STEM RLE (Redesigned Learning Environments)
All STEM Redesigned Learning Environments (RLE) in Iowa have:
- STEM Learning Environments
- Integrated STEM curriculum, focused on personalized, deeper learning
- Community-based partnerships
Successful STEM RLEs bring a greater awareness of STEM proficiency skills such as data visualization, experimental design, engineering design, and problem solving to teachers and students. They also create an understanding of the characteristics needed for personal growth and development in STEM fields by advancing students' self-regulated learning.
“Traditionally, when we think of education now, we think about the issues of cell phones. You don’t ever see a kid grabbing those in here. There’s no reason to because they’re so engaged with what they’re doing. They forget about the fact that they need to be on their phone.”
–Maureen Griffin, Science School Improvement Leader at Hoover STEM Academy
The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council saw the benefit of creating STEM RLEs in Iowa. With the guidance of the STEM School Working Group, a proposal was created and approved to award four schools in 2013 with the opportunity to design a STEM learning environment. From a compelling pool of 24 applicants, the four awarded schools made the most of $50,000 cost-matched grants to create models of learning laboratories for Iowa that are now active.
Then, in 2015, the STEM Council distributed a dual proposal seeking partners for either a STEM BEST or STEM RLE to meet the demands of various school district and community needs. The STEM Council awarded 12 models across the state, including nine new STEM RLE models that are scheduled to launch in August 2016.