ISU Extension & Outreach Red Bar

Contact the STEM Hub
Paul Gibbins
North Central Regional Manager

3630 4-H Extension Building
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011

515-294-0645 (office)  

515-333-8563 (mobile)


In This Issue
 Upcoming Events

March 26-29
FTC North Super-Regional Championship
Des Moines

March 28, 1:00-4:00
Girl Scout Day 
ISU - Society of Women Engineers

March 30, 8:30-4:30
State STEM Conference
Des Moines

March 31, 8:00-4:00
 Code Iowa Studio Workshop (K-5)
Ft. Dodge


April 18, 10:00-4:00


ISU - Society of Women Engineers


April 24-25

HyperStream - IT Olympics

Hilton Coliseum, Ames


May 28

STEAM Festival

Mason City


July 9, 1:00-4:00

STEM Day @ Central Iowa Fair



Shelly Vanyo Wins
NC Region STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching

Congratulations to Boone High School science teacher Shelly Vanyo, center of photo, on her selection as the first recipient of this STEM teaching award which is generously sponsored by Kemin Industries in partnership with the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. At an all school assembly s
he was presented with $3,000 - $1,500 for her use and another $1,500 to be used in her classroom.

There were many highly qualified applicants in the region which made for a rigorous process. We are very thankful for all who applied and all teachers across our state, especially the north central region. It's your dedication to education that makes a difference in the lives of students.  

Pictured L to R: Paul Gibbins, Regional STEM Manager; Jan Westrum, NC STEM Advisory Board & Boone School Board Member; Shelly Vanyo Award Winner & Boone High School Science Teacher; Julie Graber, NC STEM Advisory Board Chairman & PL AEA Consultant; Kris Byam, Boone High School Principal
See details as reported in Boone News Republican


Women_In_STEMWomen in STEM Roundtable Discussion at Iowa State Extension & Outreach

On March 4th approximately 40 people joined Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds in a roundtable/small group breakout discussion.  Guiding questions included: 
  1. How do you work to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to engage and succeed in STEM programs?  What challenges do you encounter in this work? 
  2. How can we leverage existing work to encourage the full participation of women in STEM?
  3. What recommendations do you have for closing the gap between interest in STEM programs and career choice?
Read the results captured from all 9 tables and add your comments to continue the conversation using this link.


Girl Scout Day is March 28th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m

  • Iowa State University, Howe Hall Atrium
  • Registration is free and the day is for Girls Scouts in the ranks of Brownies or Juniors. 
  • A parent/guardian or troop leader must accompany the girl
  • Click here to register

Glee Day is April 18th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
  • Girls in grades 3-8
  • Iowa State University, Howe Hall Atrium
  • Registration fee is $5 if they bring their own lunch or $10 if they choose to purchase a sandwich lunch catered by Hy-Vee
  • Click here to register
Ames Middle School Science Bowl team took first place out of 24 Iowa schools Saturday, Feb. 21 to become the Iowa Regional Science Bowl Champions.

The team, with representatives each middle school grade level, and their coach, eighth grade science teacher Collin Reichert, have earned an all expense paid trip to visit Washington, DC at the end of April to compete at the national level.
Fort Dodge Middle School Selected
Program Empowering High-Ability Middle School Students in STEM
Eleven rural schools in Iowa have been selected to participate in a rigorous extracurricular math and science enrichment program offered through the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. 

The three-year program is aimed at empowering high-ability, middle school students living in rural school districts across the state with challenging opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

The STEM Excellence and Leadership program will provide year-round programming for educators and an estimated 120 students per year and includes professional development, materials, services, stipends for participating educators, and other support. The program was made possible through a $500,000 Talent Development Award the UI's Belin-Blank Center received from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the nation's largest scholarship foundation.

 This program ensures that rural school districts in Iowa have the opportunity to provide rigorous courses in math and science, fostering the development of Iowa's academic talent, especially in STEM.
By expanding mathematics and science curricula in participating school districts and enhancing teachers' abilities to raise the academic rigor in their classrooms, STEM Excellence is expected to help close the achievement gap between rural students and their urban counterparts. 

The program is designed to improve student outcomes in middle school STEM courses, prepare participants for success and boost their enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) math and science courses in high school.  Ultimately, STEM Excellence will prepare students academically and social-emotionally, for advanced coursework, which will prepare them for university life. 

 For more information, please visit or contact Dr. Lori Ihrig

Professional Development Opportunities

Field Research Fellowship supported by NSF for middle and high school teachers.
Two Teacher Fellows will be selected to collaborate on field research and design innovative experiments for their classrooms. This opportunity was recommended by a former ISU graduate student and more information can be found here:


All fellowships are for two years and include:

  • A week-long workshop on current evolutionary research at Mountain Lake Biological Station (June 14-20, 2015)
  • A week-long field trip to conduct research at our Florida study sites (between Jul 27-Aug 8, 2015, dates flexible)
  • A week-long workshop on designing innovative curriculum at Mountain Lake Biological Station (Summer 2016)
  • All travel, lodging, and meal costs for each of the above workshops and field research trips
  • A stipend of $1000 per year for participation in the above workshops and research
  • A budget of up to $2000 to design and implement an innovative experiment in your classroom

To apply for a 2015-2016 fellowship, complete the application form by April 15, 2015.



CBiRC's pre-college education strategic plan is to form long-standing partnerships with central Iowa school districts and school districts located in relative proximity to CBiRC partner institutions. The pre-college programs focus primarily on grades 6-12 with a mission to effectively impart in the next generation of students the relevance of engineering professions; the skills required to succeed and the value in our technological society. The technical content of the pre-college education program will include the broader biorenewables area including both chemicals and biofuels.

For more information click this link.

University of Iowa College of Education:  Colorado Field Geology Course, Saturday, July 11th - Sunday, July 19th


Learn the basic concepts of physical, historical, and environmental geology of the Rocky Mountains in the context of mineral exploration, mining, and the environment.

This course has been offered to K-12 inservice and preservice teachers for over 25 years. It includes a teaching suite of basic igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and rock forming minerals and curriculum development projects.

Ted Neal and John Dunkhase will team-teach the course.


For more information click this link