Working groups have historically incubated actions of the STEM Council, including why and how we build a network, crafted the STEM Scale-Up Program, imagined the STEM BEST Program, launched the Innovation Fund, Seal of Approval and more.
Top priorities for the future were identified by Council members at their January 30 meeting. The four most popular became working groups to bring recommendations to the Council for future projects and programming at the October 30 meeting. A fifth Working Group has been charged with studying the viability of a name change and/or change in focus for the STEM Council.
The five new working groups who will shape the future of STEM in Iowa are:
- Career Exploration and Guidance will recommend strategies to enhance student career exploration and guidance, especially early exposure. The group is co-chaired by Council members Rob Denson and Wendy Batchelder.
- District Best Practices in STEM will recommend strategies to scale successful programs and practices at the school district level which amplify and accelerate STEM education district-wide. The group is chaired by South Central Regional Advisory Board member Mauree Haage.
- Equity in STEM will recommend strategies to promote equity, especially means by which the Council can increase the participation rate of underrepresented students in current STEM programs. The group is co-chaired by Council member Stephanie Laird and North Central Regional Advisory Board member Sara Nelson.
- STEM to STEAM? will develop recommended actions for the Council in order to honor and recognize the importance of the Arts, Humanities and other disciplines to the fulfillment potential for STEM-rich lives and careers of young Iowans, whether that be changing the Council’s name and/or in other fashion(s) broadening our transdisciplinary reach. The group is co-chaired by Council member Chris Kramer and ally and advocate Yen Verhoeven.
- Teacher Preparation and Professional Development will recommend strategies to support improvements in STEM teacher preparation and professional development that equip educators to reflect the latest research and thinking in convergent skills and concepts, community partnership, computational thinking, entrepreneurial education and other hallmarks of STEM. The group is co-chairs by Council member Sharon Rosenboom and ally and advocate Dana Atwood Blaine.
Members of these working groups include STEM Advisory Council members and other academic, business and nonprofit leaders and passionate volunteers throughout Iowa. There is still time to join one if you are interested. Contact Info@IowaSTEM.gov.