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Awards available to build up STEM curriculum

Date: Monday, November 29, 2021

Schools and districts are encouraged to apply for up to $40,000 in awards to be used to develop curriculum focused on skills needed in job sectors such as computer science, information technology, the health professions and manufacturing.

The awards are through the STEM BEST H.D. Program (link removed); applications are due Jan. 3. Applications are for Iowa public and non-public school districts serving students in grades K-12. Clusters of schools and/or districts are encouraged to apply.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has received a special appropriation
from the Iowa Legislature to dramatically expand the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to help prepare students to enter job sectors that are in high demand.

The STEM BEST H.D. Program will help build partnerships between schools and businesses which allows educators and industry professionals to work together to develop curriculum and projects that prepare students for careers in these high demand sectors.

In a recent survey the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council sent to graduates of past STEM BEST Programs, 70 percent indicated their participation in the program helped influence their career path and 65 percent said it helped them develop an interest in a STEM-related field. Since the program’s launch in 2014, 80 new and expanded STEM BEST Programs have been created across the state — impacting more than 8,500 students.

The funds can be used for:

  • Facility upgrades
  • Purchase of industry grade equipment
  • Acquiring additional space
  • Time for program planning with partners
  • Travel needs
  • Integrating curriculum into existing courses