Science & Technology
Branstad, Reynolds issue statement on EPA’s decision to delay ruling on RFS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 21 November 2014 15:37

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today issued a statement following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Agency will not finalize a rule in 2014 and will delay the ruling until 2015 “prior to or in conjunction with action on the 2015 standards rule.”

“We’re pleased the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama Administration halted their ill-advised proposed rule for the time being, but unfortunately, this decision only creates more uncertainty,” said Branstad. “Across the nation, renewable fuels have helped spark economic development, create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase consumer choice. While we would have liked to see the Environmental Protection Agency commit to a robust Renewable Fuel Standard for the long-term, we received a clear signal through this process that America supports renewable fuels and our state’s work to produce high-quality biofuels.”

“Though we were hoping for the certainty of a robust Renewable Fuel Standard, we’re pleased the Environmental Protection Agency backed away from their initial proposal,” said Reynolds. “We’ll continue fighting for Iowa farmers and consumers who value a choice at the pump and Americans who seek energy independence through safe, reliable and renewable energy.”

Branstad and Reynolds have led the effort in Iowa to stop the EPA’s proposed rule on the RFS. Some examples of their leadership are as follows:

State and Federal elected officials, including Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, participated in a “Defend the RFS” event.

  • Gov. Branstad traveled to Washington, DC, joining a group of Iowa farmers and biofuels producers, to testify at the Federal government’s only public RFS hearing and met with EPA Administrator McCarthy.
  • Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Bill Northey and the entire Iowa congressional delegation sent a joint letter to Federal leaders advocating for the many benefits that flow from the RFS.
  • Gov. Terry Branstad and Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) penned an op-ed in support of a strong RFS.
  • Gov. Terry Branstad brought together a bipartisan group of six governors to sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their support for a strong RFS.
  • Leaders from across the Midwest joined Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their  “Hearing in Heartland,” which was open to all interested citizens; 83 panelists from across the Midwest Region spoke from the heart about the importance of the RFS to their livelihoods and a healthy rural economy while only two individuals expressed opposition to a robust RFS.
  • Gov. Branstad, in his Condition of the State address, called on the Iowa Legislature to pass a resolution in support of a robust RFS. The Legislature unanimously passed bicameral, bipartisan resolutions calling for the EPA to reverse course and support a strong RFS. View the resolutions: House Resolution 101 | Senate Resolution 101.
  • State of Iowa leaders submitted formal comments to the EPA with current data and analysis that demonstrates the positive impact of the RFS and provides Federal leaders the opportunity and obligation to revise their initial volume obligations upward.

We are in immediate need for Volunteers at our Upcoming STEM Events PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by QCESC   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 09:27
No previous experience or technical background is required for many of the volunteer positions with training available. Teachers, education administers, and people in human resources are encouraged to consider volunteering to be a judge for FIRST LEGO League for Core Values (teamwork) and for the Research Project which is based around Learning.

Positions are available for adults and students in college & high school. Applications for volunteering will continue to be accepted until we fill all of the posted positions.

Volunteers will be provided food, beverages, and a great experience supporting our local youth!

If you have any questions regarding volunteering at Quad City area FIRST events, send an e-mail to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Register Today at:

Register today, for Friday's Idea Lab Lunch & Learn: "How to Engage the International Marketplace," PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by The Ideal Lab   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:15

Presented by Dimy Doresca, Director of the Institute for International Business, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa

Would you like to expand your business to the international marketplace? Learn the facts by attending International Entrepreneurship for Small Business, presented by Dimy Doresca, Director of the Institute for International Business, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa,
Exposure to as many potential customers as possible is vitally important for all small businesses. You may not realize how lucrative the international marketplace could be for your small business, but the Institute for International Business at the University of Iowa is here to help.
International Entrepreneurship will be held from 12 to 1 p.m., November 14, at DHCU Community Credit Union, 1900 52nd Ave., Moline, IL. Admission is $15 and the event will include a catered Chick-fil-A meal. Attendees can select from a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich meal, a veggie-wrap meal, or for one dollar more, a Grilled Chicken Market Salad.
For more information or to register, please call Todd Ashby at 563-322-2065 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Feel free to follow the Idea Lab on Facebook at
About Our Presenter: Dimy Doresca, CGBP
Dimy Doresca is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and an International Business Specialist and Consultant. He is also Lecturer in International Business, a Global Learning Faculty Lead, and the Director of the Institute for International Business, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. In the last 15 years his professional experience includes overall international business with respect to international market research, doing business overseas, risk analysis, business and strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, business development and operations, contracts administration and negotiations, claim analysis, and international banking. Mr. Doresca has had permanent assignments representing Stanley Consultants, a Muscatine, Iowa-based multinational corporation in India and the United Arab Emirates. During his tenure, he has set many permanent offices, worked with local suppliers, recruited agents and local representatives, negotiated contracts and terms of payment, and dealt with foreign banks, insurance companies, and foreign government officials at various levels in many countries in the Middle East and Asia.

