Student Role Model Program

Amanda at Lake Laverne
Student Role Model Assistant, Rachael Barnes, facilitates a leadership acitivty with middle school students.

Established by Iowa State University's Program for Women in Science and Engineering in 1990, the Student Role Model Program was created to encourage K-12 students interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The Student Role Model program offers exciting challenges through hands-on activities facilitated by ISU undergraduate students in STEM majors. Through this program, our Role Models visit classrooms, community centers, after school programs, career conferences and school fairs across the state. Various hands-on activities are offered as well as an opportunity to work individually with each educator to tailor activities that directly align with specific academic needs. For example, Student Role Models are willing to share their experiences about college life, participate in panel discussions, or be involved with other outreach forums as needed.

Search activities or request a visit, or contact the student role model coordinator with questions at

There is no fee for the requesting school or organization, but we do request that educators complete a short evaluation of their experience. Visits are primarily scheduled during the Iowa State University academic year; however, limited visits may be possible during breaks or summer months. When requesting visits, it is important to note that our Student Role Model Program is dependent on undergraduate women who often have class early in the day.

I am passionate about engineering and encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM fields.” ~ (WiSE Role Model when asked why she wanted to be a role model.)

Expected Outcomes for classroom/group participants:

  • Increase interest in STEM
  • Increase student engagement in STEM
  • Increase confidence through interaction and communication with undergraduate, female role models pursuing STEM degrees
  • Increase confidence through experiential activities
  • Increase awareness of STEM career opportunities
  • Reinforce the importance and relevance of science and math courses in middle school and high school
  • Increase capacity for understanding the connection between curriculum and real world experience

Educator Feedback:

“I have always been very impressed with this program.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved and my students clearly benefit from it.”

“I love having the role models come into my classroom and will try to have them at least one more time this year. I think this is an awesome program and hope it continues for a long time. The kids really enjoy hearing about college life and all of their experiences.”

“Mary did a SUPERB job and I can’t wait to have her back to visit again!  My kids positively loved her activities and were ALL actively engaged; she demonstrated SO many effective teaching strategies, it was like watching an experienced colleague rather than a college freshman.  She is a tremendous asset to your program and we’ve already discussed a return visit!  Thank you so much for making this program available.

“I believe this to be an excellent experience for students to have these wonderful female role models excite them about Science, Engineering, etc.  At the Middle School level it is especially a difficult time for female students because they are feeling pressure to not stand out as “smart”.  I could definitely tell that they felt were really drawn to the female role models and that it made an impact!!”

Contact: or
Janice Crow, WiSE Outreach Coordinator, (515) 294-5883.