K12 Students

Programs, events, and resources for K-12 students and their families.

A teacher for teachers, mentor for mentors

The Iowa Academy of Science awarded Dr. Dawn Del Carlo, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Northern Iowa, the 2017 Excellence in Science Teaching Award for Science Supervisory at the academy’s 129th annual meeting on April 21, 2017.

 

The ESTA Awards, introduced in 1969, recognize science teachers of all grade levels for their work and innovation in science education.

 

Interestingly, it was not until the end of her college career that Dr. Del Carlo realized that she liked teaching.

 

It’s STEM Summer Camps time

As spring makes way for summer, and a long break looms, many parents in the Cedar Valley area may have already started wondering—and perhaps worrying too—how best their school-going children can spend the long days and weeks ahead. Fun is, of course, on the menu but wouldn’t it be nice too if they could learn something useful along the way? The combination of fun and learn that these parents seek for their children is a major feature of the STEM summer camps at the University of Northern Iowa.

The happy biology major

Michael Lashbrook is happy “looking towards future.” He is happy “living every day.” In fact, he has never been happier. It’s all mostly because of his biology major.

 

Michael or MJ, as he is known to his friends, has always wanted to study natural sciences in college. “I have always loved science,” he says.

 

So, the decision to major in biology ultimately came down to how interested he was in it. “Biology is such a diverse topic that it stood out to me most,” he adds.

 

Seeking answers in a molecular maze — II

One ongoing project in Dr. Sliwinski’s lab is to continue tracking soil archaea using DNA fingerprinting.

“In addition to my work, other labs around the world have found DNA evidence of archaea in the soil. They are on every continent and in every soil tested,” he says. “Part of what now needs to get done is an accounting of which species of archaea are where, over space and over time.”

Seeking answers in a molecular maze — I

Dr. Marek K. Sliwinski, an associate professor of biology at the University of Northern Iowa, believes “it is an exciting time to be a molecular biologist.”

 

“The progress made by the scientific community in only the past few decades has revolutionized biology,” he says.

 

“Molecular biology provides the most interesting answers to biological questions,” he adds. “So, research students in my lab design experiments at the level of DNA and proteins.”

 

Hoping to make the world a better place

Jake Parks enjoys learning how the physical world works; he has perpetually been in awe about the infinitude of the universe and its intricacy. So, the decision to major in physics was not difficult for him to make.

The decision to enroll in the University of Northern Iowa was not difficult, either; he found the sense of community here overwhelming.

“People here, from students to faculty, truly care about you,” Jake says. “It makes the intimidating experiences of college much more manageable.”

In fact, the experience has been awesome for him.

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.

 

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