2016 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 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 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 Community School District

Boone schools are 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.

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: Thomas Ward, Superintendent, tward@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.

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: Jennifer Hartman, Principal, jennifer.hartman@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.

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

Story County Consortium

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

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

Waukee APEX

Des Moines-area partners work closely with students at Waukee APEX to offer projects and experiences in STEM career pathways. Program expansion into entrepreneurial work by students alongside the start up community aims for students who are disengaged exist and are underserved in the traditional classroom.

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