Mr. Doresca, a member of the Board of Directors of the Quad Cities Foreign Trade Zone (a metropolitan area between Iowa and Illinois), holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Augustana College and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.    He speaks English, Spanish, French, and Creole.

Pre-Register for STEM Teachers and Educators Night Out Event November 12th PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by The Quad City Engineering & Science Council   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 16:42

Join us STEM Teachers/Educators Night Out Event


This free event will include free pop/pizza provided by QCESC, a review of major STEM events calendar, an overview of host school's STEM program, and input from other schools attending the meeting. This is a great networking opportunity for sharing STEM successes and learning.

STEM Teachers/Educators Night Out Event
Wednesday, November 12th
6:00-8:15 P.M.
at Bettendorf High School
To attend this free event, the only requirement is that you need to pre-register which only takes a minute using the On-line Google Form. This helps insure we have adequate food and space.

The calendar of major STEM events will be discussed, including:

  • IL FLL Qualifier Event Dec 6-7
  • IA FLL Qualifier Event. Dec 13-14
  • Bridge Building Competition Feb 6-7
  • Trebuchet Competition. Apr 10 (Tentative)
  • Cardboard Boat Regatta. May 8 (Tentative)

A highlight will be tour of BHS's new Robotics program by Dan Drexler.

  • As always we want representatives from the various schools to share their successes and plans for STEM events.

Details and Full Agenda can be found at:

Please forward to other STEM Educators who would be interested in attending!

Call Carl Loweth with any questions


Melissa Ketcham completes research program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Laura Billingsley   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 14:04

PELLA, (11/03/2014)(readMedia)-- If you were to ask Melissa Ketcham '15 what she's thinking about during a lecture, she might respond, "Video games." While this may not be a relevant subject for most academic departments, Ketcham's computer science major has provided her with the tools to turn her childhood love of video games into a potential career.

Ketcham, a senior from Muscatine, Iowa, discovered her love for computer science during her freshman year. "I had never heard of the field until I came to Central," said Ketcham. "My advisor, Dr. Fyfe, a professor of computer science, had me take his introductory class because it was required for my math major. I absolutely loved it."

Ketcham's appreciation for computer science didn't stop there. She said all of Central's computer science professors challenged her and helped her develop a passion for the field.

As a female in a male-dominated field, Ketcham's story isn't typical. According to a National Science Foundation report published in 2012, only 18.2% of college students in the computer science field are female.

"Being a woman in a man's field is always mentioned," said Ketcham. "At Central, I haven't really faced any problems with it, but there are studies and articles all of the time about the need for women in computer science."

In her senior year, Ketcham said her computer science professors continue to challenge her. "You can tell they care about what they are teaching," said Ketcham, "and they also know what they're talking about. The professors have had a huge influence on me."

With her professors' encouragement, Ketcham decided to participate in a computer science Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this past summer through the National Science Foundation. Similar to internships, REUs allow students from smaller colleges to go to bigger schools over the summer to get research experience in a field of their choice. "I knew that I wanted to see whether or not I wanted to go to grad school, and doing the research would be a great way to do that," said Ketcham.

Ketcham completed her REU at North Carolina State University. There, she created computer programs for the university, such as an online tool professors can use to grade assignments. Her biggest project involved working with one of her favorite things: video games. By using Minecraft, a popular video game, Ketcham and other researchers wanted to teach middle school students how to code.

After her summer research experience, Ketcham said she hopes to work in software design for a small company after graduating from Central. This involves creating the programs and tools designers use to create video games.

"Part of me has always wanted to work on video games," said Ketcham. "It was a childhood dream, and I'm finally in a field where it's applicable."

Central College is a residential liberal arts college dedicated to the education of 1,500 undergraduate students. Founded in 1853, the college is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and NCAA Division III athletics. Central is a recognized leader in study abroad as a result of its international, residential programs. The college is located in Pella, Iowa, a thriving community of 10,000 two minutes from the state's largest lake and 40 minutes southeast of Des Moines. Learn more at

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