Family STEM Festivals have traditionally been fun-filled and educational events that spark interest in STEM in communities across the six STEM regions in Iowa. Festivals are held for learners of all ages and feature exciting and engaging hands-on STEM activities generated by community partners and workplaces.
Regional STEM Managers, along with dedicated planning committees and volunteers, plan and facilitate these festivals each year. During the 2018-2019 academic year, 64 STEM Festivals were held, engaging approximately 24,000 Iowans.
Housed at six competitively selected and cost-sharing Regional Hub Institutions—the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, Iowa Lakes Community College, Southwest Community College, Drake University, and the University of Iowa. Kirkwood Community College, the Regional STEM Managers are connected and integrated within schools, colleges, libraries, Extensions, AEA, businesses, nonprofits, local and state government offices, among others that make up Iowa’s STEM community.
When the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Iowa, many STEM Festivals were canceled or postponed. The Regional STEM Managers and Regional STEM Advisory Boards quickly shifted focus to developing new ways to encourage continuous STEM learning during this time. From developing STEM Activity BINGO, STEM scavenger hunts, planning virtual STEM events and more, the Regional STEM Managers are hard at work adapting STEM programming, events and activities to be delivered in a safe and meaningful way in each region.
To learn more about the STEM activities in your region or to contact your Regional STEM Manager, visit https://iowastem.gov/regions.