With a mission of helping people connect to career goals and achieve financial stability, the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families set the stage for the 21st convening of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The meeting primarily focused on sustainability and expansion of work-based learning.
Leaders in business, higher education, PreK-12 educators, state and local government officials were welcomed by STEM Council Co-Chairs Gov. Kim Reynolds and Accumold President and CEO Roger Hargens. Students and educators from Kingsley-Pierson Elementary School attended to showcase their Computer Science is Elementary transformation. Council members were informed about recent advancements on the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning by Project Manager Jake Welchans and the STEM Council Equity Working Group by committee member Monic Behnken, a Sociology Professor at Iowa State University.
Panelists Greene County Community School District Superintendent Tim Christensen, Boone Community School District Director of Innovative Learning Jill Janes, West Delaware High School Principal Tim Felderman and Iowa Board of Educational Examiners Executive Director Ann Lebo shared hurdles, constraints and opportunities toward sustainability and expansion of work-based learning to more Iowa students.
The meeting closed with future-focused group discussions facilitated on the topic of vibrancy and momentum of Iowa STEM going forward and a vote on strategies. Some of the widely shared recommendations include early exposure to career exploration, greater collaboration with other initiatives in Iowa and increased awareness of STEM effort and programming to the various constituencies. All input will be processed by the network team and presented to the Co-Chairs for consideration in steering Iowa’s STEM Council for years to come.