Learn through Service

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

Iowa Outdoor Summit

Service learning is more than picking up litter and cutting down trees. Kids and adults can have fun and learn a lot from doing such activities together. But to have a bigger impact, service learning must be well planned and provide opportunities for reflection and feedback. Experiences with the best outcomes include youth voice and choice, varied processing opportunities and reflection that … Read

See the iJAG Survey

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Careers

I am working with iJAG (Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates) to assess longterm outcomes for graduates of the program. iJAG is working hard to increase the high school graduation rate in Iowa and have staff and programs in high schools from Sioux City to Keokuk and Dubuque to Council Bluffs. This survey is designed to get an idea of how … Read

Discover a World of Difference

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Istanbul Tile

Sometimes people are amazed at the places I’ve been–Oaxaca, Zambia, Greece, Istanbul, Poland, Czech Republic, Budapest. Paris, Lille and London last spring were amazing, but not as exotic as the earlier destinations. Sometimes even I am surprised that I never even had a passport until 2004! But there are ways to experience the world  without leaving your home town. One … Read

Excel at Math and Science

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People used to believe that girls weren’t good at science and math; my high school physics teacher thought it was just luck when I got the high score on our weekly quiz. Until I aced statistics in graduate school, I thought I couldn’t do math. When my nephew was checking out the College of Engineering at Iowa State University 3 years … Read

Learn by Doing

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Only as an adult have I settled into my preferred learning style. A counselor once listened to me describe a daydream of swimming and labeled me a kinesthetic learner. I’ve embraced that definition and learned to facilitate experiential education through my career at ISU Extension. Did you know that the 4-H motto is learning by doing? This workshop presented by … Read

Take Charge!

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

The subject of feminism continues to trouble people a lot smarter than me. I did, however, live at a critical time of “Women’s Lib” as my mom called it. She sent me off to a small midwestern college in 1968, thinking I would be safe there from the ferment on college campuses. I had other ideas though; I immediately got … Read

Tear Down the Walls

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

My brother and I agree that our trip to central Europe last May made the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall more meaningful than I remember it being even when it happened. One Prague memory I keep going back to as I listen to reports of the celebration is the sculpture Quo Vadis, by the edgy Czech artist, David Cerny. We visited about … Read

Review Survey Results

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

It’s really important for people who complete surveys to be able to see the results. At Next Step I work to have the whole process as transparent as possible, at least for surveys that are of interest. Here are the results of a few– Outdoor Bill of Rights Clique Survey Sex Quiz And if these interest you, maybe you’d like … Read

Sleep Out for Reggie

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

As the weather gets colder, I feel more and more sympathy for the homeless people I see on the street. A few years ago, a young homeless man named Reggie died in Des Moines, bringing much needed attention to the problem of youth homelessness. Searching for more information about the problem, I found these three shocking statistics– More than 1.3 … Read

Shuffle Power

Martha McCormickSocial Justice5 Comments

Sexual harassment has touched many women and men; I have dealt with it personally only a year ago. We can only hope that instances of such insensitive, bullying behavior will decrease as our society evolves and becomes more respectful to women, girls, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks. But, it’s up to each of us to confront it and to … Read