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.