Sioux Center, IA (ABC9 News) – Developing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs for Iowa students has been on the top of the Governor Terry Branstad’s to do list, and Thursday he met with students and teachers who are making it happen.


Governor Branstad along with Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds stopped by two schools to see the progress of their STEM classes. Their first stop was at the Dordt College in Sioux Center, where he was given a tour of the College’s 1 year-old Science and Technology Center.


The Governor then met with the Robotics Club at Sioux Center High School to test out their latest creation: a robot that will compete in the First Tech Challenge competition on March 7th

“It felt really rewarding seeing it come together and actually seeing him have fun and appreciate the design too. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Cole Peterson a Senior at Sioux Center High School and member of the Sioux Center Robotics Club. “Actually, that was the first time we tested the robot so it felt really great that it actually worked,” added Jocob Shrader, Sioux Center High Sophomore and Robotics Club member.


The Sioux Center High School Robotics Club was created using grant money that was generated from the Governor’s STEM advisory council. Branstad says his goal is to equip Iowa students with the tools to compete for jobs in a growing tech-based world. “These are the jobs of the future and we want to make sure that students are taking the right courses and learning math, science, engineering and technology because there are going to be more jobs in those fields and they are better paying jobs.”


The Governor’s day ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Preschool Learning Center Discovery Campus, also in Sioux Center. While there, Branstad discussed the importance of early education to peak interest in fields like science and technology.