2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Awardees Honored at State Capitol

2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were honored at STEM Day at the Capitol.
2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were honored at STEM Day at the Capitol.

The 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were recognized during STEM Day at the Capitol. Sponsored by Kemin Industries, the award is given to teachers who go above and beyond to inspire student interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients include:

  • Ann Arnold, mathematics teacher at Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque
  • Megan Bildner, high school chemistry teacher at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf
  • Matt Hansen, industrial technology teacher at MMCRU High School in Marcus
  • Ronda McCarthy, middle school science teacher at St. Theresa Catholic School in Des Moines
  • Shelly Miller, business teacher at CAM High School in Anita
  • Melissa Taft, first grade teacher at Forest City Elementary in Forest City

Now in its sixth year, this award is given annually to one full-time, licensed teacher from each of the six STEM regions in Iowa. Educators can work with any grade level from preschool to high school. It celebrates innovative teachers who help their students understand science, technology, engineering and mathematics are more than just academic subjects. STEM is all around them—and STEM skills are essential life skills. 

Through generous support from Kemin Industries, each awardee receives $1,500 to use for his or her classroom and $1,500 for personal use. Each recipient was also honored during a ceremony at his or her school with students, peers, administrators, business partners and Kemin Industries representatives present.

The 2020 awardees were selected based on a comprehensive application process. Eligible nominees for the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award include licensed, full-time, PreK-12 Iowa STEM teachers in public or non-public schools. Teachers were nominated by a school administrator, fellow teacher, student or parent. The nominees were also required to complete an application. The applications were then evaluated by a panel of expert reviewers. Since 2015, 36 extraordinary teachers have received this award. 

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