2014 STEM BEST® Partners

STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) focuses on teachers and industry professionals working side-by-side to craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting STEM careers local to their community in manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance, and more.

The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously in December 2014 to disburse $150,000 in cost-shared funds to the five competitively-selected school partnerships, bringing to the table a total cost-share commitment of $773,509. The 2014 partners are:

Bettendorf/Pleasant Valley

Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley School districts are developing an internship Academy structure with local business on authentic computer science problems and solutions.

Contact: Tammy Chelf at tchelf@bettendorf.k12.ia.us

Cedar Rapids/College Community (or Iowa BIG)

Iowa BIG is an option for earning core academic credit through project-based learning in real-time with 100+ partners from business, nonprofit and government agencies. 

Contact: Shawn Cornally at headmasteriowabig@gmail.com

STEM Innovator Pilot Class: Business Innovation at Kirkwood Regional Center at The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa’s STEM Innovator is piloting its STEM innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum through this partnership with Kirkwood Community College. Students work in teams on real-world problems alongside business and industry partners from the community. They learn to apply an entrepreneurial mindset and innovative thinking to authentic tasks. The Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa serves students from Clear Creek Amana, College Community, Iowa City, Regina, Solon, Tipton, West Branch and West Liberty school districts. The University’s STEM Innovator is professional development and curriculum resources for teachers and administrators who want to create a model for infusing innovation, invention and entrepreneurship into their schools. For more information, visit www.steminnovator.org.

Contact: Leslie Flynn at leslie-flynn@uiowa.edu

Northeast Community School District in Goose Lake

The Northeast STEM program provides students with an innovative, problem solving and discovery-based environment created in partnership with Lyondell Bassell that focuses on authentic, real-world problems through the infusion of technology and curriculum.

Contact: Alicia Christiansen at Alicia.christiansen@northeast.k12.ia.us

Rock Valley (or Rocket Manufacturing)

Rocket Manufacturing is a fully-functioning, student-run manufacturer that works with local businesses by crafting metal-machined parts and tools that businesses or individuals request. Students do the marketing, accounting, design, production and customer communications as well.

Contact: Chad Janzen at cjanzen@rvcsd.org