Learn more about the ISU 4U Promise and what we're up to this summer!
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M is for Mosquitoes and Me kicks off

The first Mosquitoes & Me summer camp sponsored by a project entitled Young Scientists and Ambitious Teachers Improving Health in an Urban Ecosystem, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was held in July.  ISU School of Education professors, Katherine Richardson Bruna and Gale Seiler, and Lyric Bartholomay,  an entomologist from the University of Wisconsin, were all on site in a classroom at North High School in Des Moines for two weeks of ambitious science discovery with 20 5th-7th graders from the Moulton neighborhood.  

During the first week of the camp, students were put to work asking and attempting to answer the big questions of how and why mosquitoes buzz and bite. In the process, they learned about a mosquito's anatomy and life cycle.  They started week two with a canoe trip during which they gathered water samples to examine for mosquito larvae. They also took water samples from around their homes.  Based on their mosquito knowledge , they designed, built, tested,  and revised their own mosquito traps and compared their yields to those of real traps used by the Centers for Disease Control. Some students' traps beat or outdid the CDC traps!  At the camp's conclusion, students reexamined their attitudes about mosquitoes, learned about the role that mosquitoes play in the larger ecosystem, and planned for mosquito prevention in their own backyards. 

In addition to the ISU 4U Promise students,  a Moulton teacher, an ISU student teacher supervisor, five ISU elementary education majors,  a public health graduate student, and educators from Children and Family Urban Movement also took part in the camp, which will be offered again next summer. 
New ISU 4U Promise cohort is promoted

On June 2, 116 fifth graders walked across the stage marking their completion of elementary school. These students from King and Moulton elementary schools are all now eligible for the ISU 4U Promise tuition award which promises up to 100% tuition for students who are admitted to Iowa State.

This group of rising sixth graders is technically the project's fourth cohort. The first cohort is comprised of eleventh graders who were at Moulton when it was still a K-8 school. The second cohort includes eighth graders who finished at King and Moulton during the 2013-2014 school year. Lastly, the third cohort, which was promoted last year, is made up of 107 seventh graders.

This year's group was the first to have the opportunity to visit Iowa State during the spring semester. They were able to go on a campus scavenger hunt, eat at the food court, and take part in a STEM activity, all in support of familiarizing them with ISU as their potential future university home.

By the numbers: 
Students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups make up 90% of this group (33% - Black/African American, 28% - Hispanic/Latino, 28% - Multi-ethnic, 10% White, 1% Asian).
41% of these students come from families who speak a language other than English.
When asked if they wanted to go to college, 96% of these students said yes! 

School Spotlight
Kisha Barnes: King Principal
Kisha, a longtime DMPS employee, was recently named the new principal at King Elementary. After teaching for many years in a variety of elementary and middle school positions, Kisha became the District K-12 IB and World Languages Coordinator. She brings strong leadership skills with her to King and is excited about the possibilities the ISU 4U Promise brings to students and families.  About the project she says, "ISU 4U offers an opportunity for students and families to envision themselves in a post secondary institution at an early age, fosters authentic inquiry into interesting fields of study, and provides an articulated structure and support to aid in college planning. We are excited about this program."
Community Spotlight
Mary Daily Lange: United Way of Central Iowa

As the education coordinator for the United Way of Central Iowa, Mary works with a variety of educational programs around the Des Moines area. In order to learn about the ISU 4U Promise, and in particular how it might connect to the Starfish Academy sponsored by the United Way at King and Moulton elementary schools, Mary began attending ISU 4U Promise Community Alliance meetings. Now, she is on the steering committee, as the Community Alliance gears up for its first full year of supporting ISU 4U Promise families.
ISU Spotlight
Mollie Applegate: School of Education
As a professor of Math Education, Mollie is preparing Iowa State students to be thoughtful and inclusive math teachers. As part of her own research agenda, Mollie, with her colleague Christa Jackson, will start a new project this fall with the Moulton kindergarten teachers to investigate how mathematically-focused text messages can be used to strengthen the connection between connect linguistically diverse families and their children's math classrooms and their teachers.
Student Spotlight
T'Isis Murray

