STEM 'Community Conversation' attracts sizable crowd

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and UNI President Ben Allen listen intently as Amelia Weber, First Lego League participant and member of the Waverunners 4-H club of Spirit Lake, shows off her robot. (Photo submitted)

The "Community Conversation" on STEM initiatives, conducted at the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes Friday, was "the best attended in the state so far," according to University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen, co-chair of the executive council for the Governor's STEM Initiative.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Allen are touring the state in order to engage in open forum discussions on the topic of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and economic development.

More than 100 business and civic leaders along with parents, legislators, college students, professors and staff were in attendance at the town hall style meeting.

In addition, Valerie Newhouse, president of Iowa Lakes Community College, was on hand for the meeting, along with representatives from the Northwest Iowa STEM Regional Advisory Board.

Also, students and teachers from Spirit Lake, Estherville Lincoln Central and Sibley-Ocheyedan were there. All of the students present for the Community Conversation currently participate in STEM-related programs, including FIRST Lego League, Hyperstream and Project Lead the Way.

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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