Week 5 in Region 4

The Rising Star interns had our work cut out for us this week in both Cerro Gordo and Worth counties. In Cerro Gordo County, we have continued our work on the Lincoln Intermediate Greenhouse project. This week, that work has consisted of reaching out to volunteer organizations to help facilitate the use of the greenhouse and exploring curriculum and lesson planning resources. We had meetings with both STEM specialist Alexa Groff and Green Thumb coordinator Maya Rowe to discuss our next steps in creating lesson plans for the school to use. We discussed challenges such as class duration, curriculum applicability, and classroom management in order to begin with the end in mind. Currently, Paige is working on a handbook for the greenhouse that will include lesson plans as well as supporting resources for the teachers to utilize. In Worth County, however, our work this week looked much different. We were able to get to the Art Farm multiple times this week to help out with farm chores and plant our corn and squash garden, which will ultimately be used for an art project regarding the history of corn. Albit tiring, this work did come with the treat of fresh raspberries from the bushes on the farm!

Toward the end of the week, we took a trip up to Ames, Iowa, to learn more about the work that Iowa State Extension and Outreaches does, as well as explore the careers within the organization. This meeting started with a tour of the horticulture center and encompassed a variety of extension specialists and professionals introducing us to their work and area of expertise. We were able to gain some valuable insight into the company and the many different career paths that ISU Extension and Outreach offers to its employees. This was of particular interest to Taylor, who is considering a long-term position with the organization after finishing her final semester at ISU this fall!