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Allison Grabert introduces Kiwanis to University of Southern Indiana’s STEM Resource Center

 

Article courtesy of Greg Grant…audio/photo by Jc Tinsley

The Carmi Kiwanis Club met on Thursday, January 21. Club president, Alan Saunders, called the meeting to order. Club member, Adam Winkleman, introduced his guest and future barber with Town and Country Barber Shop, Nick Knight. Don White was the winner of the 50/50 drawing. Jeremy Jordan, program chairman, introduced the guest speaker, Allison Grabert.

Allison is the STEM Resource Center Director for the University of Southern Indiana.Alli G 2

The mission of the southwest Indiana resource center is to provide STEM (Science, Technology,

Engineering, and Mathematics) resources to K-16 educators within the seventeen-county region (of Indiana) to augment student preparedness for undergraduate STEM coursework, and to ultimately increase the size and proficiency of the STEM workforce. The southwest Indiana STEM Resource Center provides professional development for educators, outreach activities for students, and equipment lending services for schools.

Through the Resource Center, Allison listed some of the equipment they lend to schools in their region, such as voltage probes, barometers, dissecting microscopes, globes, telescopes, skeleton models, electricity kits, incubators, and graphing calculators. The items available for loan are extensive and constantly expanding.

The Resource Center also provides activities for students to promote STEM. They sponsor and host a Tri-State Science and Engineering Fair, a robotic Lego League Qualifying Tournament, an Engineering & Manufacturing Creativity Camp, a Girls Only STEM Program, and a Middle School STEM Innovation Camp. Allison also described the USI Regional SeaPerch Challenge held in conjunction with the Naval Surface Warfare Center at the Crane Naval Base.

The STEM program is mainly funded by grants and works closely with local manufacturers to meet the demands of the modern workforce. Started in 2007, data indicates that students who engage in STEM activities have higher college retention rates and GPAs. Although the Resource Center currently services southwest Indiana, Allison emphasized that she aims to reach into southern Illinois. She grew up in Norris City and would welcome inquiries from southeastern Illinois educators. For more information, go to www.swistem.org or www.usi.edu/stem.

Next week the Carmi Kiwanis will present a membership drive. Club members are encouraged to invite interested colleagues to the meeting.

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