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University of Iowa News Release


June 25, 2008

Elementary school students learn that engineers solve problems

Eastern Iowa elementary school students will have an opportunity to learn that engineers are problem-solvers when a University of Iowa College of Engineering program visits several communities this summer.

Now in its second year, "Engineering Is Elementary" (EIE) is a program designed to encourage elementary-aged students to pursue an education in STEM-related fields, or Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM).

Taught by UI engineering students and other educators, the EIE program uses an engineering-based curriculum that was developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. Each unit offers a storybook, plus a hands-on project that gives the children exposure to the field of engineering. Students are able to design, build and test a solution for the problem that is posed in the storybooks. This year, the selected curriculum will focus on the areas of civil and industrial engineering.

Some of the program sponsors include: the UI College of Engineering; Iowa State Extension Office, Linn County; Grant Wood Area Education Agency; Kirkwood Community College; Rockwell Collins; and Iowa State Bank, West Liberty.

EIE program locations, times and dates are:

--Cedar Rapids: Pierce Elementary School, 9 a.m. to noon, July 28 to Aug. 8.
--Iowa City: Iowa City West High School, 12:30-4 p.m., July 14-25; UI College of Engineering,
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 21-25.
--Marion: Marion Christian Church, 1 to 4 p.m., June 23-27.
--West Liberty: West Liberty High School, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 7-11.

Engineering student mentors include: Kathryn Douglas of Sterling, Ill., a UI chemical engineering major; Andrew Ewald of West Des Moines, Iowa, a UI mechanical engineering student; Daniel Gordon of Nevada, Iowa, a UI biomedical engineering student; Mary McDonald of Joplin, Mo., a math and education major at Grinnell College; and Tom Rhoads, of Joplin, Mo., a UI civil engineering major.

Further information is available by contacting Rebecca Whitaker, UI College of Engineering, at at 319-335-5706.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,