iExploreSTEM Festival Comes to Muscatine

April 25, 2013

Iowa’s K-12 students are invited to experience firsthand how much fun science and math can be at the iExploreSTEM Festival planned from 1–5 p.m. on May 4 at the Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Environmental Research Station (LACMRERS) on the banks of the Mississippi River near Muscatine.

The Iowa Flood Center will have a NWS floodplain model at the iExploreSTEM Festival in Muscatine.

Kids explore the impact of land use changes on flooding at a recent STEM festival in Des Moines.

A variety of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities are planned for kids at the festival, including an interactive flood model from the Iowa Flood Center and the National Weather Service, an opportunity to build a robot with the Iowa State Extension Office of Muscatine County, and a chance to learn about the human body with plastinated human body specimens provided by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Among the day’s speakers will be Stanley Consultants President and CEO Gayle Roberts, who will speak at 1 p.m., and University of Iowa College of Engineering Dean Alec Scranton, who will speak at 3:45 p.m. The entire event is free and open to the public.

Diane Campbell, director of Innovation and Instruction in the Muscatine School District, says the festival will feature a diverse set of activities for young people. “We’re very excited about the activities and demonstrations we have planned,” Campbell says. “We’ve got everything from flubber (a chemistry activity) to robots. It should be fun for students, as well as educational.”

LACMRERS is part of the University of Iowa’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, and provides a beautiful setting for people to study, collaborate, and learn about the river. Learn more about LACMRERS at (a map is also available).

LwFVertThe iExploreSTEM festival at LACMRERS is part of Living with Floods, a statewide series of events that marks the fifth anniversary of the historic Iowa floods of 2008, and recognizes and celebrates the strength and resiliency of Iowans in the face of repeated flood events. The culmination of Living with Floods will be a free public performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on June 11 at Riverside Park in Muscatine.

Several UI departments and units are collaborating on Living with Floods; these include the Iowa Flood Center, Hancher, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the UI colleges of education and engineering, the Department of Health and Human Physiology, and the State Hygienic Laboratory. These UI partners are engaging with seven communities across the state, including Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Muscatine. Throughout the spring of 2013, Living with Floods is sponsoring community forums; STEM learning events for K-12 students; and free community concerts in the partner communities. Sponsors of the LACMRERS iExploreSTEM Festival also include: Kent Corporation/GPC, Muscatine Community College, Monsanto, HNI, Carver Pump, Central State Bank, Stanley Consultants, Sycamore Printing, Iowa’s Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Hy-Vee, and the Muscatine Community School District.

To learn more about the festival at LACMRERS, visit: For information on Living with Floods and how you can participate, visit


Sara Steussy, 319-384-1729 (

Jackie Hartling Stolze, 319-335-6410 (


Living with Floods

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

As anyone in New Orleans would argue, a party just isn’t a party without the perfect band. That’s why Hancher is bringing the Preservation Hall Jazz Band—Hancher’s opening performers in 1972—back to Iowa for a series of seven free outdoor concerts for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Named the Living with Floods project, the Hancher series is in keeping with the University of Iowa’s mission of teaching, research, and service and aims to provide services to communities throughout the state. The project will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2008 flood, celebrate progress made towards recovery, and raise awareness of strategies to mitigate floods as well as of the interconnectedness of our environment and watershed.

Hancher will present free, outdoor performances by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the seven Living with Floods communities: Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, and Muscatine.



Living with Floods partners include the University of Iowa College of Engineering, College of Education, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, and the Iowa Flood Center.

Named for the esteemed music venue in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a true national treasure. Hailed as “America’s Best Traditional Jazz Band” by All About Jazz, the group has been a driving force in American music ever since its inception in 1961, counting jazz royalty like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong among its distinguished alumni. Now in its 51st year, this national treasure continues to honor the dirty rags, mournful blues, and laid back swing that form jazz’s legacy.