STEM News

Iowa State shares research about higher education policy and practice

Iowa State University scholars, largely from the School of Education in Lagomarcino Hall, are this week showcasing their research at the Association for the Study of Higher Education conference. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Iowa State University scholars are this week sharing their research about higher education policy and practice at a meeting of the nation’s premier association for such research.

Twenty-one researchers, largely from the School of Education, are showcasing their work at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) annual conference, today through Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The association is a scholarly society with 2,000 members dedicated to higher education as a field of study.

Research to drive systemic change in STEM diversity

Sarah Rodriguez, Lorenzo Baber, and Mary Darrow are among School of Education faculty and staff leading research on National Science Foundation grants aimed at improving diversity in STEM. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Iowa State University is a leader in bringing more diversity to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — not only through outreach, partnerships, scholarships, and conferences, but also with research aimed at systemic change across colleges in the Midwest and nationwide.

School of Education faculty and staff members Sarah Rodriguez, Lorenzo Baber, Brian Burt, Mary Darrow, Rosemary Perez, and Mari Kemis will for the next five years lead the research components of four National Science Foundation grants totalling $11.6 million, all aimed at increasing diversity in STEM.

Fourth-graders design boats as part of STEM lesson from Iowa State

About 100 Gilbert Intermediate School fourth-graders came Friday to Iowa State University to see if the boats they designed using new software would float across the Forker Building pool carrying freight. Photo by Lynn Campbell.

About 100 Gilbert Intermediate School fourth-graders came Friday to Iowa State University to see if the boats they designed using new software would float across the Forker Building pool carrying freight.

They made the boats out of foam, plastic, and wood using the math and science concepts, engineering design processes, and technologies they learned about over the past 4 ½ weeks from Christa Jackson and Mollie Appelgate, two assistant professors in the School of Education.

Hayden works to crack code for better reading comprehension, teacher preparation

Emily Hayden, a new School of Education assistant professor of literacy education, works to improve student literacy and strengthen teacher preparation. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Emily Hayden, a new assistant professor of literacy education in the School of Education at Iowa State University, has two driving passions: improving student literacy and strengthening teacher preparation.

The eastern Nebraska native — who serves as one of the newest members of the Iowa Reading Research Center’s Advisory Council — taught for nearly two decades in K-12 classrooms before entering higher education, kindling a desire to decode the mysteries of reading.

Science Bound celebrates 25 years of academic excellence

Victor, Natasha, Becky, and Thomas Gomez are siblings attending Iowa State University through Science Bound. Photo By Christopher Gannon.

As much as Becky Gomez loved math and science as a kid, she never really connected her favorite subjects with what she might want to do when she grew up. Even when her mom encouraged her to join Science Bound, Becky says she initially thought it was just something fun to do after school.

New Iowa State professor examines impact of exercise on the brain

Peter Clark, an assistant professor in nutritional science who swam competitively in college, applies his love of physical activity to his psychological studies. He researches how nutritional, physical, and physiological changes in the brain impact behavior. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Exercise and the human brain have always fascinated Peter Clark.

Clark, a new assistant professor in nutritional science at Iowa State University, received his bachelor’s degree in psychology while winning medals for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s swim team. He swam competitively from the time he was 10 years old, through college.

Iowa State places second in national food product competition

Iowa State University students created a nutritious frozen yogurt sandwich that placed second in the 2016 National Dairy Council new product competition. Contributed photo.

A healthy dessert invented by eight Iowa State University students took second place in a national food product competition.

“Beyond the Bar” is a frozen yogurt sandwich containing vanilla matcha green tea-flavored frozen Greek yogurt with a chocolate swirl, in between two oat blend honey granola wafers. It combines sweet-tooth satisfaction, natural energy enhancers, and nutrients.

Burt named fellow by the National Academy of Education

Brian Burt, an assistant professor in the School of Education, has been named a 2016 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow by the National Academy of Education. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Brian Burt will soon be among an elite group of scholars considered the strongest education researchers in the field.

Burt, an assistant professor in the Iowa State University School of Education, is a recipient of the 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, which supports early-career scholars working in critical areas of education research.

Clothing made from tea byproduct could improve health of fashion industry

Young-A Lee and her research team have designed a vest and shoe prototype from the cellulosic fiber grown in this lab. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Rows of shallow plastic bins cover nearly every available space inside one of the textile and clothing labs in LeBaron Hall. The lab is really more of a “greenhouse,” but it is far different from the other greenhouses on the Iowa State University campus. 

Technology helps fifth and sixth graders with math problems

Aaron Hauser, an Iowa State junior in elementary education, works with Nevada fifth graders Allison Kruzich and Stephanie Lopez to use a new online math lesson he developed. Photo by Lynn Campbell.

About 45 future teachers at Iowa State University are using technology to help fifth and sixth graders at Nevada Middle School better understand math concepts that give them difficulty.

Students in Christa Jackson’s CI 523 Teaching Mathematics to Struggling Elementary Learners class and Mollie Appelgate’s CI 448 Teaching Children Mathematics class this semester developed modules — or online tutorial videos — to encourage student collaboration and increase conceptual understanding of mathematics ideas.