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MLA teachers selected for STEM Innovator program at University of Iowa


Marshalltown Learning Academy teachers Brighid Mathews, left,  and Nicole Critchfield have been selected for the University of Iowa STEM Innovator program. They will learn ways to link STEM learning at MLA with community partners to help students achieve college and career readiness.

Two Marshalltown Learning Academy teachers have been selected to be part of the STEM Innovator program at the University of Iowa.

Nicole Critchfield, career development and STEM coordinator at MLA, and Brighid Mathews, ELL teacher at MLA, will be taking the online course this semester and then learn on the University of Iowa campus this summer as part of the program. It is designed to help teachers learn how they can connect STEM learning in the classroom with community partners in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“We have STEM activities going on at MLA already,” Critchfield said. “This class is going to teach us how to take our current activities and bring in community partners.”

Mathews said this will allow her to open up STEM opportunities for the English Language Learners.

“It’s a good way to get ELL students access to high-paying jobs,” Mathews said.

MLA is an at-risk high school that is part of the Marshalltown Community School District. MLA Principal Eric Goslinga said they continue to look at ways to help students become college and career ready when they graduate.

“We want them to graduate with marketable skills,” Goslinga said.