Nineteen STEM BEST Models Taking it Up a Notch

St. Theresa in Des Moines was named a STEM BEST Program partner in 2018. The award funds helped open a Makerspace.
St. Theresa in Des Moines was named a STEM BEST Program partner in 2018. The award funds helped open a Makerspace during the 2019-2020 school year.

Building a culture to grow and expand workplace experiences, the STEM BEST Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side on curriculum and projects that give students actual workplace experience and an understanding of the opportunities and required skills for careers in STEM fields.

To help enrich or expand current STEM BEST Programs, the STEM Council directed additional support toward 19 STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program partners through the STEM BEST Program Enhancement Fund. The funds will help enhance work-based learning opportunities made available through school and business partnerships during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Awards will fund a wide array of partnering STEM BEST models. CAM Community School District plans to purchase an additional drone with thermal imaging capabilities along with other audio/visual equipment and will partner with the Industrial Arts and Agriculture Departments to assist with area farm needs. Cedar Falls Community School District will update technology equipment used for CAD drawings.  Woodbine Community School District will be providing professional training to utilize videography software and equipment to provide mobile videography to enhance their “World of Work” field trips and alumni STEM interviews. IKM-Manning Community School District plans to add a heat transfer printer and heat press to expand upon a t-shirt printing business.

Additional STEM BEST Program Enhancement Fund recipients include Allamakee Community School District; Ankeny Community School District; Boone Community School District; Central Community School District; Davenport West Community School District; Charles City, New Hampton, Osage and Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock Community School Districts; Keokuk Community School District; Marshalltown Community School District; Newton Community School District; Rock Valley Community School District; Sioux City Community School District; Southwest Valley School District; St. Theresa Catholic School (Des Moines); and Waukee Community School District.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has named 63 STEM BEST Program awards since the program launched in 2014. The STEM BEST Program has also laid the groundwork for other successful statewide initiatives such as Future Ready Iowa’s Work-Based Learning Clearinghouse.

For more information about the STEM BEST Program, visit

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