The STEM Council created an initiative eight years ago to identify some of the best STEM education lessons, activities, digital tools and other learning experiences available within Iowa and across the globe. The program is called Scale-Up, with the goal to bring top STEM education opportunities to all learners, especially those historically underserved. The intent is to seed, jumpstart or introduce to Iowans little-known teaching and learning programs proven to inspire and educate preK-12 students in both formal and informal settings.
STEM Scale-Up Program selection is in the final stages with an all new fresh array of programs on the menu. A record-breaking number of proposals were received from more than 100 developers and deliverers of exemplary STEM programs competing for scaling their programs across Iowa as part of the 2021-2022 Scale-Up Program menu.
Scale-Up Program participants performed better on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress compared to students who did not receive Scale-Up Programming. In 2018-2019, two percent more Scale-Up Program participants met proficient or advanced level benchmarks in mathematics, science and English language arts. Additionally, there were a higher percentage of students who participated in STEM Scale-Up Programs who were interested in pursuing a STEM career and in working in Iowa after graduation compared to all students statewide. Tens of thousands of students are expected to be impacted through the Scale-Up Program during the 2020-2021 academic year.
The annual scaling of selected programs to educators across Iowa is supported by a generous annual appropriation by the Iowa legislature alongside private sector investments.
The STEM Scale-Up Program application period opens for Iowa educators in January 2021. Stay tuned for more information at iowastem.gov/scale-up.