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:


STEM BEST RFPs Due September 23

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council invites school+business partnerships across Iowa to submit their proposal to establish a STEM BEST model.


All Iowa private and public schools and school districts serving students in any of grades K-12 are eligible to apply. Each of the six awarded applicants will receive $25,000 each to be matched with local cost-share and will be designated as an Iowa STEM BEST model. The application window will close on Friday, September 23, 2016.

To learn more about Iowa STEM BEST, please click HERE.


Downtown to get more than 1,000 high-tech jobs in major lease and construction deal for Des Moines

BY KENT DARR Business Record | Senior Staff Writer | @KentDarr

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a multinational corporation that is based in New Jersey with a presence in Des Moines, plans to hire more than 1,000 people and occupy office space in Two Ruan Center as well as build two office building in the Gray’s Landing development.

The company, one of the leading STEM recruiters in the United States, currently employs slightly more than 400 people in Des Moines who work out of two office buildings downtown.

According to an application for state of Iowa high-quality-jobs tax credits, the company will spend more than $14 million to lease 50,000 square feet of office space in Two Ruan Center and to lease two 54,000-square-foot built-to-suit office buildings. The costs also include expenses for remodeling and computer hardware.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board will consider a forgivable loan of $812,000 when it meets Friday as well as a rebate of sales taxes on construction materials.

The city of Des Moines also is working out the details of an incentive package that includes tax increment financing for the Gray’s Landing office building project.

Continue reading about the affect the company’s decision is likely to have in Des Moines. Full Insider story >>>

GUEST OPINION: Bioscience Innovation in Iowa needs public support Read more:

Submitted to The Business Record By Joe Hrdlicka | Executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association
Many key innovations in this state are coming out of our critical bioscience industry.
Joe Hrdlicka

Consider the contributions of our biofuels industry throughout the state.  We are leaders in this space.  Iowa also leads in the food and ag and plant science areas.  Add the contributions of vaccines through companies like Harrisvaccines or the cancer and Ebola cures offered by NewLink Genetics or the drug innovations of KemPharm make Iowa a human and animal health bioscience center.

All told, this is an industry that supports nearly 25,000 jobs in this state according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Because of Iowa’s rich agricultural resources, bioscience has grown at an exponential rate here.
In fact, the state’s most recent Battelle study released by the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress shows the bioscience industry has shown continued growth since 2004 despite recessionary pressures that forced contraction in other important industries for Iowa. It’s critical we support continued growth in this industry with engagement, strong public policy and investment.
In order to support the workforce needed for this industry to continue to grow, Iowa business leaders need to actively engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in this state.

Read more:

Results are in: Strong Year for Iowa STEM

This year’s Iowa STEM Evaluation report found that Iowa students who participated in programs of the STEM Council last year outperformed their peers in mathematics and science across all grade levels on the Iowa Assessments (page 147 of the report).

Iowans have come to trust and depend on the independent assessment of Iowa STEM each year by the inter-university consortium of Iowa State University’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE), University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Program, and the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), lead organization.

Their 2014-15 report details through 326 pages of charts, graphs and narrative with an in-depth analysis of gains and opportunities. Impacts range from students to parents and teachers to communities. For example, 9 out of 10 teachers who participate in the STEM Council’s Teacher Externships program label it as the best professional development they have ever had. As for students, those who took part in STEM Scale-Up programs scored an average of 6 percentage points higher in mathematics and science on the Iowa Assessments. Iowans answering a telephone survey overwhelmingly believe that advancements in STEM will give more opportunities to the next generation. On top of that, the study found 376 new business-education partnerships formed through Iowa STEM programs last year.

A variety of additional indicators are monitored each year to complete the STEM story for Iowa. For example, four-year college degrees are up considerably, more students are taking Advanced Placement STEM courses, more high school teachers are getting their initial license in STEM areas and ACT-tested graduates are increasingly interested in STEM across all demographic subgroups including males, females, African Americans and Hispanics.