T'Isis Marlene Nyleve Murray is 11 years old and is headed into 6th grade at Warren G. Harding Middle School in the fall of 2016. Having just finished fifth grade at Moulton Elementary, T'Isis' favorite color is pink, her favorite summer activity is swimming, and in her free time she likes to read manga books and watch Vine videos. T'Isis participated in the Mosquitoes and Me summer camp and here's what she had to say: "The Mosquitoes and Me program was actually very fun! We learned the body parts of a mosquito and how the mosquito has six different needles to help with the process of sucking blood and how they get and pass diseases like malaria. I liked learning how to make mosquito traps too. I also enjoyed  learning chants like “Harambee”, “Mosquitoes and Me Rocks the House” and “The Banana Song”. Some of my favorite things about the Mosquitoes and Me program were going on field trips to Chichaqua Bottoms and making new friends with the ISU students. It was the coolest learning experience, and I hope to come back next summer. I am grateful to be apart of the ISU 4U Promise, because I know if I study well in school I can become a veterinarian."
Design Dialogues project supports the ISU 4U Promise

Design Dialogues, a project funded by a College of Human Sciences interdisciplinary seed grant, kicked off last summer. Dr. Carla A. McNelly, the ISU 4U Promise Post-Doctoral Research Associate, coordinates the Design Dialogues team that also includes Drs. Katherine Richardson Bruna (School of Education), Jane Rongerude (Community and Regional Planning), Kimberly Greder (Human Development and Family Studies), Glennda M. Bivens (ISU Extension and Outreach), and Julio Cammarota (School of Education).
Design Dialogues is a novel form of community engagement where youth create maps in response to questions about themselves as learners and their neighborhoods as learning places.  During the 2015-2016 school year, the project partnered with Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) a community-based organization in Des Moines which promotes leadership development, identity development, and academic aptitude for youth in the River Bend neighborhood.  Middle school youth from the Whyld Girls and Backyard Boyz literally and figuratively “mapped” the realities of and dreams for their community.
The research team continues to partner with CFUM staff and youth with Dr. Cammarota who joined the project in January.  We are developing a YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research) project created from the Design Dialogues youth community maps from last academic year.  The goal is to move the students to a social justice based action project which will be presented to their families and community and implemented during the upcoming school year.
The research team has also been contracted to write a book called: “Speaking Out Our Minds” Designing Dialogues with Youth for School and Community Transformation, which will be completed this spring.  The book includes the participation of the Undergraduate Facilitators from the School of Education and Community and Regional Planning department who reflect on their experiences of implementing the Design Dialogues and how partnering with a community-based organization enhanced their educational experience. 
We’re pleased to announce that we will partner with Des Moines Public School’s Callanan middle school to implement Design Dialogues early release programming this fall with ISU 4U Promise students from the King/Irving neighborhood. For more information, please contact Carla A. McNelly, mcnelly@iastate.edu.

Acknowledgement of collaborator’s contribution to the Design Dialogues project: Dr. Angelica Reina – Post Doctoral Research Associate, ISU 4U Promise, Jacqueline Nester – Graduate Student, Community and Regional Planning, Dontreale Anderson – Program Coordinator, Children and Family Urban Movement, Carla Dawson – Program Coordinator, Children and Family Urban Movement, Claudia Gonzalez – Program Coordinator, Children and Family Urban Movement, Emmett Phillips – Program Coordinator, Children and Family Urban Movement, Josie Laska – Undergraduate Facilitator and Research Assistant, School of Education, Andrea De Santiago - Undergraduate Facilitator, School of Education, Cailtin Rolfes - Undergraduate Facilitator, School of Education, Frankie Torbor - Undergraduate Facilitator, Community and Regional Planning, Tanatswa Tavaziva - Undergraduate Facilitator, Community and Regional Planning.


Click to learn about research opportunities with the ISU 4U Promise!
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