UNI helps build out the impact of Iowa STEM

A statewide initiative, operated out of East Bartlett Hall at the University of Northern Iowa, has helped increase Iowa Assessment scores and stir STEM passions for well over 300,000 young Iowans since 2012.

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council is focused on increasing student interest and achievement in STEM and building STEM-literate, workforce-ready citizens for Iowa. Co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Chris Nelson, the group is comprised of 45 other leaders from business and industry, Pre-K through 12 education, nonprofits, government and higher education, including UNI President Mark Nook.

Student interest and achievement in STEM

STEM Day at the Capitol is Thursday, Feb. 16. This event, hosted by the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, features 33 outstanding exhibits, including a dazzling array of student-led demonstrations of STEM, Iowa's Regional STEM Network, school+business partnerships and other STEM starts from across the state.

Based on the 2015-16 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report, students that take part in STEM Council programming score higher on the Iowa Assessments in national percentile rank by seven points in mathematics, six in science and four in reading compared to students statewide. Those same students show a higher interest in staying and working in Iowa in a STEM career.

According to ACT, Iowa student interest in pursuing a STEM bachelor's degree grew from 49 percent five years ago to 55 percent this past year-good news for UNI enrollment and the businesses of Iowa in need of the talent. Moreover, a statewide survey conducted by UNI's Center for Social and Behavioral Research on behalf of the STEM Council found that 90 percent of Iowans support the state's STEM priority.

The Governor's STEM Advisory Council, as well as the Northeast STEM Region of the Iowa STEM statewide network, is housed at UNI. From big projects like helping launch and host the STEM Council's website to the daily benefits of on-campus support, UNI plays an indispensable role in the success of the STEM Council's efforts statewide.

For more information about Iowa STEM, please visit www.IowaSTEM.gov/.