CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Tuesday, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council released a nationwide invitation for STEM programs to compete for a unique partnership that allows them to ‘scale’ across Iowa during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Each year, the STEM Council cost-shares with STEM program providers to deliver the programs to roughly 2,000 educators both in and out of the classroom at little or no cost through the STEM Scale-Up Program. Since 2012, the program has impacted nearly 100,000 PreK-12 youth every year from rural to urban settings and across gender, age, race and ethnicity. Results from the 2015-16 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report show that on the Iowa Assessments, students who participate in the STEM Scale-Up Program score on average seven percentage points higher in National Percentile Rank in mathematics, six higher in science and four higher in reading.
“Iowa’s STEM Scale-Up program was conceived by leaders on the STEM Council as a means for leveling the playing field across our state by bringing top-quality STEM to PreK-12 learners regardless of their zip code,” said STEM Council Executive Director Dr. Jeff Weld. “Now entering year seven of the program, outstanding STEM providers have equipped and inspired thousands of educators to ignite the dreams of over 400,000 young Iowans in STEM.”
The current list of programs in the STEM Scale-Up Program will be asked to reapply alongside other potential new partners who will compete for a spot on the 2018-2019 menu of offerings that Iowa’s educators can apply for in January 2018. Selected programs will demonstrate through their proposals clear evidence of success in increasing student interest and achievement in STEM, especially inspiring students of diverse backgrounds and abilities to thrive so as to strive toward STEM study and careers.
For the fourth year in a row, the STEM Council will partner with the national STEM organization, Change the Equation, that employs a rigorous review process to build a national registry of quality STEM programs, known as the STEMworks database. The partnership enables applicants to submit simultaneously for STEMworks listing and Iowa’s STEM Scale-Up Program menu. They will be evaluated through Change the Equation’s research-based Design Principles for effectiveness as well as additional state-specific criteria to assess their readiness to expand in Iowa.
“Change the Equation is honored to help the Iowa STEM Council identify the most effective programs for its STEM Scale-Up Program,” said Change the Equation CEO Linda Rosen. “Iowa remains one of a growing number of visionary states that are committed to supporting effective STEM programs that can prove they deliver a return on the investment. The collaboration between Change the Equation and the STEM Council embodies this critical principle.”
The most competitive proposals may come from a variety of sources, including academic institutions, nonprofit organizations or the private sector and will be those that are clearly evidence-based and well-planned, targeting areas of need in Iowa and readily scalable across the state. The proposal form is located at http://changetheequation.org/stemworks_application/home/index.php and must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Monday, October 9, 2017.
— Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
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