13 Iowa schools awarded STEM BEST programs

Iowa News
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An Iowa advisory council has added 13 partnerships, including a couple in Siouxland, between schools and businesses in an attempt to provide students with real-world professional learning opportunities.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council approved the 13 new projects, in which students can apply their STEM education to workplace projects designed by business professionals and teachers, according to the Iowa Governor’s Office.

The partnerships are called the STEM BEST projects, or STEM Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers projects. 

Two of the 13 new locations are in Siouxland. They are Sioux City and  Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts.

The others are listed below: 

  • 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

  • Ottumwa Community School District in the South Central 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

“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 new or expanded partnerships were awarded up to $25,000 each. Employer partners contribute matching amounts or more in their commitment. The money is used to equip workspaces, educator training, and development in workplace-classroom integration.

“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.”

With the 13 just announced, the STEM Advisory Council has now awarded a total of 50 programs since 2014.

Visit the STEM BEST website to learn more about the program and all 50 partners.

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