Tulips and daffodils are not the only things blooming this spring across Iowa—better test scores and higher interest have blossomed among more than 100,000 young learners who have taken part in one of 14 current STEM projects awarded to educators in and out of school this year through the STEM Scale-Up Program.
For Iowa STEM, spring is a season for both harvesting results of last year’s crop and for sowing seeds for next year. Under a blanket of January snow, members of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and friends were scouring the globe to bring world-class STEM to PreK-12 youth throughout the state. Of more than 40 proposals, the STEM Council’s Executive Committee approved 11 carefully chosen programs for 2016-17. Each has a proven track record of success, and collectively, they balance the S-T-E-M spectrum and the K-12 range.
About 3,000 educators across Iowa took part in applications to bring these outstanding programs to their school, clubs and organizations. Exciting learning experiences to come range from building robots and coding programs to natural resource protection and mathematical sense-making with many of the programs including a STEM careers component.
Iowa’s six regional STEM managers, guided by their regional STEM advisory boards, awarded these programs with vital funding from the Iowa Legislature, leveraging $3.1 million spread evenly across the state’s six STEM regions. The demand far exceeded capacity again this year with nearly $6 million in applications, making the award decisions very challenging and the investments from the STEM Council’s Corporate Partners very precious. Applications came from 256 cities in Iowa with the highest application rate coming from elementary educators.
Results from the 2014-15 Iowa STEM evaluation report show all grade levels of students who participated in the STEM Scale-Up Program scored an average of six percentage points higher in National Percentile Rank on the Iowa Assessments in both mathematics and science compared to students statewide.
For a complete list of 2016-17 STEM Scale-Up Program awardees, please visit http://www.iowastem.gov/sites/default/files/Scale-Up-Application/STEM-Scale-Up-Awardees-All Regions.pdf.
The Corporate Partners who help support this impactful program are included in the roster at http://www.iowastem.gov/corporate-partners.