Greatness STEMs From Community Partners

This list is only a sampling of Iowa's community partners. If you wish for your program to be included on this list, please send an e-mail to

STEM learning can occur everywhere. Learning expands beyond the classroom and we are very fortunate to have community partners that help students continue to actively engage in STEM education outside of their classrooms.

There are a number of informal STEM Education Communities that work tirelessly to develop and host engaging, informative and fun STEM learning for students across Iowa.

Active Learners Iowa— Located in Coralville, Active Learners is a place-based STEAM enrichment program for all ages. Their mission is to immerse children in the world of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics through fun, hands-on, high quality curriculum and activities at a variety of locations.

Belin-Blank Center—Hosted at the University of Iowa, Belin-Blank Center focuses on the educational community and STEM programming for elementary to high school students.

Blank Park Zoo—Located in Des Moines, the mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education and recreation.

Bluedorn Science Imaginarium—Located in Waterloo, as part of the Grout Museum District, this hands-on science center makes learning scientific principles fun through interactive exhibits and formal demonstrations. Exhibits focus on light and electricity, momentum, liquids, gases and sound.

Cinnamon Ridge Dairy—Located in Donahue, Cinnamon Ridge Dairy is a high-tech dairy farm using computers and robotics full-time. They host K – 12 school tours, providing students an example of the use of technology in agriculture.

CoderDojo Muscatine—Located in Muscatine, CoderDojo is a computer coding club for kids. The purpose of this club is to enhance STEM related programs in the Muscatine area.

Corridor Parents—Serving the Iowa City, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids area, Corridor Parents is a resource that connects parents to educational opportunities for their children.

Des Moines Botanical Gardens—Located in Des Moines, the Botanical Garden engages students in fun, hands-on learning while exploring plants and growing their science skills. They offer interdisciplinary tours and programs aligned with Iowa Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and local curricula for grades pre-K to high school.

Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center—Located in Ely, the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center promotes the study of astronomy and related sciences through free and educational programs, presentations, guided observing sessions, and other special events.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) —Hosted by The University of Iowa's College of Engineering, FTC is a robotics competition for middle to high school students and offered in schools around the state.

Girls Scouts of Greater Iowa—One of two Iowa Girl Scout chapters, where you can learn about Girl Scout FIRST LEGO League teams.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois—One of two Iowa Girl Scout chapters, where you can learn about Girl Scout FIRST LEGO League teams.

GO! Exploring the World of Transportation—Go! is a free, dynamic online magazine for teens on education and careers in transportation, a key STEM field.

Hyperstream—Hyperstream is a technology club for Iowa students. It pairs schools and learning centers with local technology professionals to learn about technology careers available, and allows students to do hands-on projects, competitions, and presentations.

Iowa 4-H—4-H is committed to fostering one million new scientists and engineers, creating a new generation of thinkers.

Iowa Afterschool Alliance—This organization helps expand access throughout the state to high-quality afterschool programs. This site lists numerous afterschool programs, many specifically for STEM.

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation—IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. As leading producer of ag products, it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives.

Iowa City Public Library Kids Tech Club —For Grades 4 – 6. Kids learn and share computer and technology skills with activities such as image editing, QR code scavenger hunts, stop animation and field trips to places like The University of Iowa College of Engineering 3D printing lab. Summer, fall and winter tech camps are offered.

Iowa Department of Education–Before and Afterschool Programs—Learn more about Iowa's commitment to providing constructive learning activities during non-school hours for Iowa's children.

Iowa EPSCoR—One of the main goals of Iowa NSF EPSCoR is to engage students at all levels in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Whether it's K-12, community college, undergraduate, or graduate students, Iowa NSF EPSCoR involves students in workshops, events, internships, and research where they learn about engery as well as other STEM topics.

Iowa Museum of Natural History—Housed at The University of Iowa, this museum offers permanent and temporary gallery exhibits on a variety of scientific themes, and offers educational programs for all ages.

Iowa Public Television—A great resource for parents, teachers and kids for all things regarding STEM learning.

Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa—The state's environmental laboratory, testing water, air, soil and just about anything else that may affect the health of Iowa and the nation.

King Kids—Afterschool programming, open to all, that allows students to self-select into STEAM based clubs, which rotate based on student interests.

Living History Farms—Located in Urbandale, Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor history museum that educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to midwestern rural life experiences.

Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre—Located in Davenport, the museum offers hands-on STEM teacher workshops and numerous in-museum STEM programs.

The Science Center of Iowa—Located in Des Moines. From space science to dinosaurs, SCI has inspired generations of future scientists and inventors since 1970.

The Iowa Children's Museum—Located in Coralville, The Iowa Children's Museum offers exhibits, programs and services that inspire every child to imagine, create, discover and explore through the power of play.

National Mississippi River Museum—Located in Dubuque, Iowa, these aquariums and interactive exhibits feature the animals and history of the Mississippi River.

Reiman Gardens—Located near ISU, this year-round facility features distinct indoor and outdoor gardens, an indoor conservatory, a 2,500-square-foot indoor butterfly wing, butterfly emergence cases, a gift shop and five supporting greenhouses.

St. Mark Youth Enrichment—St. Mark Youth Enrichment hosts a summer learning program. Children can engage in hands-on learning acitivities that build skills in literacy, science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and music while building meaningful relationships that build them up for success.

Sylvan Learning Center—Along with academic assistance and camps, Sylan Learning Center offers camps such as robotics camp, video design camp, and many other STEM related camps for children in grades 2-6.

Tech Journey—Tech Journey's mission is "To inspire youth to increase their knowledge and interest in technology by providing engaging learning opportunities led by technology professionals." This is achieved by hosting camps and programs for young minds to participate in.

Wize Girlz—Hosted at The YWCA of Black Hawk County, this program offers girls grades 6-8 a chance for structured academic enrichment, STEM activities, Career & College Preparation, and Health & Wellness activities.

21st Century Community Learning Centers—The Des Moines Public Schools offers academic programming, recreational enrichment, and family literacy to students and families. STEM activities are necessary for students to gain 21st century workforce skills.