Thursday, September 15, 2011

GREAT Opportunity!

I just received word about this FREE event this Sunday in Coralville for elementary & middle school students. Check it out... it looks great for kids into science, math, and engineering!

Here's the website:

Here's the information:

On Sept. 18, elementary and middle school students and their families will simulate a Hazmat decontamination, play "Blood, Guts, and Healing" on a wii console, operate robotics, and take part in many other hand-on activities at Iowa's first iExploreSTEM.

Held at the State Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville from 1 to 5 p.m. , iExploreSTEM is a free festival created to encourage student involvement in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

"Probably every economic assessment written in the last 50 years concludes that growth comes from innovation, and that most innovation derives from STEM-related advances," said Gina Schatteman, Ph.D., Director of iExploreSTEM and associate professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Iowa.

The festival is a collaborative brainchild of Schatteman and leaders at the Hygienic Lab and Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP). The idea grew out of the first USA Science and Engineering Festival held in 2010 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. IMSEP was a participant at that event and will co-sponsor iExploreSTEM with the Hygienic Laboratory.

More than 40 iExplore activities are designed to engage students in activities that will encourage them to study STEM subjects and pursue careers in these fields.

"The stagnant performance of U.S. students suggests that we are not creating a new generation of innovators," Schatteman said. "This bodes poorly for economic growth in the US in general and Iowa in particular. Fortunately, we have a strong culture of innovation and a supportive education system, so this course is not irreversible if we act now."

The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that the number of STEM occupations will increase by 17 percent in the next seven years, compared to an increase of 9.8 percent for non-STEM occupations.

Most jobs now require some level of STEM knowledge, according to Schatteman. These include firefighters who need a working knowledge of chemistry for Hazmat duties; farmers who rely on math and economics to decide what to plant and when to sell their crops; and emergency medical technicians who use their knowledge of physiology.

"To be competitive for 21st-century jobs, students must have a strong foundation in STEM," Schatteman said. Unfortunately, once the world leader in STEM education, the U.S. is now in the middle of the pack and falling fast in international rankings. Iowa students used to be the best in the nation, but now rank in the middle by some measures. How will our kids be able to compete for jobs in a global economy?"

More information about iExploreSTEM is available online at

No comments:

Post a Comment