Thirty-seven Iowa school districts will join or expand offerings in the STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to provide students with real workplace experiences. Since STEM BEST launched in 2014, 155 partnerships have been created or expanded to help introduce students to businesses and career opportunities in Iowa, while also gaining high-demand skills.
This application was focused on teachers and industry professionals working side-by-side to develop STEM BEST Programs that foster opportunities for growth in high demand (STEM BEST + HD) skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and communication. The STEM Council’s STEM BEST Program drives school-business partnerships to connect mathematics and science class with experiential learning opportunities and emphasize high-demand skills for the workplace. The Council’s investment of professional and financial investment support curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing work-based learning environments.
“The STEM Council is driven to connect schools and workplaces for the benefit of both youth and employers, and the STEM BEST Program is a signature vehicle for that goal,” said Jeff Weld, executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “This latest expansion approaches a tipping point where career-linked learning is becoming the norm rather than the exception in preparing students for future Iowa careers.”
To be considered for a STEM BEST + HD award, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, includes valuable partnerships with community businesses or organizations, aligns with STEM goals, addresses sustainability of the model program and evaluates the program’s effectiveness.
For a list of all STEM BEST Program models and more information on the STEM BEST Program, please visit https://www.iowastem.org/STEMBEST.