Symbi, Iowa's first GK-12 Program is a partnership between Iowa State University and the Des Moines Public School District. Symbi is funded by the National Science Foundation to support Iowa State University graduate students (Fellows) conducting interdisciplinary research in areas associated with biorenewables. Each Fellow works collaboratively with a selected middle school science teacher to leverage the Fellow's research experiences as they develop innovative and engaging science activities for middle school students. The Fellows spend one full day every week throughout the public school year in a Des Moines middle school science classroom performing the duties of a "resident scientist" as they interact with their partner teacher and students. Symbi is a response to President Obama's call to the nation's scientists to "spend time in the classroom, talking and showing young people what it is that your work can mean and what it means to you […] to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Testing the Waters at Grays Lake

Symbi Fellow, Paul Skrade, explains to students
how to read phosphate indicators.
On Tuesday, September 18, Paul Skrade along with Ms. Kissell's seventh grade science class from Brody Middle School trekked to Grays Lake.

Their purpose? To test the waters of Grays Lake. Not to actually jump in - but instead to test the water quality of the lake used as part of the annual Hy-Vee Triathlon .

Students gathered a water sample to conduct their experiments from. They then proceeded to use different indicator tablets with parts of the water sample to check the levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, coliform bacteria, and the water temperature. These tests are great indications of how well a body of water is doing.

A second round of tests will be conducted by Brody Middle Schoolers and Skrade on September 25.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Symbi 2012

Our Symbi Scientists are in the classrooms this fall working on exciting and educational activities with Des Moines Public Schoolers. Everyone involved is excited for another year full of science exploration!

Be sure to check out the rest of our Symbi Website and check back for new posts, videos, and photos.