Better together – Iowa STEM participates in national partnership for science and STEM education

Carrie Rankin and Kris Kilibarda
The STEM Council’s Assistant Director for Development Carrie Rankin (left) recently joined Iowa Department of Education’s State Science Consultant Kris Kilibarda in state science strategizing at a national forum.

The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) has been invited to participate in a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded grant that will look at helping design structures and processes to effectively implement the vision for science and STEM teaching and learning.

In mid-September, Kris Kilibarda, state science consultant for IDOE, Carrie Rankin, STEM Council assistant director for development, and Tami Plein, science specialist with Great Prairie Area Education Agency, joined representatives from 14 other states to discuss a new vision for K-12 science education as represented in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education.

The Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) project is a research and development project to address the question: How can a network of state agencies support the development of more coherent and equitable systems of K-12 science and STEM education?

The two-day workshop included the development and testing of strategies and resources for improvement that the states designed together with support of research partners from the University of Washington and University of Colorado-Boulder. The Iowa team was then able to devise strategies to support the implementation of new science standards that help advance STEM education for the state. As work continues, the Iowa team will be able to draw on expertise and resources from across the 15-state network.

Improvement strategies and resources developed during the workshop focused on three goals, summarized as improving access and equity to science for all students, aligning stakeholders using a research-based framework and strengthening system components, including professional development, curriculum and assessment and guidance.

More specific information and strategies will be shared in focus groups meetings, which are being developed and held from October 2016 through February 2017 around the state. The goals of Iowa’s STEM Council are strengthened by this capacity-building work being done in Iowa.

For more information on this event, please contact Carrie Rankin at

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