Governor's STEM Advisory Council Charts Course Ahead

Governor Reynolds delivers opening remarks at STEM council meeting at Camp Dodge
Governor Reynolds delivered opening remarks at the Governor's STEM Advisory Council meeting at Camp Dodge on October 2, hosted by Major General Timothy Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard and STEM Council member.

In the throes of the largest single-unit overseas deployment since 2010 -- the 248th Aviation Support Battalion to Afghanistan and elsewhere, as well as deploying units to hurricane relief -- leaders at Camp Dodge executed another mission flawlessly: hosting the Governor's STEM Advisory Council on October 2. 

The meeting was preceded by the Governor's press conference on the premises, featuring the release of the Council's 2016-17 evaluation report. Sixty-five leaders from across industry, education, nonprofit and policy represented the Governor's STEM Advisory Council and affiliates at the meeting. 

Matters taken up ranged from Regional Hubs renewal status, to annual evaluation results, to STEM Teacher Externships, to National Guard STEM programs, to strategic discussion on Council priorities for the year ahead. Members and associates brainstormed areas of most pressing prioritization and came forth with these nine to guide operations in the coming year (in order of most to least frequently cited):

  1. Messaging to students - excitement and opportunity of STEM, including Trades path
  2. Diversity and equity of opportunity in STEM
  3. Sustain and infuse STEM into existent structures through Future Ready Iowa, through the Department of Education and Iowa Core, through engagement of SEA, IASB, ISEA, PTA, etc.
  4. Business engagement (e.g., by growing STEM teacher externships, education-business networks, etc.)
  5. More informal/nonformal engagement
  6. Early childhood education through post-secondary - systemic
  7. More data points to drive decision-making
  8. Involve parents; message to parents
  9. Involve higher education beyond teacher preparation

The 2018 assessment report for STEM will include metrics on these priorities, especially the top three. The next meeting of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council is scheduled for April 5, 2018.