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The Week in Social 8/16 - 8/20

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Live Music Returns to Iowa With the Alternating Currents Festival

Last Thursday, the 4th annual Alternating Currents Festival welcomed thousands of attendees to the Quad Cities to hop from venue to venue, enjoying more than 100 music, film, comedy and art performances at 20 venues. The family-friendly festival partnered with more than a dozen local restaurants and venues in the area to host the four-day event. This year was the first time since the festival launched in 2017 that it expanded beyond downtown Davenport and into Rock Island and Moline.

Preserving Iowa’s Most Valuable Lake

An exciting new project to improve aquatic vegetation and fish populations is currently in the works at Garlock Slough Wetland Complex. Located on the southwest side of West Okoboji Lake, the 900-acre mix of native remnant prairie, restored prairie, natural marsh and reconstructed wetlands protects Iowa’s most valuable lake.

The wetlands and prairies surrounding the lake play a critical role in preserving water quality and wildlife in the area. The new project will contribute to protecting the two nesting pairs of trumpeter swans in the area, as well as the other endangered species including Poweshiek skipper, white lady’s skipper, rattle milk vetch, Dion skipper, Fries’ pondweed and water starwort that all inhabit the Okoboji Lake.

Activities for Young Explorers

Iowa PBS’s digital series, Wander and Wonder helps kids ask questions, observe their world and learn about different places. The series does this in a fun way through science projects and crafts like showing participants how to create their own fossils, paper snowflakes and paper animals. The series also helps young explorers plan their next adventure using travel collages. Watch Abby Brown and her friend Tanner create their travel collages on the Iowa PBS website!

Iowa History on Wheels

Iowa History 101: Iowa’s People & Places, a 300-square-foot museum exhibit in a custom-built Winnebago, made a stop in Wilton last weekend and offered free self-guided tours. The State Historical Society of Iowa’s mobile museum includes 56 artifacts and videos that explore Iowa’s history.

Aside from special occasions and events, people may request a visit from the mobile museum for schools, libraries, local museums, community festivals, county fairs and any other places where people gather to learn more about Iowa. Visits are free and the tours are self-guided. Learn more about “Iowa History 101” and book your visit here!

An Opportunity for the Next Generation of Designers

The Iowa Department of Education recently announced the Build Iowa’s Future Design Challenge, which is an opportunity for K-12 students to create innovative projects, connect them to careers and compete to win up to $1,000 for their schools. The challenge’s goal is to allow students to explore how subjects like math and science can be applied in the real world while cultivating creativity, problem solving and other critical skills that could lead to great-paying jobs.

Elementary and middle school students can participate in the Iowa Home Design Challenge by constructing a model home, while high school students can participate in the Iowa Dream and Design Challenge, which involves conceptualizing and designing a project that could improve their community. Teachers are invited to submit a form letter of intent to participate on the Clearinghouse website by Sept. 29, 2021. On May 4, 2022, three awards – $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $300 for third place – will be given to the winning schools.

Published August 24, 2021

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