The STEM Council is now accepting applications for the STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) Program, which brings schools and businesses together to provide students with real workplace experiences while earning academic credits. The opportunity is available to Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in grades K-12. The deadline for submitting applications is May 10, 2021. The program helps students discover their passions while gaining career-ready skills and introducing them to businesses and career opportunities in Iowa.
The STEM BEST Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize the necessary skills for the workplace. The awards can be used for the curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing the work-based learning environment.
School district applicants may opt to use the support to conduct planning and partnership building to create the STEM BEST Program model concept. The STEM Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to support the establishment of Iowa STEM BEST Program models across each of Iowa’s six STEM regions. Successful applicants will become an Iowa STEM BEST Program model of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. While a total of 75 STEM BEST Program awards have been made throughout Iowa since 2014, 65 unique models exist throughout Iowa, from elementary to secondary schools, from 1-A to 4-A schools, and from rural to urban. All implement authentic, real-world learning in and out of the classroom.
Past STEM BEST Program award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs. New models for the 2021-2022 STEM BEST Program will be announced in summer 2021.