Waukee APEX Attends STEM Day

Waukee APEX attended STEM Day at the Capitol February 14. The event highlighted STEM careers and the STEM-based programs available to students.

Medical and bioscience instructor Holly Showalter attended the event alongside five other Iowa teachers who received I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Awards from Gov. Kim Reynolds.

ShowalterandReynoldsAPEX instructor Holly Showalter accepts the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award from Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Schools and organizations had the opportunity to display their projects and achievements at the event. Waukee APEX students from the Research, Medical and Vet Science sectors had a table with DNA Petri dishes on display.

“Associates were excited about the opportunity to display their professional skills and spoke passionately about the types of projects and labs they are involved with in APEX,” Showalter said, “Effective communication skills are a part of the curriculum in all APEX courses and will make them more successful, especially when they get started in the workforce.”


Waukee APEX students discuss DNA transformation with Iowa Senator Charles Schneider.

With help from their instructors and the STEM Council, Waukee APEX students learned in class how to write professional emails to legislators. Associate Bhavana Sirimalle put these skills to work and invited Iowa Senator Charles Schneider to the table so they could explain the process of DNA transformation.

Students from other APEX sectors visited and toured the Capitol during the event as well. They explored projects from other schools and met the managers of organizations such as Ankeny Orbis, Drake University, Buena Vista University, SCI, Governor’s STEM Council, Iowa Big North and CAPS Cedar Rapids.

“I think being a part of the APEX program has given me a sense of direction and knowledge as in I have so many possibilities. I know what I want to do with my future. The independence given by the program really helps you shape your future,” Sirimalle said.