21 New STEM BEST® Program Partners Announced

MMCRU STEM BEST model led by Matt Hansen and Nick Long offering authentic and engaging experiences that capture the interest of 86% of the student body.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Iowa Department of Education announced 21 Iowa school districts will join the STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to provide students with career-linked learning experiences. The program helps introduce and prepare students for future success in career opportunities in Iowa through the development or expansion of authentic and work-based learning programs at the school level which foster growth in high-demand, career-ready skill sets by providing students real-world, hands-on opportunities created by business and education partnerships.

Including the latest awardees, 137 models have been created or expanded since the STEM BEST Program launched in 2014.  The STEM BEST Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize high-demand skills in the workplace. The Council’s investment of up to $40,000 professional and financial support for each awardee can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing work-based learning environments.

The 2024-25 STEM BEST Program awardees are:

  • Center Point-Urbana School District
  • Central Lyon Community School District
  • Easton Valley Community School District
  • Edgewood-Colesburg Community School District
  • Gerald W. Kirn Middle School, Council Bluffs
  • Kingsley-Pierson Community School District
  • Lewis Central Community School District
  • Logan-Magnolia Community School District
  • Marion High School, Marion Community School District
  • Marion Intermediate School, Marion Community School District
  • North Polk Community School District
  • North Scott Community School District
  • Odebolt Arthur Battle Creek Ida Grove Community School District
  • Red Oak Community School District
  • Sioux City Community School District
  • Southeast Warren Community School District
  • Unity Christian High School
  • Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District
  • Western Christian High School
  • Winterset Community School District
  • Woodrow Wilson Jr. High, Council Bluffs

To be considered for a STEM BEST Program award, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, includes valuable partnerships with community businesses or organizations, aligns with STEM goals, addresses sustainability of the model program and evaluates the program’s effectiveness. 

For more information on the STEM BEST Program, please visit https://www.iowastem.org/STEMBEST

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