2015 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award Recipients

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Kemin Industries joined together to honor teachers who are inspiring Iowa’s students to develop a passion for STEM subjects. The I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award is for teachers who are making a significant difference in the lives of students across the state by providing excellent curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning and inspiring a passion for STEM beyond the classroom and into the future.

The a panel of judges selected the recipients of the 2015 STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching (now called the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award), including:

Northwest STEM Region

Mike Wedge, science teacher and STEM coordinator at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School, has participated in the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships program and has created STEM-focused curriculum and STEM camps.

North Central STEM Region

Shelly Vanyo, science teacher and department head at Boone High School, keeps herself aware of the latest STEM education initiatives by forming local business partnerships and developing unique learning experiences for her students.

Northeast STEM Region

Lisa Chizek, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher and STEM coordinator at North Tama Elementary School, has created a STEM Expert Day where she brings in professionals from various STEM fields to educate her students on their jobs and how STEM is a part of it.

Southwest STEM Region

Allison Gregg, second-grade teacher at Sidney Elementary School, utilizes her resources to connect with a NASA educator by Skype to help her students learn about the solar system and the Mars Rover.

South Central STEM Region

Kacia Cain, biotechnology teacher at Des Moines Central Campus, partners with STEM industry businesses, including Kemin Industries and DuPont Pioneer, to teach her students about bioethics of GMO’s.

Southeast STEM Region

Jason Franzenburg, technology educator at Davenport West High School, created a new curriculum in partnership with the Scott County Waste Commission that includes guest speakers, hands-on projects and field trips to learn about the lifecycle of consumer products and how to make them better.