Storm Lake teachers bring STEM innovator training to the classroom

Friday, February 19, 2021

Two Storm Lake High School teachers have become STEM Innovator ® certified, giving them the tools and knowledge to effectively infuse innovation and entrepreneurship in their classrooms.

Through the certification, teachers Leah Rekow and Will Swanson are more equipped than ever to engage students in solving authentic, community-driven and real-world problems by working in teams and collaborating with community partners. Along the way, students explore science, technology, engineering and math careers and gain skills to become college and career ready.

In fall 2020, Rekow and Swanson taught the STEM Innovator ® curriculum to their newcomer English language learner student scientists. They tackled the problem of mask wearing in the community, culminating in pitches to stakeholders that enabled students to build on their language skills.

“As a school district, we are thrilled to have Ms. Rekow and Mr. Swanson leading the way when it comes to providing STEM opportunities to our high school students,” said Dr. Stacey Cole, Superintendent of the Storm Lake Community School District. “Through this training, they have gained valuable skills and experience that will benefit our students now and well into the future.

We look forward to seeing their continued innovation and success in this important area as we prepare students for the careers and opportunities of the future.”

As veteran co-teachers, Rekow and Swanson were proud of the progress their students made.

They look forward to re-engaging these students for another round of STEM-driven learning in the spring.

STEM Innovator ® is a key program offered by the University of Iowa’s Jacobson Institute to promote innovation and entrepreneurship to K-12 students and teachers on a local, state and national level. The Jacobson Institute is part of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the Tippie College of Business.

To learn more about STEM Innovator ®, visit www.steminnovator.org . For more information on Storm Lake High School’s STEM Innovator program, contact Leah Rekow at lrekow@slcsd.org or Will Swanson at wswanson@slcsd.org .