STEM BEST Program

Bridging Business and Education through STEM BEST

Currently, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is accepting applicationsfor new STEM work-based learning models, known as the Iowa STEM BEST®(Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program A total of 50 STEM BEST® Programs have been awarded
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New chemistry lab at West Delaware High School

STEM BEST Chemistry Lab Makeover

Work-based learning got personal for a West Delaware High School chemistry student. In 2017-2018 the high school offered a new elective, DelCo BEST. This class connects students with local businesses to undertake real-world, work-based projects and create authentic learning opportunities.

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STEM BEST Program

Woodbine is Connecting Students and Business Early On

As one of thirteen most recently awarded STEM BEST models, Woodbine Community School District and its community partners understand the value of engaging students with businesses. They provide their students with a unique opportunity to interact with local businesses through their STEM BEST Lunch Guest Program. 

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School leaders gather to discuss STEM BEST

School + Business STEM Partnerships Reach 37

What began as a hunt for innovative excellence that routed through Kansas City's CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) and Brooklyn, New York's P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) in 2013 has become a bona fide movement custom-fitted to Iowa: STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers). 

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Fort Madison high school students

STEM BEST: Fort Madison High School

"Our community partners were reinforcing the idea that students needed to learn in a way consistent with the current world of work," said Greg Smith, principal at Fort Madison High School. "They agreed with us that to be successful as adults, students needed to practice problem-solving in group settings.

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DelCo BEST students talk with STEM BEST Partner

STEM BEST: DelCo BEST

STEM BEST® is a win-win-win. It creates projects for students to explore their passions. It opens doors for businesses to contribute to career awareness and shape the future workforce. It presents examples for teachers to connect content areas to the jobs outside school walls.

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STEM BEST Juniors and Seniors

STEM BEST® Partners triple in two years

Around this same time in 2014, the STEM Council first welcomed the inaugural five STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Partners to the team.

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STEM BEST® Partner: “INSPIRE” at Davenport West High School

“Davenport West High School is working to ensure that the coursework offered is reflective of community needs and meant to graduate students into post-secondary programs that further their manufacturing education, with eventual placement in local jobs that strengthen the industry in the Quad Cities,” said Jennifer Boyd, curriculum specialist for Davenport West High School’s “INSPIRE” program.

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STEM Council Executive Committe Member Rob Denson speaks in Ankeny

BEST practices in business-education partnerships paid forward

No more “take a seat” or “open your textbooks.” Instead, “get to work” is what students can look forward to when they enter STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) classrooms popping up across Iowa thanks to partnerships driven by the STEM Council. Strategies for success in bridging the business-education chasm were aplenty at the first-of-its-kind STEM BEST event this month.

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