CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (December 10, 2018)–Kirkwood Community College’s Workplace Learning Connection (WLC), a work-based learning program for middle school and high school students, has partnered with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and regional business partners to host the second annual Linn County STEM Institute on Dec. 17-20, at the Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha.
The four day event will host over 3,000 seventh grade students from Linn and Benton County while highlighting critical science, technology, engineering, and math careers, including Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Information Technology.
“STEM careers are critical careers in high demand in our region,” said Workplace Learning Connection Director Laurie Worden. “Students will have the opportunity to learn about critical STEM careers from our local and regional business partners.”
After a successful 2017 inaugural launch, the 2018 Linn County STEM Institute has been expanded to increase area middle school and business participation. WLC has extended the event to four days, added 14 new business participants, and will host 11 new middle schools, adding over 600 students from the previous year. The 2018 Linn County STEM Institute will provide this year’s seventh grade students with over 12,000 unique STEM experiences.
An increase in STEM Institute experiences correlates to an increase in STEM-related job shadow and internship opportunities as selected by regional high school students. WLC experienced a 91 percent spike in participation for STEM job shadows in Johnson County from 2015 to 2017. WLC attributes this growth to strong community partnerships and hands-on events like the STEM Institute.
Business participants for the 2018 Linn County STEM Institute will include Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids Fire Department, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, Collins Aerospace, deNovo, Federal Bureau of Investigation, GoDaddy, Highway Equipment, Honkamp Krueger, Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, Iowa National Guard, Kepros, KGAN, Legacy Manufacturing, Linn County Farm Bureau, Marion Fire Department, Mathnasium, Mercy Medical Center, Miller Family Eye Care, MMS Consultants, Mount Mercy University, Moxie Solar, National Advanced Driving Simulator, Newell Machinery, Schneider Electric, Softronics, Sylvan, UnityPoint, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Kirkwood Community College Career Academies: Advanced Manufacturing, Allied Health, Auto Tech, and Patient Care.
What: Linn County STEM Institute
When: December 17–20
Where: Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.