G-R hosts STEM conference By: Shelby Yates
May 16, 2014
The Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School hosted the Northeast STEM conference town hall meeting Thursday, May 8th. It was a huge honor to host Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Cork Peterson (of PCI in Reinbeck) in our high school for this meeting. It was also a great opportunity for our students to learn more about the STEM program and how we can incorporate it even more into our school district. STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, it can be defined as: “...an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling employment of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.” Governor Branstad recognized the importance of STEM education in Iowa’s youth. He initiated the STEM council and has funded it for the past three years. The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Agriculture Education department has been a recipient of additional STEM funding for the first two years and is currently pending their third year of support. A part of this project is to encourage students to pursue STEM related coursework during post-secondary education and eventually pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. In the future, the Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School hopes to set up school to work relationships with local STEM related industries (i.e. PCI) to give students a more real understanding of STEM careers. At this town hall meeting, high school students taking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses showed the state leaders some projects they’ve been working on in class. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds commended G-R on taking a lead in STEM programming. Reynolds even mentioned that it’s not only helping students now with test scores, but will also prepare them for their future. This STEM town hall meeting was the sixth and final meeting for Branstad and Reynolds, but G-R staff and students hope they can stop by again and see the progress they’re making in their STEM program.
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