New STEM BEST Opportunity to Expand Career-Linked Learning

Students working on computer

Re-envisioning recyclable materials into usable products, developing entrepreneurial skills through student-run storefronts, taking on leadership roles at community and live events, simulating advanced manufacturing and healthcare experience through school business partnerships. These are a few of the many career-linked opportunities the STEM BEST Program is creating in Iowa. Read more about New STEM BEST Opportunity to Expand Career-Linked Learning

38 Schools to Advance Career-Linked Learning through STEM BEST H.D. Recognition

Waterloo Schools Executive Director of Professional Education Jeff Frost provides a tour of the Waterloo Career Center.

Thirty-eight school districts throughout Iowa have been recognized as STEM BEST H.D. (High Demand) models of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. This is the highest number of schools to be named as STEM BEST models since the program’s launch in 2014. STEM BEST H.D. Read more about 38 Schools to Advance Career-Linked Learning through STEM BEST H.D. Recognition

STEM BEST Program Offers Network Supports

Central Community School students take part in Clayton County STEM BEST Program.
Career-Linked Learning (CLL) inspires passion in students to pursue high demand, high impact and high reward careers. Learning linked to fulfilling jobs through authentic experiences is what the STEM BEST Program provides more than 80 partners in Iowa schools.

Nine School Districts to Pioneer Work-Based Learning Plans

Spencer High School was selected to develop a school district work-based learning plan.
Nine school districts have stepped up to create K-12 work-based learning plans that do four things: 
  1. Detail a spectrum of innovative WBL options connecting K-12 classrooms to future careers;
  2. Integrate WBL in a cohesive way across grade levels and content disciplines to diverse students;
  3. Involve businesses and other community partners; and

STEM BEST Program to Emphasize High Demand Careers

Waukee APEX, a STEM BEST Program model, offers a human services sector that is designed to give students a hands-on experience.
The STEM Council is focusing a special round of the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to help prepare students to enter job sectors that are in high demand, made possible by legislated support funding through the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

STEM BEST Program Gets Boost from Expert Mentors

2021-2022 STEM BEST Program mentors play a critical role in supporting the expansion of work-based learning in Iowa.
From resources and webinars to workshops and handbooks, the STEM Council provides a strong support system to assist STEM BEST Programs throughout the year. These supports are made possible through the valiant efforts of the team, including STEM Council Program Coordinator Tanya Hunt and the STEM BEST Program mentors.

Return on Investment for STEM BESTs

Graduates from the STEM Council’s STEM BEST Program models across Iowa cited these “lasting impressions” of their involvement.

"STEM BEST has provided me the skills and techniques necessary to handle a large variety of problems in my life, as well as improved my social skills. Read more about Return on Investment for STEM BESTs

Insider Look at Launching a STEM BEST Program

Tips for implementing authentic learning for students through the STEM BEST Program.
Authentic learning experiences allow students to gain important life skills at an early age, while equipping them for future education and employment opportunities. STEM BEST Program partner, Rachael Strong of North Fayette Valley, worked with Keystone Area Education Agency to develop a video about how to implement authentic learning for students through the STEM BEST Program.

STEM BEST Application Opens

Students learning about robots

The STEM Council is now accepting applications for the STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) Program, which brings schools and businesses together to provide students with real workplace experiences while earning academic credits. The opportunity is available to Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in grades K-12. Read more about STEM BEST Application Opens

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