Although there is plenty to celebrate in the annual review of Iowa STEM, there are a number of opportunities to improve as well. The report provides STEM Council leaders with valuable, trustworthy feedback for charting the course ahead. To peruse the entire product of Iowa’s STEM evaluation triad, see and direct any questions to Dr. Erin Heiden, project coordinator at the UNI Center for Social and Behavioral Research at

#innovationIOWA Governor’s STEM council honors Hoover High, 11 others


The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has honored 12 Iowa high schools as STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) and STEM RLE (Redesigned Learning Environment) models across Iowa.

Des Moines’ Hoover High School was named a STEM BEST school where schools and business work together to encourage careers in science, engineering, technology and mathematics.

“The STEM BEST model allows students to experience a local industry or business environment firsthand that exposes them to STEM career opportunities right in their backyards,”  Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the STEM Council, said in a statement.

Since 2014, the STEM Council has established four STEM RLE and five STEM BEST models that  serve as examples of these business-education partnerships.

In all, $300,000 from state and private funds is divided equally among these 12 awardees so they can buy equipment and provide teacher training.


  • Charles City Community School District.
  • Davenport Community School District.
  • Des Moines Hoover High School.


  • Lincoln Intermediate Schoo, Mason Cityl.
  • Dubuque Community School District.
  • North Tama County Community School District.
  • Carroll High School.
  • Western Christian High School, Hull
  • Albia Community School District.
  • West Branch Community School District.
  • Corning Elementary School.
  • Hamburg Community School District.

Each selected program submitted an in-depth proposal, considering factors like education driven by business and industry needs, STEM curriculum and partnerships. Read more

#innovationIOWA STEM Teacher Awards Presented by Kemin

The I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award is just one of many ways that Kemin Industries has helped advance Iowa STEM to promising achievements.

Kemin Industries, known for its “inspired molecular solutions,” inspires STEM solutions as well in partnership with the STEM Council by serving as an example for business and industry partners who wish to help ignite young Iowan minds toward STEM careers.

For the last four years, Kemin’s contributions to Iowa STEM represent a full array of time, talent and treasures. The company has cost-shared and hosted19 STEM Teacher Externs for the last seven years and has previously supportedSTEM classrooms and statewide STEM events. Alissa Jourdan, director of discovery research and worldwide R&D coordinator at Kemin, has served on the STEM Council since the beginning with Kemin President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson recently accepting an invitation to co-chair the STEM Council alongside Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds.

Now in its second year, Kemin Industries also sponsors the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award that honors STEM educators 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.

“As teachers, you will help shape Iowa’s economic future by introducing today’s students to the opportunities that exist in STEM fields by educating and equipping them to become better members of tomorrow’s workforce,” Jourdan said at the launch of the award at the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Iowa Academy of Science–Iowa Science Teaching Section (ICTM-ISTS) conference this month.

One teacher in each of the six STEM regions will receive this honor along with $1,500 for their classroom and $1,500 for personal use. Nominations for the award will be accepted until December 11 at

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN: To nominate a teacher, visit:

#innovationIOWA The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council receives $20,000 from Google

CEDAR FALLS | The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council received $20,000 from Google to support a computer science program.

This is the second time Google has funded “Code Iowa,” which focuses on increasing the state’s participation in’s international effort called “The Hour of Code.” Last December, more than 450 schools took part in the event, and 50 schools signed up through the STEM Council to become a certified Code Iowa partner. Google’s first $20,000 contribution allowed the STEM Council to award five schools across Iowa with $4,000 technology awards for participating in the “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week.

The council is based at the University of Northern Iowa. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to statistics, Iowa currently has nearly 4,500 open computing jobs with only 358 computer science graduates to fill them, which is a demand 3.1 times the state average.

#innovationIOWA Iowa Business Survey: STEM INVESTMENT

Dear Iowa Business Leader: This five-item survey will take you approximately two minutes to complete and by doing so you will contribute to an invaluable statewide snapshot of business investment in education, particularly regarding the high-demand fields known as STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics). Collective responses by you and your peers across Iowa will inform state leaders and lawmakers regarding private sector commitment to growing the talent pipeline to essential STEM careers.

Your responses must be submitted by Oct. 16 to be counted. To take the survey visit: