Befitting a company known for its high-yield seeds, a bountiful harvest of STEM solutions were shared at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston last week, the site of the Midwest STEM Forum.
The fourth in the series hosted by leaders of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council extended the reach beyond neighboring states to include Colorado and Nevada, as well as Washington, D.C. Corporate attendees represented John Deere, Rockwell Collins and Vermeer Corporation, as well as ACT.
About a dozen STEM leaders convened for a pre-event dinner program featuring Iowa's Active Learning (informal/non-formal) Community led by STEM Council member Deb Dunkhase of The Iowa Children’s Museum and the State Public Policy Group's Gracie Brandsgard.
The day-long event opened with Cornel Fuerer, DuPont Pioneer vice president and general counsel, reminding everyone how much his company depends on our work for a strong future. Then, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the STEM Council, provided STEM leaders much-valued advice regarding policy and advocacy at their respective state houses.
Playbooks were then opened for sharing best practices as well as collaborative problem-solving on common challenges. Indiana's new "Network of Knowledge" enables long-term tracking for measured impact. Kansas City is building "STEM Ecosystems" of business and education teams. Wisconsin is spreading "innovation spaces." Nevada has launched "The Year of STEM."
Jennifer Zinth of the Education Commission of the States led a state-by-state STEM status report. Dr. Claus von Zastrow of Change The Equation shared fresh data from "Vital Signs" about states’ performances in STEM. STEM Council member Steve Triplett of ACT reported on the soon-to-be-released, annual Condition of STEM Report showing enrollment and persistence trends in higher education STEM by state. Pat Barnes of John Deere and Teri Vos of Vermeer, also STEM Council members, along with Adriana Johnson of Rockwell Collins and Southeast Regional STEM Advisory Board member, provided valuable input from their corporate partner perspectives.
Iowa's regional and national leadership in STEM nets better ideas, stronger collaborations and broader impact on learners within and beyond our borders.