STEM Day at the Capitol


With the goal of updating Iowa lawmakers on Iowa STEM, the STEM Council alongside partners in STEM from across Iowa talk with legislators to showcase hands-on, interactive, and student-focused learning innovations at STEM Day at the Capitol.

The 2017 STEM Day at the Capitol sponsored by John Deere and Rockwell Collins gathered 33 interactive exhibits, staffed by more than 160 people. Together, they helped tell the story of the growing partnerships between the STEM Council and entities across all sectors of Iowa, including the program providers the for STEM Scale-Up Program, STEM BEST, STEM Seal of Approval, Iowa STEM Network Hub Institutions, youth agencies, nonprofits and more.

The event began with evaluative snapshots from Executive Director Dr. Jeff Weld. He introduced Gov. Terry Branstad who acknowledged the progress made by this group since his executive order 74 in 2011. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds followed, thanking exhibitors for their tireless work on behalf of children, many of whom made the trek and earned her warm well-wishes for bright STEM futures. In a uniquely STEM-like fashion of bipartisanship, Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, Sen. Bill Dotzler, Rep. Cecil Dolecheck and Rep. Dave Jacoby each shared their own observations of Iowa’s STEM progress in earning their support as key in producing Iowa’s next generation of skilled innovators.

STEM Council Co-Chair and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson rallied attendees around what has become a signature program of the STEM Council, recognizing six outstanding Iowa educators, one per STEM region, who earned the 2017 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, generously sponsored by his company. All leaders remained at the podium to congratulate the six honored teachers.

Between the exhibitors and the legislators invited, the Capitol Rotunda drew in roughly 450 people focused on the STEM happening around Iowa.

2017 Exhibitors included:

  1. Iowa State University K-12 STEM Outreach
  2. Iowa Lakes Community College K-12 STEM Outreach
  3. Iowa STEM Teacher Externships
  4. Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
  5. Microsoft Imagine Academy
  6. University of Iowa-Kirkwood Community College K-12 STEM Outreach
  7. STEM BEST: Rocket Manufacturing
  8. Drake University K-12 STEM Outreach
  9. STEM BEST: STEM Innovator
  10. Camp Invention
  11. Making STEM Connections
  12. University of Northern Iowa K-12 STEM Outreach
  13. STEM BEST: Davenport West INSPIRE
  14. Project Lead The Way: Launch
  15. STEM BEST: Iowa BIG North
  16. PowerTeaching Math
  17. Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
  18. Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
  19. Million Women Mentors-Iowa
  20. AAUW “Tech Trek” Camp
  21. HyperStream
  22. Engineering the Future
  23. Rockwell Collins K-12 STEM Outreach
  24. John Deere K-12 STEM Outreach
  25. Code Iowa: Knoxville Community School District
  26. State Hygienic Laboratory
  27. Active Learning Community Partners Working Group
  28. Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math
  29. Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP)
  30. STEM BEST: Iowa BIG
  31. Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE)
  32. Ramps and Pathways
  33. FIRST Robotics Competition