Reflecting on 2018 STEM Council Programs

Student working on Ramps and Pathways

2018 brought many exciting programs, new projects and key milestones for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. Here’s a brief reflection on STEM Council programs this past calendar year.

STEM Scale-Up Program

The STEM Council offers exemplary STEM programs as part of the STEM Scale-Up Program menu. These programs provide high-quality STEM education professional development and curriculum opportunities for PreK-12 educators in schools and in afterschool programs. An estimated 543,774 preK-12 Iowans have participated in Scale-Up since 2012.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the STEM Council approved ten high-quality programs for the STEM Scale-Up Program menu. The application will be open from January 21, 2019 through March 4, 2019. Awarded educators will be able to begin implementing the programs in August 2019.

STEM BEST® Program

The STEM BEST® Program consists of local schools and businesses partnering to develop curriculum and provide work-based learning experiences for students. Students work on projects for local businesses that provide valuable learning and growth opportunities, teach soft-skills and help prepare students for future employment in STEM careers.

Thirteen STEM BEST® Program partners were awarded in October 2018 for a total of 50 partnerships since 2014.

I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award Program

Sponsored by Kemin Industries, the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award honors six teachers each year for their outstanding contributions to STEM education in Iowa. Each teacher receives a $3,000 award, with $1,500 of that for classroom use. The fifth year of awards will be publicly announced on February 13, 2019 at STEM Day at the Capitol.

Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Program

For six weeks each summer, secondary STEM educators have the opportunity to engage in workplace settings through STEM Teacher Externships. This program helps connect classroom teaching to future careers through real-world applications.

Educators who participate in the program earn a stipend of up to $4,800 and one graduate credit through the University of Northern Iowa’s Continuing Education program.

There have been 495 Teacher Externships and 154 workplace partners since 2009.

To learn more about STEM Council programs or how to get involved, please visit or contact your regional STEM manager at

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