This coming summer, hundreds of Iowa educators will participate in professional development associated with the STEM Scale-Up Program of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. Thousands of children and families will take part in community STEM festivals across the State (including the granddaddy of them all, STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair). New STEM BEST® Program awardees will be recruited. New Computer Science is Elementary schools will roll out. Scores of educators will immerse in Externships. And countless business and education partners will be brought into Iowa’s STEM community.
Each of these undertakings hatched as a policy solution to achieve STEM Council goals, and each depends on translators who turn policy goals into practical programs. That (and more) is the job of Iowa’s six Regional STEM Managers. They are each housed at competitively selected and cost-sharing Regional Hub Institutions and are deeply embedded in the matrix of schools, businesses, nonprofits, colleges, libraries, Extensions, AEAs, local and state government offices and others that make up Iowa’s STEM community. Each year they drive more miles, shake more hands, build more connections and influence more young lives than most Presidential candidates during Caucus season. They all assemble and maintain Regional STEM Advisory Boards to help steer activities, and each ultimately serves the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council well.
They are (clockwise across the state) Dr. Kelly Bergman operating from Iowa State University Extension , Jeff Beneke operating from the University of Northern Iowa , Kristine Bullock operating from the regional center for Kirkwood Community College/University of Iowa , Dr. Sarah Derry operating from Drake University , Deb Frazee operating from the Southwestern Community College Red Oak Center and Mary Trent operating from Iowa Lakes Community College. Iowa’s STEM community is fortunate to have these tireless translators at work on their behalf.