Council member, student representative and Iowa State University chemical engineering student Emily Wilkerson wrapped up the 24th Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council meeting held at the Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus. She summarized the STEM Council’s momentum by the numbers as presented by working group chairs, STEM Council partners and network team members during the course of the meeting.
Wilkerson highlighted the 96 STEM BEST Program models and indicated this is nearly one model for every county in the State of Iowa.
David McMurrin, former engineer, U.S. Air Force veteran and STEM scholarship recipient from the Regents Alternative Pathway to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) Program, provided a glimpse into his background and path to a teaching career.
Wilkerson added, “We have 22 scholarships for people in industry who want to get into the teaching field. That is something that is so amazing to me because we have that all the time at the college level. I have so many people who teach me things that I’m doing in industry because they worked in industry and came back. This is something that I’m so happy to see in the high school and junior high levels.”
Dr. Erin Heiden, University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research Assistant Director, shared insights from the 2020-2021 annual STEM assessment, including an 11-point increase of Iowans who think STEM education is a priority in their local district.
The co-chairs of five STEM Council working groups also provided brief updates and next steps in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, creativity and innovation, STEM career guidance, rural Iowa STEM education, and computer science.
Thanks to ongoing support and contributions from Council members, STEM education continues to gain momentum and demonstrate impact.