CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa’s STEM initiative continues to grow with the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announcing 13 new projects to the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program, which brings the total to 63 since STEM BEST launched in 2014.
The STEM Best Program supports school-business partnerships that allow teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side on curriculum and projects that give students actual workplace experience and an understanding of the opportunities and required skills for careers in STEM fields. STEM BEST has also laid the groundwork for other successful statewide initiatives such as Future Ready Iowa’s Work-Based Learning Clearinghouse.
“When our young people engage in STEM fields, it can ignite a passion they never knew existed. The STEM Best Program transforms how students connect the classroom to future careers that exist in their community,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds, STEM Council co-chair. “Expanding these valuable public-private partnerships will continue to have a powerful impact on our students’ success and Iowa’s skilled workforce.”
The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to award 13 new or expanded partnerships up to $25,000 each. Participating employer partners contribute to a dollar-for-dollar match with some going above and beyond the cost-share requirement. The awards can be used for the curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing the work-based learning environment.
The 2019 STEM BEST Program awardees are:
- BCLUW Community School District in the North Central STEM Region
- Bondurant-Farrar Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
- Cedar Rapids Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
- Clarinda Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region
- Clear Lake Community School District in the North Central STEM Region
- Griswold Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region
- Jesup Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
- MMCRU Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
- New Hampton Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
- Saint Albert Catholic Schools in the Southwest STEM Region
- Stanton Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region
- Waterloo Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
- West Des Moines Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
“We are appreciative of the educators and employers investing their time and resources to shed light on the career opportunities in Iowa and using real-world examples of how STEM helps students build the necessary skills for college or career training after high school,” said Accumold President and CEO Roger Hargens, co-chair of the STEM Council.
To be considered for a STEM BEST Program award, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, valuable partnerships with community businesses or organizations, real-world learning opportunities and expertise at the post-secondary education and training level. These awardees will serve as a model to share unique perspective, strengths, demographics and program focus with other schools throughout Iowa.
Visit www.IowaSTEM.gov/STEMBEST for more information on the STEM BEST Program and the 63 partners.
— Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
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