Area Regional STEM Manager Kari Webb has announced that more than 190 teachers and community leaders will be participating in Scale-Up programs for the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiative. Statewide, over 700 schools and community organizations will have the opportunity to experience STEM programming and activities.
“The focus of the council’s first year was figuring out how to begin delivering first-rate STEM education programs to students all over the state,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “We have had some outstanding STEM programs in Iowa, but whether students had access depended on where they lived. These Scale-Up programs have changed that.”
The top priority of the STEM initiative is increasing student interest and achievement in STEM education.
“These STEM programs will make a difference for Iowa teachers and students,” said Kari Webb, Regional Manager. “I am convinced that the implementation of these programs, combined with partnerships from STEM business and industry, will result in a strong launch for STEM in our schools.”
More than 900 applications from all regions in the state were received from both public and private schools, community organizations and non-profits.
“There’s nothing more important than watching that light bulb go off when kids see their own potential,” said Wade Weber, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, as well as a member of the Regional Advisory Board in this area. “There is real momentum now that we have businesses, educators, parents and the community all working toward preparing our kids for their futures.”
In June, six regional STEM hubs were created with the appointment of regional hub managers and regional advisory boards. The regional managers sought applicants for the Scale-Up programs and have notified applicants of their grant awards.
According to Jeff Weld, executive director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, the impact of this programming will be measured in Iowa classrooms using, "test scores of our participants, attitudes and intentions of kids who participate in these programs, and readiness for post-secondary STEM study and careers to tell us the impact of our mission.”
In today’s complex world, teachers, students, parents and communities need to understand that the STEM fields are the basis for innovative problem solving and discovery.
“This robust response to the Scale-Up programming just goes to show the strong interest and need Iowa has regarding STEM learning," said University of Northern Iowa President and STEM Advisory Council Co-chair Ben Allen. "We'd like to extend a much deserved thank you for the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making the availability of this programming a reality."
STEM education opportunities are best acquired through exploratory learning and active student engagement.
“We were blown away by the number of educators who applied for STEM programs for their kids. They understand the importance of ensuring that more children have outstanding opportunities to learn about STEM,” said Reynolds. “This initiative is about increasing innovation, productivity and opportunity in Iowa, and expanding STEM education programs across Iowa moves us in that direction.”
About the Northwest Iowa STEM Region: The Northwest Regional STEM Network includes communities as far west as Whiting, Sioux City and Larchwood to as far east as Armstrong, West Bend and Jefferson. Through a competitive application process, Iowa Lakes Community College was designated as the Northwest Iowa STEM Hub. Each region is dedicated to promoting and implementing quality STEM programming under the guidance of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. For more information about the Governor’s STEM Initiative in this region, please contact Kari Webb, Regional Manager, at 712.362.8341(Office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and a full list of the Regional Scale-Up grants, go to www.iowalakes.edu/STEM Click the Scale-Up program tab.
About the Governor's STEM Advisory Council: Signed in to order in 2011, The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a public-private partnership whose overarching goal is creating greater student achievement in STEM subjects and a stronger STEM workforce. Iowa Lakes Community College President Valerie Newhouse serves on the statewide Advisory Council. For more information, go to www.IowaSTEM.gov.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds listens as UNI President Ben Allen addresses a crowd about STEM initiatives.
Amelia Weber, FIRST Lego League participant and member of the Waverunner’s 4-H club of Spirit Lake, explains how she built her robot to Matt Strom, Iowa Lakes Instructor of Mathematics, and Eric Olson, Iowa Lakes Associate Professor of Physics.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Spirit Lake High School Student Barron Gustafson enthusiastically discuss his Hyperstream grant project as UNI President Ben Allen watches.