We offer unique educational settings and opportunities for students to explore. With the changing needs in the workforce and civic life, Southeast Polk has increased the number of opportunities to integrate science, technology, engineering, and math. With Project Lead the Way Launch at elementary levels, robotics and computer science at secondary levels, and experiences at the Environmental Learning Center for all students, the district continues to create learning opportunities that will serve students in their future.
Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information. – Albert Einstein
The Southeast Polk Community School District is unique in the metropolitan area in that, in addition to suburban and bedroom communities, it serves a large rural area. Our District has one of the most active FFA chapters in the state of Iowa to serve the needs of rural and suburban students alike. Advisor Matthew Eddy teaches Southeast Polk students a wide range of STEM infused agriculture and leadership skills. The Southeast Polk Chapter also runs the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair and has an advanced animal science course that cares for a herd of cattle throughout the year for the center.
If a field trip to a planetarium is impractical, then why not bring a planetarium to school? Southeast Polk students have a unique opportunity to learn astronomy. Starlab is a portable planetarium system similar to full-scale planetariums at museums. Its light proof dome that can accommodate 30 students, a projector, and teaching content are easily transported from school to school. It allows Southeast Polk students to get a full view of a night sky that isn’t distorted by light pollution. Inside the dome, student learn how the solar system impacts weather, ocean currents, plate tectonics, and allows the earth to support life. They also get to explore the constellations, the Milky Way and how astronomy has impacted navigation and the Chinese calendar.
Southeast Polk Community Schools provides opportunities for students at all grade levels to collaborate, communicate, create, and think critically while learning about Iowa’s outdoor environment at the Environmental Learning Center. Students participate in hands-on learning and research opportunities to build the skills they need to be the next generation of problem solvers and thoughtful land stewards. The Environmental Learning Center property, located in Eastern Polk County, is equipped with two classrooms with donated and purchased lab and sampling equipment. Outside spaces include hundreds of acres of undeveloped land and considerable frontage on Camp Creek.