Iowa STEM Spring and Summer Opportunities

Marson City STEM Festival
A recent family STEM Festival in Mason City engaged children of all ages in exciting hands-on experiments and activities.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council (Iowa STEM) at the Iowa Department of Education ramps up in the spring and summer with many opportunities for engagement by students, families, educators and communities.

Regional STEM Festivals. There are a number of Iowa STEM Festivals across the STEM Regions yet this year in which students, families, schools and community partners can participate. These events help grow STEM education interest and awareness in STEM careers in communities. 

Northwest STEM Region. For more information, contact NW Regional STEM Manager Mary Trent at

June 20, 2024, 9AM-3PM – Iowa Lakes Summer STEM Fest, Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville Campus. Free to Grades 4-10 Students. See how technology and careers collide while exploring computer science, track turtles, fly drones and more through STEM sessions and group games.

Southeast STEM Region. For more information, contact SE Regional STEM Manager Matt Stier at 

July 18, 2024, 9AM-1PM – Collins Aerospace Campus, Cedar Rapids

Southwest STEM Region. For more information, contact SW Regional STEM Manager Casey Wenstrand at

May 1, 2024, 5:30-7:30PM - Southwest Iowa Technical Career Hub (SWITCH Center), East Mills Elementary Gym 

Each of the STEM Regions welcomes additional exhibitors and volunteers who would like to be a part of these annual STEM Festivals. To express interest in participating, contact the Regional STEM Manager in your region. Their contact information can be found at: 

Professional Development Opportunities for Educators

  • Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program. During the summer and into the fall, professional development is provided to educators who have been awarded a STEM Scale-Up Program for implementation during the 2024-25 academic year. These workshops are offered by the STEM Scale-Up Program providers and vary in length and location. Awarded educators were notified in early April. For more information on the 2024-25 STEM Scale-Up Program offerings, please see: .


  • Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program. For six weeks during the summer, licensed, secondary teachers of mathematics, science and/or technology engage in an impactful professional development experience where they take on a full-time position in local workplace and apply their content knowledge to projects at that workplace, as well as gain knowledge about that workplace’s operations and career opportunities for students. During this professional development experience, these STEM educators earn three (3) graduate credits, acquire a participant stipend of up to $5,000, network with colleagues in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and receive mentoring by STEM education professionals on transferring the experience back to the classroom for their students. For more information about this program, go to:


  • Iowa STEM BEST Program. Soon after the 2023-24 academic year concludes, Iowa’s STEM BEST Program models across Iowa convene for the BEST STEMposium. This is a 1-1/2 day gathering to network, share best practices and witness the offerings of other STEM BEST Program models. This annual convening is in a different location each year in order to spotlight remarkable school+workplace partnerships providing scalable work-based learning opportunities in communities all across the state. The enrichment is vast, not only for the youth being afforded these opportunities, yet for the educators, schools, workplaces and communities in which they thrive. To learn more about these STEM BEST Program models, descriptions can be found at:
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