ISU Extension & Outreach Red Bar
4/30/15 Logo update
In This Issue
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)



 Upcoming Events


Dec 11

Dec 16
Executive Council of Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council meeting
Science Center of Iowa
Des Moines


Jan 20
North Central STEM Advisory Board Meeting, Ames

Jan 25 (approx)
Educator Application Open for 2016-17 STEM Scale-Up Programs


Feb. 1 to 5
STEM Scale Up Provider Webinars (archive to be available)

Feb.  3


Mar 1
Educator Scale-Up Applications Due

Mar 9
North Central STEM Advisory Board Meeting, Ames

2015-16 NC STEM Advisory Board
West Fork Middle School - North Central STEM Hub's 
Code Iowa Award WinnerDec1

West Fork 6th grade class with Jennifer Otten, Technology Teacher
Photos by Chris Zoellner_ Mason City Globe Gazette_
State Sen. Amanda Ragan (D). Photo by Chris Zoellner Mason City Globe Gazette

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council and have joined forces to localize the "Hour of Code," an international effort to have every student in the world try one hour of computer coding during Computer Science Education Week in December.

Photos by Chris Zoellner_ Mason City Globe Gazette_
Photos by Chris Zoellner Mason City Globe Gazette

State Representative
 Sharon Steckman (D)
West Fork Middle School has been designated as the North Central STEM Hub's Code Iowa Award Winner for 2015.  As the winner the school will receive $4,000 to be used for technology in the school.  This award is possible due to a generous donation by Google for a second year. More details about Code Iowa can be found here or by searching #codeIowa on twitter. Check out this media story from the Mason City Globe Gazette for more information and pictures from West Fork.
Numerous schools in the region, across the state and nation participated in the Hour of Code during the week of December 7-11. sponsors this event and has numerous activities and curriculum available on their website,  These materials are available all year, so it is never too late to begin coding! Give it a try!
Meet North Central STEM Board Member Jan WestrumDec2

After teaching in elementary classrooms for 33 years and being part of the Iowa Science Literacy Project for three years, Jan Westrum has spent the last five years being a cheerleader for STEM activities.
"My last seven years of teaching involved using the Science Writing Heuristic in my 5th grade classroom. I loved challenging the students to think deeper and then defend their ideas to their classmates. I've discovered that STEM activities follow a similar pattern," stated Westrum.
Jan Westrum has had the opportunity to observe some of the STEM activities that teacher Shelly Vanyo uses in her classes at Boone High School over the past several years.  "It is amazing to see the enthusiasm and knowledge that my former students are
now using in the various STEM activities. We are very fortunate to have a large variety of STEM classes at Boone High School," commented Westrum.
Mrs. Westrum also spends time on the Boone School Board serving as Vice-President this year. She enjoys celebrating the holidays with her family and going to coffee with her retired friends.

STEM Teaching Endorsement - Progress ReportDec3

Teachers and teacher candidates in Iowa now have the option of picking up an endorsement to teach STEM thanks to a collaborative effort of the STEM Council and the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE).
Currently, three institutions, Grand View University, Drake University and St. Ambrose University, have operationalized the pathway with a dozen more colleges and universities working to hatch programs. Thirty-five representatives of 20 higher education institutions alongside representatives of the Iowa Department of Education and the BOEE convened at St. Ambrose University in early October to temperature check on challenges to roll out. Limitations, such as the lack of engineering courses or integrated STEM methodology courses, became opportunities for collaboration as faculty from across institutions compared notes and committed to sharing.
STEM minors, masters and makerspaces funneling into STEM endorsement paths are in development while the STEM Council's design committee continues to advise the BOEE on fidelity to intent of the new endorsement. Two hallmark examples of that intent were highlighted at the meeting: new, integrated STEM content and methods courses rather than re-purposed existent courses, as well as authentic 30-hour STEM experiences for candidates.
Teachers equipped to integrate the subjects in an active, investigative, community-linked classroom environment are the end goal of the endorsement, which will complement the innovative STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) model sweeping Iowa. For more information about the STEM endorsement, send an e-mail to

Real World Externships provides educators with the experience to steer students towards mathematics, science and technology related fields by working side-by-side with knowledgeable and skilled employees at the local business level.
The benefits of this unique school/business alliance include:
  • Create lasting partnerships between businesses/ industries and local schools.
  • Match talented, educated and skilled teachers as participants and contributors to your business needs.
  • Give students real-world career information about businesses and industries right here in Iowa, creating a future work force in the area.
  • Gain publicity through the program's promotion of this business/industry partnership with schools, officially recognizing your commitment to education in Iowa.   
Proven value: 
Externs have worked on high-level business projects in a variety of industries across the state. From working with a continuous improvement expert in surgical units at a regional hospital, to mussel diving and water quality monitoring, to mapping machine efficiencies at a major advanced-manufacturing business, externs can offer uncommon expertise and save host sites time and money.
Time commitment: 
Externships typically run from June through July with a standard 40-hour work week for five to six weeks.

Learn more:
Read excerpts from Teacher Externship blog 
Check out the Externship website
Businesses - Complete an interest form to host Summer 2016 Teacher Externs
Email for more information