Models | Woodward-Granger High School

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Woodward, IA
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Woodward-Granger High School has successfully implemented STEM Club, an extra-curricular club providing students with meaningful learning opportunities. Students in STEM Club practice 21st century skills designing their own projects, as well as working on solutions to problems brought to them by members of the school and community. Additionally, STEM Club members have spoken with professionals in STEM fields to learn about future opportunities available after high school.
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How it Works

Educators at Woodward-Granger High School have collaborated to create, implement, and maintain a  STEM  Club  which challenges students, provides authentic application of skills learned in the classroom, and promotes student involvement at Woodward-Granger.  STEM Club aims to give students a reason  to  work  harder,  increase  their  capacity  and  desire  for  learning,  and  recognize uses for their school work beyond high school.

Students in STEM Club have participated in a variety of projects, field trips, activities, and talks by guest speakers about their careers in STEM fields. Through these enrichment experiences, students can  apply  the  skills  learned in the classroom and STEM Club through real-world problems. For example, students were presented with the problem of toilet paper waste as a result of the dispenser design and brainstormed ideas to prevent toilet paper waste.

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Goals

Invite Students to Challenge Themselves

Woodward-Granger’s STEM Club aims to push students to challenge themselves academically through high expectations withheld in the club.

Engage Students in STEM Opportunities

The club also aims to present authentic opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in school to STEM fields. The projects, activities, speakers, and those mentoring the club focus around the areas of STEM and implementing the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset.

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Population Targeted

STEM Club is open to any students at Woodward-Granger High School interested in increasing their knowledge, understanding, and enthusiasm for STEM.

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Customer Discovery

Student Feedback

In creating STEM Club, teachers used student surveys to conclude students were interested in STEM, but they wanted to learn more about available STEM careers and opportunities. As a result, STEM Club formed to encompass a variety of speakers, activities, and field trip opportunities to help expose the students to a wider variety of STEM fields.  Students were even able to pick places they were most interested in to visit for following semesters.

Teachers have also collected feedback from students after field trips or experiences in order to plan the most meaningful future activities.

Business Networks

Teachers attended the Math and Science Conference, networking with many businesses willing to visit the club or set up a time to visit the students. The school and faculty also provides students with real-world problems, such as toilet paper waste presented by the school custodian.

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Key Partners

Woodward-Granger ELP Program

Dupont Pioneer

Adam Thompson, Catholic Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Callie Waller, Unity Point Health

Mike Palmer, Athletico

Joe Smith, Leaf Guard

Melinda Harney, Dallas County Administration

Iowa State University Engineering Students

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Successes to Date

Student Interest

STEM Club had 40 students come for the first meeting, while a consistent group of around 15-20 students attend every meeting.

STEM Expert Involvement

Several speakers have attended STEM Club to discuss their careers in STEM fields. Speakers have included software specialists, physicians, healthcare professionals, and athletic trainers. Through communication with these STEM professionals, students developed a broader understanding of possible STEM careers and the skills needed in these careers.

STEM Field Experience

STEM Club also went on a field trip DuPont Pioneer, where the students learned about growing crops for higher productivity and yield. Several students also attended Meals with Mentors, an event providing an opportunity for high school girls to network with females in STEM careers.

STEM Activity Engagement

STEM Club also engages students in STEM related activities. All Woodward-Granger students participated in an egg drop competition, designed to replicate the Engineering Design Process and help students learn about engineering-type problems. Students were awarded for engineering an egg container able to drop from the highest point without breaking the egg, while taking into account cost, size, materials, and other components.

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Sustainability Plan

Scheduling

Woodward-Granger High School plans to develop consistent meeting times for STEM Club fitting into the scheduling of other extra-curricular activities. With set scheduling, students will be able to devote more time to their projects, making their experiences more meaningful.

Fundraising

STEM Club plans to seek additional fundraising support to provide project resources, field experiences, and STEM events, maximizing the opportunity for students to gain real-world experience.

Extending Community Partnerships

STEM Club also plans to continue developing relationships with local business partners to obtain additional financial support, problem-solving scenarios, or career exploration opportunities.

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