A new public awareness campaign is being launched in an effort to increase awareness of what STEM is and what value it has for the economy of the state.
A recent statewide survey reported that only 26 percent of Iowans report recognizing the acronym STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Yet, according to experts, the future of Iowa’s economy is closely connected to a strong STEM pipeline, providing a highly skilled workforce in the areas of science, technology and engineering. Nationally, projected STEM-related job growth will increase by 16 percent due to the recovering economy and the growing reliance on technology. Consequently, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is launching a public awareness campaign to inform more Iowans about the importance of STEM-related education and a strong Iowa economy.
An Iowa company, Strategic America, was selected through an RFP process to design the public awareness campaign. The new STEM marketing strategy will focus on making sure students in Iowa are competitive with those in other states and countries when it comes to STEM education and interest.
The $150,000 campaign cost is part of the $5.2 million appropriated from the Iowa Legislature to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council this fiscal year. Strategic America, a West Des Moines-based integrated marketing and communications firm, is donating a majority of the services for the campaign by matching the agency’s time spent on the project dollar for dollar, plus an additional $10,000 in services, for a total of $160,000 in donated time.
“We look forward to rolling out our new brand to students, families, educators, corporate partners and others in the coming weeks because we believe all interested parties will connect with the idea that Greatness STEMs from Iowans,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is co-chairing the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “The new logo leverages the STEM acronym and prominently ties it with our state’s roots, which is important because STEM is a vital economic development advantage for Iowa.”
The new STEM marketing campaign is only a part of the suite of programs designed to increase student interest and achievement in STEM. The Northwest Hub for the Iowa STEM Initiative is located at Iowa Lakes Community College.
Northwest Hub manager Kari Webb reports that “all school districts served by Iowa Lakes Community College have received thousands of dollars in programming grants from the STEM Advisory Council over the past two years.”
When educators and business partners in Northwest Iowa see the new STEM logo, “Greatness STEMs from Iowans” they will associate these words with the high quality STEM educational programs that the Advisory Council has helped to bring to the region’s classrooms and after-school clubs.