The key to building a stronger STEM workforce is to connect what students learn in the classroom to the STEM careers just beyond school walls. With an "edu-nomic development" charge, Iowa STEM along with dozens of committed Corporate Partners bring work-based learning experiences and other opportunities to the students of Iowa.
This year, Corporate Partners invested more than $545,000 to help Iowa STEM expand its offerings all across Iowa, including:
- Increasing the number of STEM BEST® awards in 2016 from six to ten.
- Hosting a record number of Iowa STEM Teacher Externships this year (62).
- Providing six Code Iowa technology awards to schools participating in the Hour of Code, as well as supporting professional development workshops for teachers.
- Equipping dozens of schools with STEM Scale-Up Program awards that went beyond state appropriation support.
- Recognizing six I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients for a third year, bringing the total number of awardees to 18.
- Working with Iowa STEM and Strategic America to develop nine Iowa STEM Career billboards across Iowa this summer.
- Funding an Equity workshop for educators and the expansion of evaluation tactics to include examination of post-secondary pathways.
- Supporting the execution of vital, successful events, including STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair in 2016, STEM Day at the Capitol in 2017 and "Fast-Track Iowa's Future" Conference in 2017.
And beyond their financial commitment to STEM education in Iowa, many of these Corporate Partners dedicate their time and expertise under the radar, serving on the STEM Council and its working groups, In the words of Greg Smith, Fort Madison High School principal, their STEM BEST model is "making students more responsible for their own learning," allowing them to create their own projects and partner with local industry mentors to solve them. Students here enjoy a new study booth-a small part to a large shift in collaborative STEM education. mentoring students through the STEM Scale-Up Program or Iowa's STEM BEST partners, speaking at STEM conferences and events and more.
Because of our Corporate Partners' passion for inspiring Iowa's youth, Iowa STEM enjoys a successful public-private partnership that continues to expand the impact of STEM programs year after year. A full list of Corporate Partners can be found at www.IowaSTEM.gov/Corporate-Partners. Private sector leaders wishing to become involved with Iowa STEM may contact Carrie Rankin, Assistant Director for Development, at Rankin@IowaSTEM.gov.