STEM Scale-Up program sets sail into year four

Lewis Central Middle School students use STEM Scale-Up program, "Engineering is Elementary"
Lewis Central Middle School students experiment with "Engineering is Elementary," one of 14 STEM Scale-Up programs awarded to nearly 3,000 Iowa educators for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Nearly 3,000 educators throughout Iowa will take the lead on engaging more than 100,000 young learners with top STEM Scale-Up programs for the 2015-2016 academic year. Each year, the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council evenly distributes STEM programming across all six STEM regions, powered by $3.1 million of the annual STEM appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.

This year through a rigorous review process in partnership with the esteemed national organization, "Change The Equation," the STEM Council selected 14 high-quality STEM programs to "scale up" across Iowa's schools, after-school programs and other settings for grades Pre-K through 12. These programs range from building robots and wind turbines to virtual reality and STEM career awareness, demonstrating an appeal to diverse youth, success in improving academic performance, evidence of integrating STEM concepts, development of school-business-community partnerships and sustainability beyond STEM Council financial support.

Once the programs receive approval for the Scale-Up menu, educators from across the state apply for the programs. Each of the six regional STEM managers guided by their regional advisory boards review hundreds of applications before awarding the programs based on need, diversity, sustainability and other factors.

Results from the 2013-2014 Iowa STEM evaluation report show more than 90 percent of students who participated in a STEM Scale-Up program reported higher interest in at least one STEM subject or career. Nearly 75 percent of participating teachers report greater skill and confidence in teaching STEM and continue their program after the STEM Council's financial support ends.

To see a full list of awarded educators or organizations, please visit www.IowaSTEM.gov/Scale-Up/2015-2016-scale-up-programs.