance to get started with computational thinking projects. Parents and teachers can also participate!   


2014 Computational Thinking Competition (CTC)   April 19, 2014

The ISU Computational Thinking Competition seeks to introduce K-12 students to problem solving with computational thinking in the context of their current coursework in Iowa schools. Student projects are in the form of computational models that help students to understand a problem, understand all of the requirements for a solution, be able to test their solution, and demonstrate the solution. Students can sign up for a Computational Thinking Workshop so that they understand what computational thinking is and how they can apply it to a project, either for their regular schoolwork, or for the CTC. (Note that attendance at one workshop is sufficient. Students do not need to attend multiple workshops.) At the CTC, students will present their project to judges, and compete for prizes!  


Winners of the 2013 Computational Thinking Competition:   



The Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) at Iowa State University has announced STEM Teacher Professional Development Opportunities for the summer of 2014.  Programs vary in length and are open to teachers across the state of Iowa and beyond.

"Participating in our programs brings a whole new dimension to teaching STEM content: teachers (1) are able to better conceptualize scientific method and nature of science (2) get inspired to incorporate inquiry based activities into their curriculum and (3) develop strong networks with STEM teachers across the state." states Adah Leshem, CBiRC Director of Pre-College Programs.

Applications should be submitted before March 1, 2014. For further information, please contact Stacy Renfro via email ( or by phone (515-294-8582).


Research Experiences for High School Teachers
Provides teachers with the tools, experiences, and ongoing relationships with career scientists that will enable them to share the latest developments in STEM research with students. Two programs run concurrently and feature a vast array of research experiences related to Engineering and Physical Sciences or Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Genomics.

Features presentations by ISU faculty, hands-on lab activities and field trips to Iowa's biorenewables-related industries.  This workshop also includes STEM curricula applicable to the Iowa Core Curriculum and middle school science standards.  


Workshops for Elementary Teachers    

Introductions to Plants in Society or Biorenewables give teachers an opportunity to gain confidence in teaching science at elementary level and will include presentations by ISU faculty and staff and hands-on lab activities.     

Don't miss the Iowa Youth Institute at Iowa State University - Monday, April 14, 2014!

At this exciting day-long event, participating high school students have the opportunity to:

  • Present research and recommendations on how to solve key global challenges in a short speech and small group discussions with local experts
  • Connect with other students from across Iowa to share ideas, identify solutions to these problems and build lasting friendships
  • Interact with global leaders in science, industry and policy
  • Take part in educational sessions and interactive tours at Iowa State University to explore current research and issues in international development and life sciences
  • Meet innovative researchers, professors and college students in Iowa working to end hunger and poverty and improve food security around the world, and;
  • Earn scholarships to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University

For more information click here or contact Catherine Swoboda, Director of Iowa Education Programs at the World Food Prize, at or 515-245-3727.     


Professional Development Opportunities

The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education and recreation.  As a part of this mission, Blank Park Zoo is committed to providing high quality professional development to educators across the state
The Blank Park Zoo would like to invite educators to workshops to be held at Blank Park Zoo on the dates listed below.  The workshops are good for one hour of Drake University or license renewal credit and teachers will be eligible to schedule a free classroom animal program.  We welcome educators from all parts of the state, and have had many travel to the zoo for our workshops. Our education department is willing and able to travel to districts across the state with our follow-up classroom programs (animals included!). 
Participants in our workshops engage in relevant inquiry investigations that are connected to the Iowa Core and Next Generation Science Standards, learn research-based instructional practices, and gain knowledge and ideas that will be useful in their classrooms. Lessons are flexible, allowing teachers to adjust for their students' abilities; and relate to all age groups in several subject areas (science, literacy, mathematics, social studies, and the arts). 
Workshops will run Friday from 4-9:30 and Saturday from 8 - 5:30.  Included in workshop: Dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday, coffee and rolls on Saturday morning, materials for teachers to utilize in their classrooms, and a free classroom visit.

