Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2017

Extension, school team up for STEM program

Mar 04, 2013
Photo by: Washington County Extension The objective of the last day of WEEK of WIND mini science camp was for participants to design windmill blades that would catch the wind, turn the blades, and lift weights in a small paper cup. Students were able to apply what they learned about wind turbines and blades from their field trip to John and Cathy Gent’s wind turbine the day before. Julie Timmins supervises as Jack Strabala, son of Brian and Tracy Strabala, tests his aluminum foil blades.

Washington County Extension/4-H was one of more than 800 schools and community organizations to participate in the first-ever STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) scale-up programs during the 2012-13 school year.

“The focus of the council’s first year was to begin delivering first-rate STEM education programs to students all over the state,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “We have had some outstanding STEM programs in Iowa, but whether students had access depended on where they lived. These scale-up programs have changed that.”

"This grant allowed us to purchase curriculum, supplies and equipment for an engineering/wind energy science camp. It is a great extension to the elementary science curriculum," said 4-H Youth Coordinator, Amy Green. "Our WEEK of WIND camp was a success with the fourth- and fifth-grade participants. We look forward to using this material for future camps and classroom extension activities"

Washington County Extension partnered with Lincoln Elementary School to host the four-day mini science camp. They dissected simple machines, designed boat sails to catch the wind, and made windmill blades to lift weights. One day students traveled to the John and Cathy Gent farm to see a wind turbine in use.

Created by the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, the STEM Scale-up program implementation was made possible by a $4.7 million appropriation from the 2012 Legislature is making the Council’s work possible. In 2012, 38 program proposals were received from education organizations offering programming that were easily administered anywhere in the state and that opened new and exciting possibilities to Iowa's students. The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a public-private partnership whose overarching goal is creating greater student achievement in STEM subjects and a stronger STEM workforce.


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