Iowa STEM Connects Industry and Classrooms at Iowa Utility Association’s DEV24 Conference

Iowa STEM continues to build school workplace connections through events such as the Iowa Utilities Association DEV 24 Conference in Cedar Rapids.

Iowa STEM Bureau Chief, Justin Lewis, and STEM Teacher Externships Program Coordinator, Ann Gritzner, exhibited at the Iowa Utility Association’s Development (DEV) 24 Conference in Cedar Rapids on May 15, 2024. The DEV conference is promoted as Iowa’s premier economic development conference, bringing together new ideas, opportunities and trends from a variety of perspectives to grow Iowa. This year the conference focused on workforce readiness, education innovations and community development with remarks from Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend, and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham. Over 300 attendees and 20 exhibitors addressed economic, workforce and infrastructure topics unique to Iowa.

Iowa STEM met and showcased STEM programming, including the STEM BEST and STEM Teacher Externships Programs, with attendees from multiple utility companies, as well as other related business and industry leaders from across Iowa. Attendees welcomed conversations on growing school and business partnerships through STEM BEST Program models on working with educators and districts to craft projects and curriculum that prepare students for developing high-demand skill sets within STEM pathways. Attending organizations also connected over STEM Teacher Externships as potential hosts for educators during the summer to gain knowledge, skills and exposure to local industry in an effort to prepare students for careers they may have in the future.

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