The State of STEM in Iowa

ACT annual STEM report
In its fifth year, the 2017 ACT annual STEM report provides insights on student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The fifth ACT annual STEM report confirms there is still work to be done to increase awareness and interest in STEM in Iowa. Based on ACT® test findings:

  • Twenty-two percent of 2017 Iowa high school graduates who took the ACT test met the college readiness benchmark for STEM.
  • Forty-eight percent of Iowa students indicated an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Nineteen percent of students had an ACT Interest Inventory score that pointed towards a STEM field and also expressed interest in pursuing a STEM major or career.
  • Seventy-three students planned to pursue a degree in math education.
  • Forty-two students planned to pursue a degree in science education.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council was highlighted in this latest report STEM Education in the U.S.: Where We Are and What We Can Do, along with Iowa BIG, a 2014 STEM BEST® Program. One of the Promising Practices sections showcased the STEM Scale-Up Program as an effort that is having a positive effect on increasing student interest and awareness in STEM to improve STEM outcomes. Also featured was the “She Can” event sponsored by Iowa BIG. This event is geared towards sixth and seventh grade female students to encourage exploration of urgent issues and real-world solutions.

The report found that STEM jobs in the U.S. grew more than twice as fast as non-STEM occupations from May 2009-2015. There is great opportunity for STEM careers across the nation and right here in Iowa. For more information on how to get involved in Iowa STEM programs, visit

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