STEM offerings to increase at elementary schools in Marshalltown Community School District


These three teachers have been hired as STEM specialists to work in the elementary schools in the Marshalltown Community School District, implementing more science, technology engineering and math. Pictured at STEM instruction training at Iowa State University on July 11 are, from left, Francie Woerner, Amanda Miller and Alexandria Jahnke.

The Marshalltown Community School District is expanding its STEM programming to its younger students as part of the implementation of three STEM ELL specialists in the six elementary schools.

These specialists will teach science, technology, engineering and math as part of the Project Lead the Way Launch elementary curriculum.

“Students will benefit from these teachers as they will have regular, high quality STEM learning by highly trained teachers using engaging lessons and materials,” said Dr. Lisa Stevenson, director of instruction with Marshalltown Schools. “In addition, all of these teachers are or will be certified in ESL (English as a Second Language) which will benefit those students who are English learners.”

Each specialist will work in two elementary schools including Francie Woerner at Rogers and Woodbury, Alexandria Jahnke at Anson and Hoglan and Amanda Miller at Franklin and Fisher.

The three have been participating in STEM instruction training at Iowa State University this week from Project Lead the Way.

“MCSD has a rich history of science, technology, engineering and math coursework and support with PLTW and the community for students in grades 7-12 and in preschool,” Stevenson said. “The goal was to expand STEM to K-4 by having science instruction delivered by STEM specialists instead of the classroom teacher.”

After this elementary level STEM is implemented, the next course of action will be to bring Lenihan Intermediate School more on board to make it a “seamless exposure” to STEM for preschool through 12th grade, Stevenson said.
The district received a $36,000 grant this past spring from the Governor’s STEM Council to fund the training for the specialists as well as training for additional MCSD staff members. It will also help fund the cost of lesson materials for the STEM programming in the elementary schools.