At the heart of the STEM BEST Program is authentic learning and business-education partnerships. It seems a natural fit to partner and provide support and opportunities for development to Iowa’s educators, especially amidst a world with ever changing challenges. Hence, the STEM Council has teamed up with the Authentic Learning Network to offer an online self-paced course called the “Authentic Learning Bootcamp,” which will kick off on February 16. Additional cohorts will be offered in March and June 2021.
This course provides educators an opportunity to explore implementation strategies of work-based learning within their classroom. Iowa Area Education Agency (AEA) instructors Laura Williams (AEA Learning Online/Great Prairie AEA and member of the South Central Regional STEM Advisory Board), Stephanie Lane (Green Hills AEA) and Brea Baxter (Keystone AEA) will collaborate to offer regional and statewide online course options through local AEAs and AEA Learning Online. Iowa STEM program manager for STEM BEST, Tanya Hunt, is consulting the course design.
"We all believe developing students with future-ready opportunities that add value beyond school is critically important,” said Williams. “We want to help teachers do this with a fun and flexible learning opportunity!"
The work completed through this course will set up participants to become more aware of the STEM BEST Program, and potentially, be poised to complete a STEM BEST Program application for the spring of 2021. STEM BEST Program applicants focus on developing school and business partnerships to provide authentic experiences to their students. Students who have participated in these programs have said they feel that the exploration and skills acquired have better prepared them for their future.
The application window to apply for the STEM BEST Program opens on March 8, 2021, with final submissions accepted until May 10, 2021. To find out more about the STEM BEST Program or taking part in the Authentic Learning Bootcamp, contact Project Coordinator Tanya Hunt at hunt@IowaSTEM.org.
To sign up for Authentic Learning Bootcamp, visit: http://bit.do/AuthenticLearningBootcamp.