Climate Change: Wildlife and Wildlands - January 24/25, 2014
Habitats and Adaptations - February 21/22, 2014
Wonders of Water - April 18/19, 2014 (We realize this is Easter weekend, so we will finish by no later than 4 pm on Saturday.)
Registration forms may be found on the zoo website - under Education/Just for Teachers and may be submitted electronically.
Cost: $15.00 to help cover materials and meals, payable at workshop.  If taking the workshop for credit there are additional fees. 
Participants should contact Kathy McKee at 515-974-2557 or if they have any questions.

Read more about the work shop descriptions

  Featured Board Member:    

Robin Anderson 


Robin Anderson has served as President & CEO of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce since 2001.  She is a native of Sioux Falls, SD and is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds a masters degree in Servant Leadership.


Anderson has earned both the IOM and CCE professional designations.  She is one of only 455 chamber executives who have earned the Certified Chamber Executive certification in  the United States over the past 41 years.  


A 20 year veteran of the banking industry, she is a former bank president of Bank of America in the Mason City/Clear Lake market and served as Regional Executive for the state of Iowa overseeing consumer banking operations for the bank's 21 Iowa locations.


Robin has served on the Iowa Values Fund Loan Board and the Iowa Great Places Board through appointments by former governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver.  She is a past chairperson for the Iowa Chamber Alliance and the Iowa Chamber of Commerce Executives. 


Robin and her husband, Matt, are the parents of a daughter and son.


Why are you willing to serve as a Board Member for the NC STEM Hub?

As a representative of employers, we are very interested in ensuring Iowa students make the school-to-work connection.  Quite simply, today's jobs require STEM skills.  Unfortunately, our employers have difficulty filling many positions because the available applicants don't possess the necessary qualifications.  This skills mismatch, especially in Middle Skills positions, is a serious problem in Iowa.


What do you hope that the Initiative can collectively accomplish?  
We need to raise the academic expectations for students, parents, and teachers.  The educational model that we experienced as students is NOT sufficient to maintain the excellence we collectively desire.  I hope the STEM Advisory Council will have the opportunity to impact adoption of new models that have been substantiated by data:  longer school days, longer school years, and more rigorous STEM standards.  In addition to our focus on STEM, I hope we can utilize the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and American College Testing (ACT) exam to ensure every Iowa high school graduate is ready for the world of work.  We need to create a culture of lifelong learners...there is no finish line when it comes to education.           





The 2014 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition is accepting entries  through January 31st. In its 28th consecutive year, the DuPont Challenge essay contest encourages students to consider how science and innovation can be used to meet the needs of the 21st century for food, energy and protection.
"Education is at the core of strong communities everywhere.  A strong foundation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) encourages students to think critically about how scientific discovery, innovation and invention can be used to meet the needs of our society," said Benito Cachinero-Sánchez, senior vice president of DuPont Human Resources.  "How to fulfill nutritional needs, increase available energy and protect people and the environment is what the scientists at DuPont strive to solve every day.  The DuPont Challenge inspires students to examine these issues and become passionate about results as they explore potential solutions and share them through their essays." More  

Deadline Extended!   
DuPont Pioneer Grant Opportunity: 





DuPont Pioneer is proud to offer grants to high schools to assist with the implementation of CASE in the 2014-15 school year.  DuPont Pioneer believes that CASE places proven tools in the hands of those who are strategically positioned to help end world hunger - agricultural science teachers. Their important work in and out of the classroom inspires future scientists, who will discover innovative and sustainable ways to improve agricultural productivity.

The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) empowers teachers for student success by providing inquiry-based educational experiences, which enhance the rigor and relevance of agriculture, food, and natural resources subject matter.  Concepts are taught using activity, project, and problem based instructional strategies and build skills in the areas of science, mathematics, and English.  As an added bonus, this effort ensures quality teaching by providing extensive professional development for teachers that leads to certification.

Schools may apply for grants up to $5,000 for CASE Institute registration and travel, purchase of equipment to be used in CASE courses, and/or acquisition of software to implement a CASE course.  An interested teacher should work with school administration to ensure the necessary level of commitment to the CASE program and to complete the application form. Follow this link for more information and the application.