Governor’s Choice for STEM Innovation

by College of Education | Jun 08, 2014

The University of Iowa College of Education is a leader on two projects that have the potential to impact every Iowa teacher and student and help increase innovation and economic opportunities in our state.

Both projects are in response to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s STEM Initiative, a long-term project aimed at building Iowa students’ interest and skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The K-12 STEM Teacher Innovation Institute

The K-12 STEM Teacher Innovation Institute is a partnership between the College of Education, the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at the Tippie College of Business, and others in the state to develop new ways of teaching innovation and entrepreneurship, especially through interdisciplinary projects and interactions with STEM industry leaders.

The first Teacher Innovation Institute developed interdisciplinary projects for teachers to implement with colleagues, students, and industry partners at their schools. This summer, a second wave of 40 teachers from across the state will come to campus to revise the institute’s professional development curriculum and improve it for future use.

Leslie Flynn

Leslie Flynn

These teachers will be curriculum leaders in their districts and will train others to infuse their curricula with innovation to help prepare future STEM leaders.

Project examples and curricula will be available for statewide use via the institute’s website, www.steminnovator.com.

“Our goal is to infuse innovation and entrepreneurship across Iowa’s K-12 classrooms,” says Leslie Flynn, administrator of STEM initiatives at the College of Education’s Belin-Blank Center and a project leader. In addition to the College of Education and the Jacobson Institute, other project partners include Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Department of Education, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, and STEM industry professionals.

Flynn, also a clinical assistant professor of science education, says the institute is aligned with the National Science Foundation’s Innovation-Corp initiative for college professors, but is unique in that it is aimed at K-12 students.

The K-12 STEM Student Innovation Institute

A second major initiative with potential statewide impact will work directly with high school students interested in STEM-related careers.

The K-12 STEM Student Innovation Institute will draw 20 students from Iowa to campus for a two-week technology and innovation program led by Flynn, STEM entrepreneur Steven Davis, and Iowa City West High School teacher Dominic Audia. Students will continue collaborating across the school year via Skype meetings with professors, entrepreneurs, industry partners, and peers.

They will learn how to develop technology products in teams working with industry mentors. They’ll have the opportunity to receive seed money to create their own startup companies based on their product and will present their ideas at Hawkeye Innovation Day in March 2015.

The Innovation Institute is administered by the Belin-Blank Center, the Jacobson Institute, and the Iowa Centers for Enterprise.

Davis, who owns a software company in Coralville, says he’s excited to see what students produce through the institute.

“I have big expectations,” he says.

Flynn says the hope is that both the teacher and student institutes ultimately have a positive economic impact in our state.

“We’re hoping to have kids not only develop their own innovative ideas while in school, but feel Iowa is a place of opportunity for them to build their future career,” she says.

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STEM @ THE COLLEGE

4+1
Our 4+1 program offers students the opportunity to earn their Bachelor's in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Environmental Science plus a Master's degree in Education in as little as five years.
100%
employment
for our math
and science
education
graduates
STEM: Redesigning the Learning Environment
The College of Education trained educators from Davenport, Des Moines, Mount Pleasant, and Sioux Center, along with members of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council in our TILE classrooms.
Follow

STEM @ THE COLLEGE
online at:

WWW.EDUCATION.
UIOWA.EDU/STEM
 
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