The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council anticipates more than 125,000 students in Iowa will benefit from the STEM Scale-Up Program in the 2023-2024 academic year.
The STEM Scale-Up Program provides educators and students throughout the state with access to some of the best available STEM educational opportunities from across the country. More than 1,300 educators are signed up to deliver one of 13 selected programs offering high-quality STEM education and experiences for PreK-12 students and educators in school, afterschool and in other educational settings. This is the highest number of program recipients since the program launched in 2012 with a nearly 200 percent increase in applicants from the first year, highlighting the growing importance of incorporating STEM education into the classroom.
The STEM Council has invited preK-12 STEM programs to scale their offerings across Iowa in the aptly named “STEM Scale-Up Program.” Educators were able to apply for one or more programs to be implemented during the 2023-2024 academic year with topics including computer science, engineering and mathematics. These programs were selected based on the Council’s strategic priorities and identifying opportunities to prepare Iowa students for the future workforce.
“The Council is committed to ensuring that every young Iowan has access to exemplary STEM education and the STEM Scale-Up Program helps provide those resources to educators throughout the state,” said Jeff Weld, executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “This year, the demand was the highest we’ve seen, and we’re grateful to be able to offer the STEM Scale-Up Program to more educators than ever before. The impact of this program has been significant with participants showing greater interest in STEM education and careers and performing better on statewide math, science and reading tests.”
To create the annual STEM Scale-Up Program menu, the STEM Council reviews proposals from programs that serve students from preschool to high school. Of 65 proposals, 13 high-quality programs were selected for the 2023-2024 menu.
Program recipients are selected by regional STEM advisory boards guided by regional STEM managers. Selection criteria is based on need, student diversity, geographic location and distribution and plans to sustain the program, among other factors. Since 2012, funding from the Iowa legislature has enabled more than one million PreK-12 Iowa students to participate in STEM Scale-Up Programs.
Generous support from private-sector partners, including Google, Alliant Energy, Kemin Industries, ITC Midwest and Accumold allowed for nearly $700,000 of additional STEM Scale-Up Programs to be placed in schools across the state.
Educator training for this year’s STEM Scale-Up Program recipients will begin this summer. A complete list of 2023-2024 STEM Scale-Up Program recipients can be found at the STEM Scale-Up Program page.