With a mission of informing the STEM Council’s direction and expanding reach to Iowa youth, the STEM Youth Advisory Board is up to the task. Members of the Youth Advisory Board are highly engaged in their schools and communities and can boost statewide engagement in STEM opportunities. In addition to involvement in activities within their own school districts, the Youth Advisory Board recently brainstormed ways to expand knowledge of STEM in the classroom and increase community engagement with Iowa youth. The result: a statewide virtual youth conference.
The student-led virtual conference was held in early September and empowered members of the Youth Advisory Board to apply 21st Century Skills through planning, communication, promotion and execution of the conference, while serving a broader mission of reaching students across the state.
To open the virtual conference, STEM Council Executive Director Jeff Weld provided remarks highlighting the critical role and contribution today’s youth will have on the future of our communities.
Breakout sessions featured educators and subject-matter experts on topics including computer science and artificial intelligence, STEM extracurriculars and increasing accessibility to STEM in the classroom.
“The virtual STEM conference was small in numbers, but it made a huge impact,” said Ella Meyer, STEM Youth Advisory Board member. “The audience members selected two sessions they would like to attend. During these sessions they got to have one-on-one conversations and group discussions with the speaker and the other audience members about the topic at hand. The ability to have these small discussions allowed them to be more in-depth and create a longer lasting impact for the students and educators in Iowa.”
The Council owes a nod of gratitude to two John Deere executives, Amber Pargmann and Allison Plunkett, for donating their time to mentoring the group. For information on the Youth Advisory Board, for example their upcoming agenda and how to join, contact info@IowaSTEM.org.