Celebrating the graduating classes of 2018

Des Moines

More than 200 students, family members, educators and corporate supporters gathered at the Carver Center in Johnston on Thursday, April 24, to celebrate the accomplishments of 40 high school students and 14 Iowa State University graduates. The event honored young people who successfully completed the Science Bound program from Des Moines high schools, as well as former Des Moines graduates who were earning their degrees this year from Iowa State.

The evening’s guests heard from keynote speaker Dr. Michael Young, ISU professor of mathematics. Dr. Young shared his professional journey and his personal passion for increasing the number of young people of color in mathematics. He encouraged the graduates to continue to cultivate their personal excellence.

After the meal, Dr. Laura Higgins provided the welcome from Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont (formerly DuPont Pioneer), which sponsored the event.

High school program graduates then received certificates in honor of their accomplishments. The ISU graduate awards followed, and the 14 honorees became the first class to accept the Science Bound stole. Royal blue and white in recognition of the program’s early history (the program’s original colors), students wore the garment during graduation from Iowa State.

As part of the evening’s celebration, Student of the Year awards were presented to Rosemary Galdamez (North) and Xavier Robles (Brody, Hoover). The award recognizes students who exceed program requirements and take advantage of multiple opportunities to develop their STEM potential throughout their time in Science Bound. Dr. Alexis Campbell ended her first Des Moines banquet by challenging the students to continue to cultivate their personal excellence.

Denison and Marshalltown


Fourteen Denison and Marshalltown seniors and seven Iowa State graduates from these districts were honored at the Marshalltown Crossover and Honors Banquet on May 11 and Denison Honors Banquet on May 16.

James Gruening, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of Mechdyne Corporation, was the keynote speaker for the Marshalltown Crossover and Honors Banquet. More than 170 gathered for the evening to celebrate the accomplishments of the students. Moises Garcia received the district’s Student of the Year award.

Daniel Rodriguez (Iowa State University Class of 2017, Science Bound Class of 2013) addressed a crowd of nearly 200 during his keynote for the Denison event. Rodriguez is an Applications Systems Engineering Consultant with Keyot in Des Moines. The Student of the Year Award went to Vanessa Gomez.

Science Bound graduating Class of 2018 from Marshalltown High School with district teachers and administrators.
Science Bound graduating Class of 2018 from Denison High School with district teachers and administrators.


Chemical engineering graduate shares her Science Bound story

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In this edition of the Science Bound Senior Spotlight, Iowa State University chemical engineering graduate Yadira Cano Camacho shares her Science Bound story. The photo above features Cano Camacho (center) with her father and mother. 

Science Bound speaks with KHOI

Science Bound representatives met with KHOI, 89.1 Community Radio here in Ames, Iowa earlier this week. 

Interviewed by KHOI host, Gale Seiler, welcomed Science Bound Director Connie Hargrave and Science Bound alumnus Javier Tello and discussed experiences and the importance of Science Bound as a part of a larger conversation, revolving around recent efforts to foster conversations around race relations in Ames. 

Listen to the interview -- It begins around the 35-minute mark. 

Science Bound comes together to celebrate 25 years of pursuing academic excellence

AMES, Iowa – As much as Becky Gomez loved math and science as a kid, she never really connected her favorite subjects with what she might want to do when she grew up. Even when her mom encouraged her to join Science Bound, Becky says she initially thought it was just something fun to do after school.

Now the senior in industrial engineering recognizes how the Iowa State University program, which has empowered Iowa students of color to pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields for the past 25 years, helped fuel her passion into a future career. It all started with her eighth grade science fair project – a Science Bound requirement – and continued in high school with the opportunity to explore different STEM careers.

“I found that I really loved the hands-on approach to science,” Becky said. “That got me interested in problem solving and finding a way to fix the world’s problems and helping other people.”

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Des Moines 2016 Honors Banquet: Knowledge, Passion, Impact

Science Bound celebrated a recordbreaking year with 59 high school seniors graduating from the pre-
college programs in three school districts (Des Moines 36, Denison 12, Marshalltown 11) and 12 Iowa State University (ISU) graduates. In Des Moines, the 2016 Honors Banquet took place at DuPont Pioneer’s Carver Center in Johnston, Iowa on April 21. More than 180 guests attended the banquet, including 36 high school and 9 Iowa State University seniors, to celebrate and to hear the President of DuPont Pioneer, Paul E. Schickler, who delivered the keynote address.

According to Dr. Connie Hargrave, Science Bound director, the banquet is, “more than a celebration, it’s a formal public acknowledgement of the accomplishments of these seniors. It’s a visual confirmation of the ability of each of our students to excel in college and their career.”

Schickler emphasized to the students the role of passion in their futures. “Knowledge and passion combined can create a positive impact that makes the world a better place,” said Schickler. “Passion, energy, and commitment, will help you be a part of the solutions that we need today.”

“It’s both an honor and a big deal that DuPont Pioneer President Paul Schickler is recognizing the importance and the significance of our Science Bound students,” said Dr. Hargrave. 

Student speaker Bryan Marroquin Martinez (Roosevelt, Callanan) is just one of those significant students. Marroquin Martinez, who received his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from ISU in May, shared that although his start was a bumpy one, participating in Science Bound made his time in college rewarding.

“When I joined Science Bound I was a 14-year-old with hopes of college but little direction and support for getting me there. Now I am a young man, who on July 5, 2016, will start a new job as a control engineer with the Baker Group in Des Moines.” said Marroquin Martinez.

During the evening Science Bound also recognized the students who went the extra mile, during their high school career by seeking out opportunities and making positive things happen. Two Science Bound graduates, Madeline Edmonds (East) and Adbisalan Omar (Roosevelt) share the Student of the Year award for 2016.

“These students understand that this is their time – their time to learn, grow, and develop themselves and they have consistently made the most of the Science Bound opportunity,” said Dr. Hargrave.