STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers)

Northeast Community School District created a new space for its STEM BEST program awarded in 2014 that has allowed students to connect with local businesses and work in collaborative environments.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has awarded eight STEM BEST programs since 2014 with an opportunity to grow a series of community collaborations involving business-education partnerships.

Each awardee demonstrated through a rigorous proposal process substantive commitments on the part of school and business stakeholders to bridge these two cultures through education programs deeply interwoven with business applications. Working side-by-side, teachers and industry professionals will craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting career pathways in the STEM fields of manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance, and more.

“The STEM BEST satellite model will allow students to experience the industry or business environment firsthand. That experience is vital to prepare students for STEM success in college or career training after high school, and it allows business and industry to introduce students to outstanding career opportunities.”

–Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the STEM Council

2014 STEM BEST Awardees

The STEM Council started the call for STEM BEST programs in 2014 to meet the demand for uniting businesses and education and create the organic development of STEM programs matching local industry strengths, challenges, and resources. Students in these programs learn at business and industry sites or at an industry site located on a school campus. All programs are currently active and serving as models across the state.

2015 STEM BEST Awardees

Then, in 2015, the STEM Council distributed a dual proposal seeking partners for either a STEM BEST or STEM RLE to meet the demands of various school district and community needs. The STEM Council awarded 12 models across the state, including three new STEM BEST models that are scheduled to launch in August 2016.