Gov. Reynolds Announces New, Real-World Professional Learning Opportunities for Students

The Iowa Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Advisory Council has awarded 13 new STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) projects across Iowa for a total of 50 since 2014.

 The STEM BEST Program fosters a learning environment where students are able to participate in real workplace projects designed by business professionals and teachers and apply K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics to skills, knowledge and behaviors needed for STEM careers.

 “STEM BEST opens the door to outstanding STEM careers that can transform lives, communities and our state’s economy,” Gov. Kim Reynolds, STEM Council co-chair, said. “I appreciate the collaboration by educators and employers that makes this extraordinary public-private partnership successful. It’s in keeping with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of our workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.”

 The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to award 13 of 23 proposed new or expanded partnerships up to $25,000 each. Employer partners contribute a dollar-for-dollar match or, in some instances, well beyond a 50 percent cost-sharing commitment. Awards are used for equipping collaborative workspaces, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and curriculum development and coordination. The 2018 STEM BEST Program awardees are:

  • Allamakee Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Belle Plaine Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
  • CAM Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region
  • Cedar Falls Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Central Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Des Moines Independent Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
  • Keokuk Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
  • Okoboji Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
  • Ottumwa Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
  • Sioux City Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
  • St. Mary School (Humboldt) in the North Central STEM Region
  • St. Theresa School (Des Moines) in the South Central STEM Region
  • Woodbine Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region

 “The STEM BEST Program unites schools and businesses and creates awareness of the career potential in the local community,” Accumold president and CEO Roger Hargens, co-chair of the STEM Council, said. “These learning experiences are critical for meeting business needs and strengthening students’ understanding of how their education relates to actual careers.”

 Each STEM BEST Program awardee submitted an in-depth proposal, considering factors like education driven by industry need, rigorous, relevant and dynamic STEM curriculum, authentic partnerships and connection to post-secondary education or training. Each awardee will serve as a model to share unique perspective, strengths, demographics and program focus with others schools across the state.