STEM Education Produces Positive Impact on Future Workforce

More students who participated in STEM Scale-Up Programs were very interested in pursuing a STEM career.
In 2018-2019, a higher percentage of students who participated in STEM Scale-Up Programs were very interested in STEM subjects, as well as pursuing a STEM career and working in Iowa after graduation compared to all students statewide.

The STEM Council recently released the 2018-2019 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report showing continued growth and impact on Iowa’s educators and future workforce. This independent evaluation measures the STEM Council’s progress toward increasing student interest and achievement in STEM subjects and careers through the implementation of high-quality STEM programs for PreK-12 students in preparation for Iowa’s future workforce needs.

Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2018-19, 95 percent of Iowans said STEM education should be a priority in their local school district.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Iowans support state efforts to devote resources and develop initiatives to promote STEM education.
  • Students who participated in STEM Scale-Up Programs performed better on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. On average, 2% more Scale-Up Program students met or exceeded proficiency benchmarks in mathematics, science and English language arts.
  • Among educators taking part in the STEM Scale-Up Program, 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they now have more confidence to teach STEM topics and have increased their STEM knowledge.
  • The percent of students who said they were very interested in someday working in Iowa was 46 percent of STEM Scale-Up Program participants compared to 37 percent of students statewide.
  • From 2013 to 2016, Iowa high school graduates who took part in the STEM Scale-Up Program were 22% more likely to major in a STEM field for those enrolled in an Iowa Regent University. 
  • Community college STEM diplomas, certificates and degrees increased 13% among white graduates and 31% among minority graduates compared to 2013.
  • STEM jobs pay an average of $22,330 higher per year at $67,057 compared to $44,727 for all other jobs. 

The Iowa STEM Evaluation Report is conducted by a consortium of partners from Iowa’s three Regent universities: the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), the Iowa State University Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) and Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa. 

To view the entire report, please visit

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