2022 STEM BEST® Program Partners

The STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program 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 to award 12 competitively-selected school partnerships. The 2022 STEM BEST Program partners are:

Cedar Rapids Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region

Expand greenhouse infrastructure to explore aquaculture and aquaponics, microgreens, flowers and other seasonal plant products to engage students in their community garden which supports refugee and migrant farmers efforts to produce culturally relevant produce for their communities. The greenhouse will serve as a cross-curricular learning space, a farm to table nutrition/health program, an entrepreneurship outlet, and a culinary arts workforce development.
Contact: Chuck Tonelli at mtonelli@crschools.us

MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District-High School in the Northwest STEM Region

Adding a CAPS Education and CAPS Medical strands as options for students. These additional pathways will allow students who have more specific career pathways in mind to really focus and experience their career paths at a deeper level.
Contact: Michael Mulder at mmulder@mocfv.org

MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District - Elementary in the Northwest STEM Region

Working with community computer science education consultants, provide on-site professional development opportunities to prepare K-5thgrade teachers to teach customize integrated lessons and integrate computer science into daily classroom activities.
Contact: Sandy Groom-Meeks at sgroommeeks@mocfv.org

Muscatine Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region

Increase the opportunities for students with identified career exploration paths to include more individualized experiences including site visits, job shadows and internships/apprenticeships.
Contact: Brandon Welsch at brandon.welsch@mcsdonline.org

Sioux Center Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region

Expanding the impact to include grades 6-8 by utilizing a Makerspace lab. This award will fortify and expand a Career Explorations class for ninth and tenth grade students. Students will explore their gifts, talents, and career interests, and complete real-world projects and simulations that allow them to experience their chosen career.
Contact: Gary McEldowney at gary.mceldowney@scwarriors.org

Starmont Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region

Creating an expanded opportunity for K-8 students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in the career cluster areas related to STEAM in their makerspace. Students will experience to 21st Century processes such as design thinking, combining problem-solving, technology, design thinking and construction. Career lessons will be integrated in social studies and science in agriculture by partnering with the outreach arm of the Iowa Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom.

Contact: Marcia Powell at mpowell@starmont.k12.ia.us

Storm Lake Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region

Creating an outdoor classroom learning space for students to have opportunities to learn across many core areas while connecting with our community. Expanding opportunities in agriculture, natural resources, industries, with our partners, with classroom projects and other school districts.
Contact: Jacquie Drey at jdrey@slcsd.org

Turkey Valley Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region

The Turkey Valley Ag Ed/FFA Department will build a greenhouse that will support K-12 students. This will be a student-run center, teaching sustainability, horticulture, and marketing. Students will be creating a farmer's market where they will be advertising and creating their own market for the products which they produce.
Contact: Steve Pfaffle at spfaffle@turkey-v.k12.ia.us

Waukee Community School District in the South Central STEM Region

Adding a new program in the Human Services sector for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Students will work on professional skills and technical skills while earning high school and college credit, building their portfolios through authentic business partner projects.
Contact: Michelle Hill at mhill@waukeeschools.org

West Des Moines Community School District in the South Central STEM Region

Adding complementary equipment to the manufacturing lab, including the HAAS Lather and Wireless Probe. These additions will help build classroom hours and skill development towards apprenticeship agreements with partners for welding and Computer Integrated Manufacturing and beyond.
Contact: Jim Martin at martinja@wdmcs.org

Woodbine Community School District – High School in the Southwest STEM Region

Adding additional instruction modules for an automotive program, and expanding opportunities to include Freshmen and Sophomores from the surrounding area. These funds would also grow CORE credit offerings within the STEM classes.
Contact: Zach Ridder at zridder@woodbine.k12.ia.us

Woodbine Community School District - Elementary in the Southwest STEM Region

Expanding programming to offer interest-based STEM B.E.S.T. activities into each school day for students K-4. Students will participate in two, forty-five-minute classes on a daily basis each quarter with outlined 20 career-oriented options.
Contact: Tracy Kelley at tkelley@woodbine.k12.ia.us