Programs of Iowa’s STEM Council inspire STEM teaching that gives students the technical and intellectual tools they need to connect what they learn in the classroom with real-world applications. High demand STEM jobs in business and industry across the state make STEM study an essential economic development force too.
At STEM Day at the Capitol on February 8, Iowa's STEM programs that are shaping future citizens and workers were prominently featured. The Capitol Rotunda was filled with STEM exhibits to showcase the significant influence STEM Council programs have had on youth and educators all around the state. The exhibits included STEM BEST Program models, Computer Science is Elementary project schools, STEM Scale-Up Programs, the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program, and more.
Sponsored by Collins Aerospace, STEM Day opened with a call from executive director Jeff Weld for the day to be an annual demonstration to investors, Iowa legislators, of the return on investment (ROI) they’ve come to expect. Students who take part in STEM programs “find their passion and purpose,” said Weld, “for about $63 dollars per participant.”
Senators Chris Cournoyer (R) and Eric Giddens (D) shared with attendees their enthusiasm for STEM both as STEM professionals outside of their elected roles, as well as within the Senate as STEM education advocates.
Council co-chair Diane Young of Cherokee offered her perspective as a business leader and community champion for STEM as the engine of vitalization at the local and statewide levels. And Adriana Johnson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Collins Aerospace, reminded attendees of the dependence that Iowa employers like hers have on the success of STEM Council programs and others that are preparing tomorrow’s innovators.
To view photos and videos from STEM Day at the Capitol, visit the STEM Council Facebook page.