Forum Caps Record Year of Iowa STEM Teacher Externships

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Forum
Educators discuss lesson development and implementation, assessment and cross-curricular connections of lesson ideas as part of the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Year-End Forum in Ankeny.

After a record-setting year in the number of externs, a passionate group of educators, business hosts and mentors filled the room at the Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Campus for the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Year-End Forum to share experiences and collaborate on how to incorporate those experiences into their classrooms.

In the first breakout session, externs and hosts were divided into areas of content expertise including mathematics and technology, engineering and manufacturing, and lab and field science. These groups were focused on their summer experiences, takeaways and future plans for their specific field of interest.

During the next breakout sessions teacher externs discussed ways to branch the classroom out into the local community, and workplace hosts collaborated on how to make the most of the externship experience.

In the afternoon, Interim Executive Director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Cindy Dietz moderated a panel about successful school+business partnerships, including the following individuals with past experience in the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Program:

  • Nate Clayberg, CAPS Program-Business Development, Cedar Falls Community Schools
  • Angela Hanson, Math Teacher, Ankeny High School, 2018 STEM Teacher Extern
  • Karen O’Loughlin, Math Teacher, Ankeny High School, Extern alum
  • Amber Pargmann, Global Program Manager, John Deere Ottumwa Works
  • Greg Smith, Externships Mentor & Technology/Engineering teacher, Davenport West High School
  • Grace Swanson, Vice President-Human Capital, Accumold
  • Ethan Wiechmann, CAPS Lead Instructor/Associate Principal, Cedar Falls Community Schools

The forum concluded with lesson development and implementation, assessment and cross-curricular connections of lesson ideas. Participants departed with a toolbox full of fresh ideas for integrating the real world into the classroom and strategies for building stronger school+business partnerships for the future.

For more information about Iowa STEM Teacher Externships, visit

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