Building Connections to Local Economic Development

The Southeast Iowa STEM Region covers 18 diverse counties, each with a distinct personality. Our goal is to further connect our school districts, business, students and parents to the world of STEM and through wide range of engagement we provide. On Monday July 8th we stopped by the Sigourney Public Library to speak with Amanda Rostami, Library Director. The library moved to its new location on the east side of town in 2005. Amanda and her volunteer staff offer summer activities including "Space Day: Blast off with Books" and are looking for other opportunities to partner with STEM related activities for children and families of all ages. The library provides a summer reading program and would like to tap in to the SE Region STEM Hub "library" for activities, and will get involved in the next STEM Festival in the Keokuk County area. Amanda will also check out the next round of Scale Up programming. Thank you Amanda for taking the time to meet and learn more about the Governor's STEM Council and telling us about Sigourney! 

Sigourney, Iowa is the county seat for Keokuk County in SE Iowa. Named after popular poet Lydia Sigourney, this unique community is home to a little over 2100 people. The local government is a Mayor/Council charter, with the City Clerk serving as the head administrator for the city. We stopped by on July 8th to speak with Angela Alderson, City Clerk. As luck would have it, she gave us an hour of her time for a drop in visit. We discussed growth and maintenance challenges Sigourney faces while also touching on the draw of people to live in the community. We touched on STEM Festivals, Scale-Up programming, and Externships. Her daughter is a teacher in the Sigourney District and is a possible contact for other teachers to explore extern opportunities. The former police chief is also on the school board and will be an excellent contact to connect with. The city recently received grants to improve the aging water system, an excellent opportunity for a teacher externship next summer. 

By developing connections with the communities we serve, down to the individuals, we are able to provide STEM programming that is designed for collective success. Thank you for your time for our "drop in" visit!