STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers)
“Iowa companies must be able to hire enough skilled workers so they can grow and innovate, and more Iowans deserve to have the skills needed for rewarding careers. Through STEM BEST, educators and business leaders work together with students to strengthen Iowa’s talent pipeline and close the skills gap. STEM BEST is one of many programs that promise to help reach our Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.”
- Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the STEM Council
Since 2014, The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has awarded seventy-six (76) STEM BEST programs with an opportunity to grow a series of community collaborations involving school+business partnerships. The goal of the STEM BEST program is to encourage education and industry to work together to design curriculum and projects to better prepare students for STEM careers in their communities. Check out opens in a new windowSTEM BEST for more information.
STEM BEST® PROGRAM PARTNERS
MOC-Floyd Valley CSD – High School
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.
MOC-Floyd Valley CSD – Elementary
Working with community computer science education consultants, provide on-site professional development opportunities to prepare K-5th grade teachers to teach customized integrated lessons and integrate computer science into daily classroom activities.
Sioux Center CSD
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.
Storm Lake CSD
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.
A Cherokee Future Ready BEST Program will be launched in the next academic school year, with the goal for students to step out of the classroom and have a more in-depth, work-based learning experience that will build skills and awareness to help students to become Future Ready. The district will focus on connecting students with local industry partners targeting the areas of health professions and advanced manufacturing.
The goal Lawton-Bronson would like to accomplish through the purchase and use of the zSpace is to increase interest in the healthcare field as well as prepare those interested for collegiate and workplace use of simulations.
Maple Valley-Anthon Oto CSD
The Maple Valley-Anthon Oto Community School District will partner with Maple Heights Nursing Home in Mapleton, IA, to provide opportunities for students to explore opportunities in Health Careers. The funds would be used to implement a Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences curriculum while also renovating my classroom to model a patient room.
The Siouxland CAPS schools will work together to offer more strand-specific classes specifically in the areas of health care, manufacturing and education. Through planning with Sanford, the students can continue with CAPS-specific training building career skills and connections between the Siouxland CAPS schools and get experience in the health field.
Sioux City Schools
The Sioux City Career Center will be enhancing and promoting the health science pathways tied to the business community, addressing real-life scenarios and focused on integrating technology in course offerings through the use of an Anatomage Table.
Spencer Community School District plans to blend pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeships with work-based learning (WBL) programs with additional staff in order to expand ECEs to include IT, including apprentice-like occupations, such as IT generalist, computer operator and computer programmer, and start an EMT course at SHS.
Storm Lake CSD
Storm Lake Community School District will create a Beacon of Success Pathway for students, allowing them to move between a traditional high school setting and the soon-to-be-created pathway model. Students will have access to work-based learning options, reflecting a more student-centered, 21st century teaching and learning approach.
West Lyon CSD
Day-long field trips will take place to tour businesses in the advanced manufacturing sector. Students will be connected with businesses to meet employers, have the students witness what is happening in those facilities and come back to our program and practice skills that relate to those careers.
MOC Floyd Valley
Developing trifold program offering Advanced Manufacturing Connection Program, launch a Business & Entrepreneurship Pathway as well as a Registered Apprenticeship Program in welding.
Career Explorations class for ninth and tenth grade students bringing local businesses and industries into school to teach students about their business and the various career opportunities that are available. Also funds will be used is to offer junior and senior students describe what the students would do.
Emmetsburg Community School District is planning to expand student career exploration opportunities in partnership with employers in the Emmetsburg region through the implementation of an Iowa BIG or No Boundaries program in Emmetsburg. These programs offer real world experience to area high school students by letting them work on projects for local businesses, nonprofits and government entities. The broad goals for Emmetsburg are to increase opportunities for students, allowing them to explore opportunities available locally and create their own in order to create future-ready individuals.
MOC-Floyd Valley CSD
MOC-Floyd Valley plans to design and development of a multi tier work-based learning program for manufacturing and entrepreneurship extended career experiences through project-based learning and on-site workplace experience alongside tradesmen.
MMCRU High School
In partnership with local business, MMCRU Community School District will be purchasing commercial grade manufacturing equipment such as CNC machining, advanced millwork processing technologies and welding robotic cells to provide industry grade materials and projects to 9-12 grade students. The goal is to prepare students for local careers with the tools, equipment and technology they will see in the hands of local tradesmen in an effort to prepare them for post-secondary training and open doors for incredible careers right after high school.
GeoPhysics (Geometry + Physics)
West High School, Sioux City
Sioux City Community School District will expand the GeoPhysics (Geometry + Physics) STEM curriculum implemented during the 2017-2018 school year to establish authentic partnerships with three new business partners. Community partnerships will integrate real-world questions for students to practice problem-solving utilizing 21st century skills of collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.
No Boundaries and Iowa Middles
Okoboji CSD, Graettinger-Terril CSD, Ruthven-Ayrshire CSD
A consortium of schools, including the Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril, and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts, are embarking on a shared program called the No Boundaries Project. In addition, a middle school pilot of the No Boundaries Project, called Iowa Middles, will start in January with 8th graders at Okoboji Middle School. The vision of this project is to provide real-world and relevant opportunities that don’t exist in the traditional school setting and to expand this model to students across the region.
Spirit Lake Middle School
The goal at Spirit Lake Middle School is to create a multipurpose educational makerspace that connects school with community. The makerspace concept provides hands-on, creative ways that allow students to innovate while engaging them in deep learning in all academic disciplines. The STEM BEST® Program award will support purchasing furniture and technology for adding a contemporary presentation area designed to provide accessibility, mobility and inspiration within the makerspace. The award will also support renovating the current Maker area. Connecting with local businesses and nonprofits to raise STEM career awareness and job skills are also a priority. The end goal is to establish a public asset Makerspace that will deliver STEM opportunities not only to Spirit Lake students but also to the community.
Spencer High School
Students travel to workplace sites for training and experiences that align with the community's industry demand in construction, health care, manufacturing and entrepreneurship. Spencer High School is one of four schools piloting a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship. Their program expands on the Construction Extended Career Experiences whereby students are at the job site receiving on-the-job training for an average of 12.5 hours a week. They also achieve their 10-hour OSHA certification in concert with the Quality Pre-Apprenticeship. Established Registered Apprenticeship Program partners include Milford Electric and Midwestern Mechanical.
Rock Valley CSD
Rocket Manufacturing is a fully-functioning, student-run manufacturer that works with local businesses by crafting metal-machined parts and tools that businesses or individuals request. Students do the marketing, accounting, design, production and customer communications as well.