As one of thirteen most recently awarded STEM BEST models, Woodbine Community School District and its community partners understand the value of engaging students with businesses. They provide their students with a unique opportunity to interact with local businesses through their STEM BEST Lunch Guest Program.
This lunch and learn experience is spearheaded by two district staff members -- TLC Leader Tracey Kelley and K-12 Technology Integrationist Shawna Harris -- who want to spark the interest of 3rd- through 5th-grade students about all of the career opportunities that are available in their own community.
Businesses from the area are invited to join a group of 4-5 students for lunch. The business representatives are asked to provide the students with a business card and share information about what drove them to choose their career, what inspired them when they were students, if/how they volunteer their time and what they enjoy about working within the Woodbine community.
Darin Smith of Arch Icon and graduate of Woodbine High School was interviewed by three Woodbine Elementary students. Two of these students are Lucas and Micah who shared their insights on the program. These young lads felt they learned a lot from Mr. Smith through the experiences he shared about his career, education and travels in the Army. The students enjoy the program and feel they would not know about Arch Icon and other local businesses without it.
Businesses are informed of the opportunity to connect with students through the school district’s social media platforms. The staff at Woodbine have had no difficulty finding local businesses to sign up and take advantage of the opportunity to share with the students. Having these meaningful conversations early on allows kids to see and appreciate an array of opportunities that are in their own backyard in Woodbine.
To engage with other innovative education-workplace partnerships emerging across Iowa, join us for the STEM Education + Workplace Partnerships: Governor's 2019 Future Ready Iowa Summit on April 30, 2019, at the Iowa Events Center - Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. For more information and to register, go to: https://iowastem.gov/2019STEMsummit.