Waukee program among STEM Best honorees

Waukee’s APEX program was among 10 school-business partnerships designated as STEM BEST Partners by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The honored programs help promote education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in kindergarten through 12th grade and to promote STEM careers. (The “BEST” part stands for Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers.) The programs will share nearly $250,000 in state and private funds through the STEM council. Awardees include Waukee, Davenport Assumption, Boone, Fort Madison and Spencer high schools and the IKM-Manning, Muscatine, Story County consortium, and West Delaware County school districts, along with North Cedar Elementary School in Cedar Falls.

For more information visit: http://www.iowastem.gov/STEMBEST


STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair on August 21st

Ignite a passion for learning! Come out and celebrate STEM at the Iowa State Fair. For the price of last-day admission, meet STEM professionals, participate in hands-on activities and learn what Iowa STEM can do for you!

Click HERE for more info!

Or contact Dr. Sarah Derry, SC STEM Hub Manager
Call: 515-271-2403 or Email: scstemhub@drake.edu


Outstanding STEM teachers honored at Terrace Hill


The six 2016 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were recognized by Governor Branstad and STEM Council Co-Chairs Lt. Governor Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Nelson at the STEM Council’s reception of the Future Ready Iowa Summit at Terrace Hill on April 18.

Iowa has been known as “a place to grow” and “life-changing,” yet to the STEM Council — thanks to the vision and investment of Kemin Industries — I.O.W.A. represents our state’s excellent STEM educators who are Innovative in their methods, Outstanding in their passion for education, Worldly in how they help their students see STEM all around them and Academic in engaging students both in and out of the classroom.

“We are extremely appreciative of STEM teachers in Iowa. This award is just one of the ways we enjoy honoring the hard work and dedication of exceptional teachers in our state,” said Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson, STEM Council co-chair. “These teachers deserve recognition for preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s workforce, which includes an abundance of STEM opportunities.”

In the second year of the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, six of Iowa’s most inspiring teachers of STEM subjects received award presentations in March at their schools and then formal recognition earlier this month at Terrace Hill. Each teacher received $1,500 and an additional $1,500 for their classrooms.

The 2016 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients are:

North Central STEM Region

Ed Birkey, Technology and Engineering Teacher

Fort Dodge High School

Northeast STEM Region

Dirk Homewood, Project Lead The Way and Mathematics Teacher

Cedar Falls High School

Northwest STEM Region

Kent Muyskens, Science Teacher

Carroll High School

South Central STEM Region

Ryan Lensing, Science Teacher

Dowling Catholic High School

Southeast STEM Region

Reagan Boeset, 6-8th Grade STEM Teacher

Clear Creek Amana Middle School

Southwest STEM Region

Erin Wetzel, Project Lead The Way and Computers Teacher

Southwest Valley Middle School


To read more about each recipient or to watch videos from the 2015 awardees, head to www.IowaSTEM.gov/TeacherAward.

2016-17 Scale-Up Program Applications are OPEN January 25 through March 1


Over the past four years, hundreds of educators and thousands of students in the Hub’s region have participated in Scale-Up programs, including Pre K-12 teachers, after-school club leaders, Extension and 4-H professionals, daycare providers and other active-learning community members.

Results from the 2014-15 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report show all grade levels of students who participated in a STEM Scale-Up program scored an average of six percentage points higher in National Percentile Rank on the Iowa Assessments in both mathematics and science, compared to other students statewide. In addition, more than 75 percent of past STEM Scale-Up educators continue their program after the STEM Council’s financial support ends.

Check out this year’s opportunities below. Applications open TODAY and close March 1, 2016 at 5:00 p.m

Click HERE to apply 

Applications must be submitted online.  Here is a sample application for your reference only.


Could computer science join the 3 R’s at Iowa schools?

, mpatane@dmreg.com9:18 p.m. CST December 26, 2015 From the Des Moines Register>

If Iowa education officials get their way, computer science could one day be required at all state high schools as part of an updated curriculum intended to prepare students for a growing career field.

The Iowa Department of Education plans to file a bill in the coming legislative session that would establish a task force to examine the issue. The group would make recommendations on requiring all high schools to offer a “high-quality computer science course” by the 2018-19 school year, Department Director Ryan Wise said.

The task force also would examine how to create a sequence of computer science curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade, including a coding class in seventh and eighth grades, Wise said.


Read the full story at: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/tech/2015/12/21/could-computer-science-join-3-rs-iowa-schools/77444376/


I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award

Have you nominated an outstanding STEM teacher? The I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award presented by Kemin will honor one teacher from each of the six STEM regions for his or her contribution and dedication to STEM education in Iowa.

Each winner will receive $1,500, as well as another $1,500 to be used in the classroom. Due December 11, 2015. Click HERE to begin the process.


STEM working group: Make computer science classes mandatory


A working group of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council says that Iowa high schools should make completion of computer science coursework a requirement for graduation.

The recommendation is one of three overall goals of the council’s Computer Science Workgroup for the coming legislative session, the group’s co-facilitator, Mark Gruwell, said in an interview with the Technology Association of Iowa.

“Our overall goal is to expose students as much as we can to computer science, and find a way to create a computer science pathway from pre-K through college so we can get students involved in and train them to go into computer science,” Gruwell said.

The Computer Science workgroup will focus on three areas in the coming year:

  • Phase in a computer science endorsement, which would be required to teach high school computer science courses; optional but strongly encouraged to teach middle school computer science courses; and optional to teach elementary school computer science courses.
  • Ensure that the computer science endorsement may be obtained in a flexible manner while maintaining standards that provide assurance that anyone with the endorsement is competent to teach a computer science course or computer science coursework — such as through coursework, co-teaching and mentorships, competency assessments, recognized training such as Project Lead The Way, or a combination of the foregoing.
  • Require the successful completion of computer science coursework as a requirement of high school graduation.

Gruwell said that requiring a computer science component as a condition of high school graduation, which has grabbed the most attention of the three proposals, is a potential way to solidify the future of Iowa’s technology workforce.

“We’ve agreed that the earlier we can introduce students to what computer science is and educate their parents as well, the better off we are,” he said.

“If a student gets into computer science at a young age and continues on that pathway, he or she is going to be well prepared to take advanced courses at the college level or even go into industry upon completing an associate degree in computer science.”

Read more at http://www.BusinessRecord.com