2019 STEM BEST® Program Partners

The STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program focuses on teachers and industry professionals working side-by-side to craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting STEM careers local to their community in manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance and more.

The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously in October 2019 to award 13 competitively-selected school partnerships. The 2019 STEM BEST Program partners are:

BCLUW Community School District in the North Central STEM Region

BCLUW Community School District is planning to provide service-learning through hands-on academic projects throughout the community as a way to prepare 11 and 12 grade students for future careers. Students will identify and creatively solve a problem that has value beyond themselves. They will reach beyond the regular classroom experience through building community, business and higher education partnerships to assist the transition from school to careers.

Contact: Roberta Vanderah at rvanderah@bcluw.org

Bondurant-Farrar Community School District in the South Central STEM Region

Bondurant-Farrar Community School District will provide students with work-based learning experiences by partnering with local businesses. Students will share projects with business representatives, participate in mock interviews, learn about local career fields and receive mentoring for specific extra curricular groups. 

Contact: Donovan Hill at hilld@bfschools.org

Cedar Rapids Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region

Cedar Rapids Community School District plans to start a Computer Integrated Manufacturing course and bolster the Advanced Manufacturing/Entrepreneurship course through industry recommended equipment purchases, student certifications and curriculum alignment with the needs of local industry.

Contact: Joshua Eaton at jeaton@crschools.us

Clarinda Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region

Clarinda Community School District will provide hands-on learning opportunities and experiences focused on mental health and related professions. This will afford all students a stronger understanding of possible careers that contribute to positive personal mental health strategies and supportive responses to the mental health of others.

Contact: Chris Bergman at cbergman@clarindacsd.org

Clear Lake Community School District in the North Central STEM Region

Clear Lake Community School District will expand work-based learning opportunities and expose students to STEM careers with local employers by bringing in business partners to interact with elementary students and offering students internships and apprenticeships with business partners for secondary students. 

Contact: Emily Hill at ehill@clearlakeschools.org

Griswold Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region

Griswold Community School District will provide students with work based learning opportunities, develop future job skills and further prepare students for college by partnering with real world businesses on authentic projects. As students collaborate with business partners to solve real world problems, they will practice both soft skills and technical skills. By giving them state-of-the art resources, students will gain experience with a variety of technical skills in demand by many businesses, including social media design and management, programming, video production and editing, broadcasting, creation of content for electronic information monitors and development of advertising. 

Contact: Katie Elwood at kelwood@griswoldschools.org

Jesup Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region

Jesup Community School District will expand work-based learning through partnership and collaboration with Cedar Falls’ STEM BEST Program (called CAPS). Students will be provided opportunities for their knowledge and skills to intersect in real-world learning opportunities. They will be able to explore careers, make connections to businesses and understand how the concepts and information they are learning in the classroom translate into real life.

Contact: Paul Rea at prea@jesup.k12.ia.us

MMCRU Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region

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.

Contact: Matthew Hansen at matt.hansen@mmcruroyals.org

New Hampton Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region

New Hampton Community School District plans to provide the opportunity for students to explore the agricultural career field of precision technology through use of precision agriculture software and hand held equipment as they work with precision agriculture employers.

Contact: Jim Russ at j_russ@new-hampton.k12.ia.us

Saint Albert Catholic Schools in the Southwest STEM Region

The primary goal of the Saint Albert STEM BEST Program is to have every student graduate with the ability to code and use computational thinking to design computer programs. This project will create a mobile STEM Lab that teachers will be able to check out to implement the building of robots, coding and computational thinking into their curriculum and well as create a school media club.

Contact: Devin Yeoman at yeomand@saintalbertschools.org

Stanton Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region

Stanton Community School District will prepare students for work-based learning experiences by allowing them the opportunity to work through an authentic project with a business partner and create a solution that is relevant and adds value for the business. The students and teacher facilitators will have the opportunity and resources to work with business professionals, and state-of-the art equipment and software that will engage the learner and open up a world of opportunity to these students.

Contact: Jeff Grebin at  jgrebin@stantonschools.com

Waterloo Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region

Waterloo Community School District's goal is to support the development of a Biomedical Lab Technician program as a part of the Heath Sciences pathways in their career center. The partnership will promote real life health career experiences utilizing skills learned through classroom instruction to navigate real life scenarios in health professions.

Contact: Jeff Frost at frostj@waterlooschools.org

West Des Moines Community School District in the South Central STEM Region

West Des Moines Community School District plans to increase the skills required for students to fill the local, well paying jobs in advanced manufacturing. Expansion of their manufacturing lab will provide opportunities for students to build industry-specific skills and the purchase of a Haas Mini Mill-EDU will expand the skill capacity of students in the areas of building mechanical systems and machining.

Contact: Jim Martin at martinja@wdmcs.org