Educators

Programs, events and resources for K-12 formal and non-formal educators.

MVMs: Magic in math classroom

Dr. Adam Feldhaus, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Northern Iowa, has always felt that manipulative technology for mathematics education is currently way too expensive for most elementary schools.

 

“Classroom sets of physical manipulatives are expensive while most computer-based virtual manipulatives are either non-intuitive or based on dated technology or locked behind publishing deals or some combination thereof,” he says.

 

For the love of physics

When he was a little boy, Byron Fritch would have a lot of questions in his mind about everyday occurrences: How does a bird fly? How does a suspension bridge bear the weight of so many cars? Then, as he grew older, he found out that physics and mathematics had answers to most of these questions and more. He has known since that physics is what he wants to study. So, once he completed high school, the question was not what but where to study.

 

Looking back, looking forward

 
Fall 2016 was a lot of fun, with a lot of STEM events across the UNI campus and beyond. The Semester End Special puts together a few happy memories in frames. For those of you, who may not have been there at these events, good news. A number of events are lined up for Spring 2017. Happy holidays!!!
 
 
 

Thinking outside the box

Haley Osborn has always known that she wants to be a teacher. Until recently, though, she was in a dilemma over what she wanted to teach.
 
“I was pushed towards mathematics when I was in high school,” Haley recalls. “When I came to UNI, I was originally a Math Education major.”
 
However, after taking a few courses in Math Education, she started to reconsider her plans. “I realized it wasn’t for me,” she says.
 

Feeling ever so strongly about science

Jessica Wayson used to hate science. However, it all changed during her junior year in high school; her chemistry teacher helped her see science “in a completely new light.”
 
As Jessica began to realize how science formed an integral part of her everyday life, she went from hating science to loving science. Soon, she was so passionate about science that she wanted to become a science teacher.
 

The best change of plan ever

 
Kaleb Luse originally wanted to major in aeronautical engineering because he was an avionics technician in the military. Moreover, he thought it would be cool to tell his friends, “It’s not rocket science... O wait, it is!”
 
 
He had to change his plans, though. There was a change in his base’s mission and, subsequently, his assignment in the military.
 
 
“I ended up working with computers,” Kaleb recalls. “So, I decided to change my major to computer science, which, I thought, would better reflect my new job.”
 
 

Turning passion into career direction

Jordan Caruso has always had an eye for clothing. “In high school, I loved to use clothes to express myself,” she says.
 
In textile and apparel, she not only found passion but also saw a career direction. So, she applied to The Art Institute in New York City and got enrolled.
 
However, Jordan didn’t like the program.
 
“The program was set up with long class hours and a very rigid course structure that didn’t allow for you to choose what you wanted to take,” she says.
 

A summer of excitement, enlightenment

Juliana Herran and Ibro Tutic, who are majoring in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Northern Iowa respectively, came to know about the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) from different sources.
 
Ibro got an email from his department that said Dr. Pavel Lukashev was looking for students interested to participate in the program. He met with the Physics professor and expressed his interest, and he was on board.
 
Juliana, on the other hand, came to know about the program at a conference.

A firm believer in teamwork

Shannon Sturgeon’s decision to major in electrical engineering technology was “a natural continuation” from an associate’s degree in electrical technology and employment as an apprentice electrician at Interstates Construction.
 
However, the inspiration to take this road came a lot earlier — way back in the high school days.
 
“In high school, I worked for my dad doing residential construction,” Shannon says. “He didn’t do electrical work but I enjoyed that hands-on work enough to pursue it further.”
 

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