Math & Science (Governor’s STEM Advisory Council)

The FY 2018 request is $5.7 million, which is a $500,000 increase from FY 2017. 

The requested increase will be dedicated to support the Governor’s initiative to ramp-up the Iowa STEM BEST® (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) model across Iowa, which connects schools to local businesses and other employers. The program allows teachers and industry to work side-by-side to craft curriculum and projects to prepare students for careers in the STEM fields.

STEM BEST® was created by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council in 2014 after studying a variety of school-business partnerships across the nation, including the IBM P-Tech model of Chicago and New York, the CAPS model of Blue Valley School District of Kansas, the New Tech High model of California, and Waukee’s APEX, among others. Three common characteristics defined all of the models, becoming the hallmark of STEM BEST:

  1. Education in a workplace setting, driven by industry need.

  2. Rigorous, relevant and dynamic STEM curriculum.

  3. Authentic, mutually beneficial partnerships.

STEM BEST® 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. Eight BEST prototypes are operational today, each launched by a $25,000 investment from the STEM Council matched (and often more than quadrupled) by cash and in-kind investments at the local level.

A plan to deliver the ramp-up of STEM BEST® across Iowa:

FY 2017: Six new STEM BEST® models to be distributed across Iowa’s six STEM regions, selected through a competitive proposal process, each funded at the cost-shared level of $25,000 for a total FY 2017 budget of $150,000.

FY 2018: Eighteen new STEM BEST® models distributed evenly across Iowa’s six STEM regions – ideally three per region – funded by a new appropriation of $500,000.

  • 18 STEM BEST® at $25,000 = $450,000

  • Project management and coordination - $25,000

  • “Project Portal” design and upkeep for schools lacking local project partner(s) - $10,000

  • Assessment and evaluation service (academic performance via test scores and grades, plus attitudinal and career aspirations) - $15,000

Goal: 32 STEM BEST® models across Iowa by June 2018.

Iowa STEM BEST® current models, FY 2015 and FY 2016:

  • Bettendorf/Pleasant Valley School districts with local business in the area of Computer Science (2014)

  • Cedar Rapids/College Community (or Iowa BIG) with 100+ partners from business, nonprofit, and government agencies (2014)

  • Kirkwood CC/University of Iowa/Clear Creek Amana/Iowa City/Regina/Solon/Tipton/West Branch/College Community with 40+ community partners to meet industry standards (2014)             

  • Northeast Community School District in Goose Lake with business partner Lyondell Bassell (2014)               

  • Rock Valley (or Rocket Manufacturing) supplying machining parts custom ordered by CNC Machining companies of the area (2014)

  • Community School Districts of Charles City/New Hampton/Osage/Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock with local businesses, including Zoetis, Cambrex Corporation, Valent BioSciences Corporation and more (2015)   

  • Des Moines Hoover High School with partners Grand View University, the CBiRC at ISU, and local businesses Accumold, DuPont Pioneer, EFCO, Storey Kenworthy, and more (2015)      

  • Davenport Community School District, Davenport with local businesses MA Ford, Alcoa, Phoenix Closures and more (2015)

CURRENT investment and involvements

  • $200,000 total investment by STEM Council has netted $804,087 in cost share by BEST awardees.

  • Nineteen school districts are involved in eight BEST models.

  • Over 150 employers partner with eight STEM BEST®.

  • Iowa’s Work-Based Learning Policy Academy grant of the National Governors Association supports the study and refinement of work-based learning at all current and future STEM BEST® sites.

New STEM BEST® awarded in FY 2017

  • Assumption High School, Davenport

  • Boone High School

  • Fort Madison Community High School

  • IKM-Manning Community School District

  • Muscatine Community School District

  • North Cedar Elementary School, Cedar Falls

  • Spencer High School

  • Story County

  • Consortium (Ames, Ballard, Collins, Maxwell, Colo-NESCO, Gilbert, Nevada, and Roland-Story School Districts)

  • Waukee APEX

  • West Delaware County Community School District

Additional information can be found here.