Inside a science class at Muscatine High School on Monday, experiments lead to education.
Now, an Iowa-wide push to boost science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) could help these students even more. Iowa STEM aims to connect kids with important subjects.
"Other countries put a real emphasis on science and technology," said Boyd Harrison, a teacher who chairs the Science Department at Muscatine High. "We've kind of lagged behind a little bit. Here's our chance to catch up."
That's one reason why Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is introducing Scale-Up programs. More than 800 Iowa schools and community organizations will be participating.
Gov. Terry Branstad's STEM Advisory Council is partnering with a variety of firms like Deere & Company. That's to help school lessons translate to higher education and viable, higher-paying jobs.
"We want to be able to say, not only do we have the hardest working workforce ever, but we also have a skilled workforce that's ready to meet your needs," she said.
Muscatine is stepping up to increase innovations. The school district provides laptop computers for all high school students.
"My students, with their laptops, they have everything they need to know. The worksheets, power points, notes, they're all in the laptop," Harrison said.
This program is all about the future. It could help students to discover subjects that build careers. Careers that could help to restore Iowa's first-in-the-nation status for public education.
It's all about boosting the brain power in the Hawkeye state. Muscatine High is ready to move.
"I can see technology being the driving force in a lot of things," Harrison concluded. "Not just science but other areas, too."
In Muscatine, they're making a computer connection to careers.