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 to award 12 competitively-selected school partnerships. The 2022 STEM BEST Program partners are:
Cedar Rapids Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
Expand greenhouse infrastructure to explore aquaculture and aquaponics, microgreens, flowers and other
seasonal plant products to engage students in their community garden which supports refugee and migrant
farmers efforts to produce culturally relevant produce for their communities. The greenhouse will serve as a
cross-curricular learning space, a farm to table nutrition/health program, an entrepreneurship outlet, and a
culinary arts workforce development.
Contact: Chuck Tonelli at email@example.com
MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District-High School in the Northwest STEM Region
Adding a CAPS Education and CAPS Medical strands as options for students. These additional pathways will
allow students who have more specific career pathways in mind to really focus and experience their career
paths at a deeper level.
Contact: Michael Mulder at firstname.lastname@example.org
MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District - Elementary in the Northwest STEM Region
Working with community computer science education consultants, provide on-site professional development
opportunities to prepare K-5thgrade teachers to teach customize integrated lessons and integrate computer
science into daily classroom activities.
Contact: Sandy Groom-Meeks at email@example.com
Muscatine Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
Increase the opportunities for students with identified career exploration paths to include more individualized
experiences including site visits, job shadows and internships/apprenticeships.
Contact: Brandon Welsch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sioux Center Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
Expanding the impact to include grades 6-8 by utilizing a Makerspace lab. This award will fortify and expand a
Career Explorations class for ninth and tenth grade students. Students will explore their gifts, talents, and career
interests, and complete real-world projects and simulations that allow them to experience their chosen career.
Contact: Gary McEldowney at email@example.com
Storm Lake Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
Creating an outdoor classroom learning space for students to have opportunities to learn across many core
areas while connecting with our community. Expanding opportunities in agriculture, natural resources,
industries, with our partners, with classroom projects and other school districts.
Contact: Jacquie Drey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Turkey Valley Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
The Turkey Valley Ag Ed/FFA Department will build a greenhouse that will support K-12 students. This will be a
student-run center, teaching sustainability, horticulture, and marketing. Students will be creating a farmer's
market where they will be advertising and creating their own market for the products which they produce.
Contact: Steve Pfaffle at email@example.com
Waukee Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
Adding a new program in the Human Services sector for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Students will
work on professional skills and technical skills while earning high school and college credit, building their
portfolios through authentic business partner projects.
Contact: Michelle Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org
West Des Moines Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
Adding complementary equipment to the manufacturing lab, including the HAAS Lather and Wireless Probe.
These additions will help build classroom hours and skill development towards apprenticeship agreements with
partners for welding and Computer Integrated Manufacturing and beyond.
Contact: Jim Martin at email@example.com
Woodbine Community School District – High School in the Southwest STEM Region
Adding additional instruction modules for an automotive program, and expanding opportunities to include
Freshmen and Sophomores from the surrounding area. These funds would also grow CORE credit offerings
within the STEM classes.
Contact: Zach Ridder at firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodbine Community School District - Elementary in the Southwest STEM Region
Expanding programming to offer interest-based STEM B.E.S.T. activities into each school day for students K-4.
Students will participate in two, forty-five-minute classes on a daily basis each quarter with outlined 20 career-
Contact: Tracy Kelley at email@example.com