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UMS Students Visit Iowa State University During Women in Science and Engineering “Go Further” Day

Each year, Urbandale Middle School offers an opportunity for 8th grade girls to attend “Go Further,” a day hosted by the W.I.S.E (Women In Science and Engineering) organization at Iowa State University. Students enjoy traveling north to the prestigious Iowa State campus to explore science, technology, engineering, and math. 

“I didn’t expect to feel so encouraged,” said UMS 8th grade student Myrsa Sarmiento. “I learned a lot and was motivated to continue my interest in architectural engineering. When we toured the campus I saw so many buildings that were dedicated to engineering and even a building called the Sloss Building that is for women and the support of them on campus. There was a question/answer portion at the end and I heard from women who look like me—women of color.”

While some students have siblings or family members who can bring them onto a university campus for a first-hand view of a college experience, others may not have those connections. This school field trip to a university campus just might be a catalyst for students to begin seeing the world of opportunities that await them. 

“My favorite thing about the trip was that it wasn’t just information spewed at you, you actually were able to do things to learn, too,” said UMS 8th grade student Evie Smith. “The campus was really big—it was the first time I’d been on a college campus.”

“At the beginning, they showed graphs about women and diverse populations and I could relate,” said UMS 8th grade student Brooke Jarrett. “My favorite part was the campus tour and being able to see what the campus looked like.”

Throughout the visit, students engaged in STEM activities and learned more about STEM role-models. Students toured the campus and learned about STEM opportunities at Iowa State, including a glass-blowing club in the Student Innovation Center.

“I loved the session that taught me how to use chemicals causing a reaction that actually made a nylon cord,” said UMS 8th grade student Sadie O’Dear. “I took home a pen and plane token from Collins Aerospace after hearing about that company.”

“It is a pleasure to work for a district that supports experiences like this,” said UMS Extended Learning Program Teacher Janine Choudhury. “An 8th grade teacher stopped me in the hall and told me that one of our students told her it was the best trip ever. The impact is hard to measure with pencil and paper. Any time we can make learning come to life with real people and places is the stuff that plants a seed of hope for what the future could hold for an Urbandale learner. It is magical.”

This special day would not be possible without the dedication of UMS Extended Learning Program Teacher Janine Choudhury. Many thanks to Mrs. Choudhury for her inspiring leadership. #UMSpride

Photo Credit: Janine Choudhury