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    The “Shoestring” Award – Bronze

    woman teaching a class
    University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine student, Katherine Merritt, teaches a class.
    University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

    University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Hawkeye Hometown Visit
    University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

    The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine implemented the Hawkeye Hometown Visit Program in 2017. This program sends current Carver College of Medicine students to their hometown or former elementary, middle, or high school during Thanksgiving or winter break to lead interactive experiences connecting K-12 students to STEM and medicine. This low-resource, low-cost program has allowed University of Iowa Health Care to engage several hundred rural students annually, build the STEM pipeline, and foster a culture of giving back among our medical students.

    The UI Carver College of Medicine Hawkeye Hometown Visit Program is part of STEM education initiatives led by the marketing and communications division of Outreach and Engagement at UI Health Care. UI Health Care STEM Education programs were developed in 2007 to address declining interest and achievement in STEM fields and to inspire an excitement for STEM while uncovering the next generation of health care professionals and teaching health literacy. These STEM initiatives also offer an opportunity to engage current medical students at the Carver College of Medicine in the life of the institution as they connect with the community.

    What was the most impactful part of your award-winning entry?

    The ability to serve hundreds of K-12 students across Iowa, especially those who otherwise would not have access to learn about STEM and medical opportunities. Additionally, the dedication and enjoyment from medical students leading these programs.

    What is one thing you learned from this experience?

    By taking time to analyze the problems you have and the goals you wish to achieve, you can develop a strategy to find a solution maximizing the resources you have. Strong partnerships and relationships are the key to success.

    Emily Strattan, emily-strattan@uiowa.edu