Community Enhancement

Grinnell students to teach free STEM courses Nov. 22

Grinnell, Iowa - Grinnell College will launch the Ignite Program on Saturday, Nov. 22, with a day of free classes taught by Grinnell College student teachers. The program is open to students in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade, and registration is open until Friday, Oct. 24.

The Ignite Program encourages children to take fun, free academic mini-courses taught by Grinnell College students. Courses, including “Candyland Architecture” and “The Science of Harry Potter,” will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Each course will have at least two teachers and will be capped at 15 students. All participants will receive a free pizza lunch, snacks and a T-shirt. Parents can register their children at

Parents with children in pre-K through 4th-grade can register their children for one morning course, one afternoon course, or both one morning and afternoon course. Children in fifth through eighth-grade will take one full-day course. The morning courses will begin at 9 a.m. with a pickup after lunch at 12:30 p.m., and the afternoon courses will begin with a drop-off before lunch at 11:30 a.m. and pickup at 3 p.m. Students taking two courses, or one full-day course, can be dropped off before 9 a.m. and picked up at 3 p.m.

These engaging courses will be fun and accessible to students, and will introduce them to the physical environment of a college campus, helping to develop college readiness.

The Ignite Program is made possible by Grinnell Careers in Education Professions, the Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement, and a generous gift from Helen Redmond and Pete Brownell.

Near Grinnell

The Grinnell community has no borders. Everything from the curriculum to the day-to-day conversation in the residence halls is open-ended in context and consideration.

For those who want to add geographic dimension to that intellectual latitude, the cities of Des Moines and Iowa City are just an hour away, and one can be in Chicago, Minneapolis, or Kansas City in less than five hours. But for most students, the 120-acre campus and the town of Grinnell provide more than enough opportunities for exploration and entertainment.

The Prairie

Grinnell sits in the middle of a vast and dynamic environment known as prairie. Tall grasses, flowering plants, deep root systems, soil, and fire comprise the ecosystem. The complex root system means that two-thirds of the prairie lives below ground, and that fire will destroy only the dead matter above ground. This ecosystem is responsible for creating the rich Iowa soil that agriculturalists have enjoyed for generations.

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