2016 STEM BEST® Program 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 October 2016 to disburse $250,000 in cost-shared funds to 10 competitively-selected school partnerships, bringing to the table a total cost-share commitment of $566,234. The 2016 STEM BEST® Program partners are:

Assumption High School in Davenport

The school works with Victory Enterprises to develop a Virtual Reality STEM Career Exploration program for students that introduces them to STEM careers in Iowa and across the U.S..

Contact: Andrew Craig, President, andy.craig@assumptionhigh.org

Boone EDGE

Boone EDGE is implementing a grades 3-12, work-based learning continuum of awareness (early years), exploration (middle years) and training (high school) in partnership with a variety of employers and higher education institutions.

Boone EDGE is one of four schools piloting a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship, building on grades 10-12 work-based learning experiences. They offer semester-length, project-based opportunities through the School Career Connections and vocational rehabilitation programs initially in plumbing and electrical fields in partnership with Kruck Plumbing & Heating Co. (a Registered Apprenticeship Program) and ABC of Iowa Apprenticeship & Training Trust. A goal is to expand these options with the growth of community apprenticeship partners over time.

Contact: Kris Byam, Boone High School Principal, kbyam@boone.k12.ia.us

Fort Madison Community High School

Students experience co-taught STEM courses of educators alongside industry partners in innovative learning spaces that introduce them to careers in their community, leading to job shadows and internships.

Contact: Greg Smith, Principal, greg.smith@fmcsd.org

IKM-Manning Community School District

A learning environment focused on two important employability skills – communication and problem solving – where students, teachers and community leaders come together to brainstorm business project ideas and pursue them on teams.

Contact: Luann Langel at llangel@ikm-manning.k12.ia.us

Muscatine Community School District (STEAM Into MCC)

Fourth and fifth grade students in all of Muscatine’s elementary schools take part in a five-month-long, afterschool program of hands-on projects led by community experts and held at MCC.

Muscatine CSD with MCC is one of four schools piloting a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship. Their program in the Manufacturing and Culinary Arts Academies is in partnership with MCC and aligned to the Iowa Core, leading to certificates in electronics and up to 38 credits toward an Engineering Technology Electromechanical Diploma (manufacturing pathway); or certificates in culinary arts and up to 32 credits toward a Culinary Arts Diploma. Partners are Chef Brad Scott for the culinary pathway, and companies HNI and Allsteel for the manufacturing pathway. All three are engaged in Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Contact: Dr. Jerald Riibe, Superintendent, jerry.riibe@muscatine.k12.ia.us

North Cedar Elementary School in Cedar Falls

Students work hand-in-hand with Sidecar Coffee (local chain) to learn about the science of roasting and brewing coffee in order to create their own product and market it to the community.

Contact: Katherine Johnston, Principal, katherine.johnston@cfschools.org

Spencer High School

Students travel to workplace sites for training and experiences that align with the community’s industry demand in construction, health care, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.

Spencer High School is one of four schools piloting a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship. Their program expands on the Construction Extended Career Experiences whereby students are at the job site receiving on-the-job training for an average of 12.5 hours a week. They also achieve their 10-hour OSHA certification in concert with the Quality Pre-Apprenticeship. Established Registered Apprenticeship Program partners include Milford Electric and Midwestern Mechanical.

Contact: Elli Wiemers, Principal, ewiemers@spencerschools.org

Story County Consortium

Eight school districts in the consortium, including Ames, Boone, Ballard, Collins-Maxwell, Colo-NESCO, Gilbert, Nevada and Roland Story, join forces to create a shared STEM BEST® Program model that provides students with work-based learning opportunities with businesses in their communities.

Contact: John Kinley, Director, jfkinley@dmacc.edu

Waukee APEX

Through a collaboration between education, business, and the community, Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) develops highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders. Waukee APEX draws on the expertise of Des Moines-area business partners to bring real-world experience to high-schoolers. Through passion-based learning, authentic projects and experiences, students add value to business partners while exploring career possibilities identified by economic trends within their metro area and state.

Waukee APEX is one of four schools piloting Quality Pre-Apprenticeships. Their program guides high school seniors in learning past the initial APEX course in the manufacturing, construction and technology fields. Students will gain valuable experience, earn credentials and college credits and connect to business partners in the community. Waukee APEX’s dissemination plan has been well-tested as a STEM BEST® Program premiere model site for schools across Iowa.

Contact: Michelle Hill, Director, mhill@waukeeschools.org

West Delaware County Community School District

Students work directly with business leaders in the community to come up with and complete authentic projects for that business that also satisfy and align with state standards and teach students the soft skills necessary in that industry.

Contact: Tim Felderman, West Delaware High School Principal, timfelderman@w-delaware.k12.ia.us