Middle Grades

Concurrent

Developing Leaders in STEM: Engaging Rural Gifted Students through Extra-Curricular Programming

Friday, November 10
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Location: 209 A

Come learn how extra-curricular middle school STEM programming can be effectively implemented to support high-achieving, economically-disadvantaged rural students. The STEM Excellence and Leadership program, sponsored through a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation grant, challenges teachers and students to develop as STEM leaders. This evidence-based program demonstrates the impact of expanding talent identification and development for underserved gifted populations through informal STEM education environments. The session highlights the key components of the program, including examples of how participating districts individualized the program. Additionally, presenters share results from the program evaluations, which highlight successful aspects and show areas for growth.

Lori M. Ihrig

Supervisor for Curriculum and Instruction
Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, University of Iowa

Lori Ihrig graduated with a B.S. in Science Education from the University of Iowa and taught grades 7–12 science for the Williamsburg Community School District. During this time she also worked with the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, teaching for the Junior Scholars Institute and the Weekend Institute for Gifted Students. She earned her MS in Science Education from the University of Iowa in 2002. In 2007, she began working at ACT, Inc. writing science curriculum and facilitating science teacher professional development for Quality Core, a project that was a partnership between ACT, the Gates Foundation, and the National Governors Association. In 2014, she earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Iowa State University with an emphasis in Science Education. Her doctoral emphases were highly effective science teacher education and the implementation of reforms-based science instruction by novice science teachers. Lori is an active member of many professional organizations including the Iowa Science Teachers Section of the Iowa Academy of Science, National Science Teachers Association, Association for Science Teacher Education, and National Association for Research in Science Teaching. She has authored articles for science teachers, been a member of multiple curriculum writing teams, reviewed science books for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and won awards for her teaching and research. Lori is currently a Supervisor for Curriculum and Instruction at the Belin-Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. In addition to overseeing development for the Center’s pre-college student programs throughout the year, she is the lead administrator for the Secondary Student Training Program, program director for the STEM Excellence and Leadership program, and oversees the Blast, Challenge Saturdays, Invent Iowa, and Weekend Institute for Gifted Students programs. Her research interests include academic talent-development in high-ability rural students.

Presentation(s):

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Erin Lane

Doctoral Student
University of Iowa

Erin Lane is a doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Iowa. Upon admission, she was awarded a Presidential Fellowship by the Graduate College. As part of that award, Erin assists with the research and programming for the STEM Excellence grant, an extracurricular STEM acceleration course for gifted students in rural schools provided by their districts with support from the Belin-Blank Center. Prior to her doctoral work, Erin served as the Gifted Education Counselor for a large public school, providing direct services to approximately 200 gifted high school students and consultation to other students, parents and faculty in the district. Erin received her M.A. in School Counseling and a certificate in Gifted Education from the University of Iowa after five years of employment as a teacher and administrator in private education. Her research interests include college and career readiness factors for gifted students (especially students from marginalized populations), advocacy efforts in both school counseling and gifted education, and the counseling experiences of gifted students in K-12 education.

Presentation(s):

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Duhita Mahatmya

Assistant Research Scientist
University of Iowa

Duhita Mahatmya is an assistant research scientist in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD in human development and family studies from Iowa State University. Her research examines the interplay of individual, family, and school factors on the academic and social-emotional resilience of youth from vulnerable communities.

Presentation(s):

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