College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

College of Engineering contributes to IMSEP success

The nation’s renewed emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) continues to advance in Iowa through the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP). The program recently released its annual report, noting that over 26,000 Iowa students, more than 500 pre-service teachers and nearly 1,500 mathematics and science teachers in 185 Iowa communities in 88 counties participated in IMSEP-related programs this year.

“Iowa State’s College of Engineering is hugely committed to IMSEP,” said Camille Sloan Schroeder, director of engineering recruitment and community outreach. “It brings individuals together from across the state to have a unified discussion about the future and direction of the STEM fields and helps us determine the best way to improve the way these technical disciplines are taught to and received by students at all levels.”

The IMSEP 2009-2010 Annual Report provides readers with an overview of IMSEP at work in the state, including programs the college and Iowa State is actively involved in such as Project Lead The Way, a pre-engineering curriculum, and the Real World Externships for Teachers of Mathematics and Science Program, which matches teachers with businesses in their community to learn hands-on ways their skills are used in the real world to take back to their classrooms.

The program’s success is demonstrated by factors including an increase in the number of students pursuing science teaching at Iowa’s public universities (21%) and the number of students entering Iowa’s universities to major in STEM fields (chemistry 34%, physics 30%, engineering 14%, and biology 10%).

Schroeder and the many others who collaborate under IMSEP are always looking for new ways to bring interest to the fields through new events.  One such activity is Mom’s Night Out for STEM, which was brainstormed by the College of Engineering and IMSEP and held this past fall to inspire primary caretakers, particularly moms, to get hands-on with their children’s math and science education. “We hope to see advancements like we had this last year continue,” she said. “And that this initiative remains a priority for the state.”