Thirty-eight school districts throughout Iowa have been recognized as STEM BEST H.D. (High Demand) models of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. This is the highest number of schools to be named as STEM BEST models since the program’s launch in 2014. STEM BEST H.D. is designed to prepare students for the workforce through curriculum and career-linked learning focusing on skills needed in job sectors such as computer science/information technology, healthcare professions and advanced manufacturing.
The STEM BEST H.D special selection cycle is the result of an appropriation from the Iowa legislature to expand the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program and focus efforts on job sectors that are in high demand. It will help build partnerships between schools and businesses, allowing educators and industry professionals to work together to develop curriculum and projects that prepare students for careers in these high-demand fields.
The STEM Council Executive Committee endorsed the recognition of 38 new or expanded partnerships up to $40,000 each. Compared to the traditional STEM BEST Program, STEM BEST H.D. offers a higher financial support and a lower cost-share requirement for applicants. The funds can be used for facility upgrades, equipment, time for program planning with partners, site visits or integrating curriculum into existing courses.
To be considered for STEM BEST H.D. designation, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, valuable partnerships with community businesses or organizations, alignment with STEM goals, plans for sustainability of the model program and evaluation strategies of the program’s effectiveness.
For more information, please visit www.iowastem.org/stembest.