Central College faculty members created two educational videos for area schools as part of PEERS, a career awareness program made available through WorkSMART Connector. Videos include “Bats” by Russell Benedict, professor of biology, and “Bees” by Paulina Mena, associate professor of biology, with production coordination provided by Mary Stark, John and Anna Poole Professor of Humanities and Professor of English.
“The modules introduce students to future career paths while also learning science content. We talk about conservation of bees and bats,” Mena says. “The videos are formatted for teachers to use in the classroom. We also developed classroom activities for students in connection to the videos.”
The videos are two of several Partners for Excellent Educational Resources for STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics modules posted at worksmartconnector.org as a resource for educators. WorkSMART Connector programming engages students with local employers, so they become aware of the many in-demand careers in Iowa. Elementary and secondary school teachers are sharing PEERS activities in classrooms throughout Marion County and beyond.
“These videos, along with others in the PEERS program, are intended to engage local talent and organizations to invigorate student interest in STEM and STEM careers,” says Teri Vos, director of work-based learning for WorkSMART Connector. “It brings visibility to local organizations and experts such as this group from Central.”
Funding for the videos was provided by a grant from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council in collaboration with Pella Community School District, 3M, Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation and Wesley Life.
WorkSMART Connector provides a continuum of business and student educational engagement opportunities that encourage youth to consider in-demand careers in Iowa. Beginning in second grade, students are guided through career awareness and exploration activities into optional work-based learning experiences by 12th grade, which lead to local careers.