UPDATE: Reynolds sees STEM initiative working in Spencer, IA - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Reynolds sees STEM initiative working in Spencer, IA


Two-and-a-half years ago Iowa's governor launched a new classroom initiative to get students interested in science and technology.  Friday, students in the Spencer School District demonstrated how the STEM program is working in the classroom for Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.

The STEM initiative is driving students at Spencer's middle school toward careers in technology, engineering, and math.

"It's really great having an activities based class. They're excited most days they come in there, to work, to get started on those things They have a lot of fun because they're using their hands,” said Clint Geater, an Industrial Technology Teacher at the Middle and High School.

Teaching the same concepts we learned in a text book, in a new, hands-on way. The program stretches through all grade levels. While 8th graders are working on 3D-models, and building robots, 5th graders are putting engineering principals to the test, too.

"Like the glasses I'm wearing now. Someone had to make these, and they had to try to find out what materials to make it out of,” Tatum Cuttell, a Lincoln 5th Grader said.

Friday, they demonstrated the bobsleds they built during the Olympics for Reynolds.

"They were having fun, and they were so articulate in what they were talking about and the project they were working on. It's really making them ask questions and solve problems,” described Reynolds.

While it may seem an educational initiative on the surface, STEM is also an economic development tool, teaching students skills that will help grow Iowa's workforce.

“We talk about giving our students a great education and then they leave the state, I don't think that is going to happen anymore,” Reynolds added.

After their presentations, the 5th and 8th grade girls swapped stories of the challenges and triumphs that came with their new classroom activities. For Olivia Ross it was a window into what she has to look forward to in Middle School.

“That's what I want to do. I want to be like those girls. They are my role models,” said Ross.

The 5th graders at Lincoln Elementary will race their bobsleds next Tuesday.

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