Hull, Iowa — Western Christian High School has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
Western Christian’s administration says that the grant will be used to redesign one of Western’s classrooms to facilitate meaningful and regular, real-time communication between Western’s students and teachers and local industry and higher-education partners, using technology to maximize STEM learning opportunities. These communications will be greatly facilitated by a recent grant from Premier Communications.
In the redesigned classroom specific technology choices such as webcams and large monitor displays on each table will be incorporated. This classroom will allow Western to build on already strong industry and higher education partnerships, by increasing the frequency, depth and quality of interactions between Western students and teachers and these partners.
Dan Barkel, Principal at Western Christian said, “In particular, real-time communication using the technology in this classroom eliminates the need for blocking out large parts of the day for partners to travel to the school or students to visit the partner-site. Instead, we can emphasize the ability for shorter, but more frequent, communication opportunities that fit within a typical class period—communications which otherwise might not justify the time and expense of a face-to-face visit. Importantly, this redesigned classroom will serve as a catalyst for a variety of additional innovations in STEM education at Western, as well as serving as a model classroom regionally and nationally.”
Barkel says that Western students will be highly-prepared for post-secondary study and the 21st century workforce and will be familiar with and excited by STEM career opportunities in NW Iowa. Teachers will have the resources and knowledge they need to integrate STEM content and skills across many disciplines. Western will develop strong, mutually-edifying ties with a diverse set of regional businesses, Dordt College, and other community organizations that will give Western students a competitive advantage in a number of different career paths.