Soon after the STEM Council was established in 2011, the idea was fleshed out by a committee for a system that shares some of the nation’s best STEM lessons, labs, kits, software and professional development with PreK-12 students and educators in school, in afterschool programs and in other educational settings, especially targeting those most in need. The result was the STEM Scale-Up Program, which now in year ten provides STEM educational opportunities to approximately one-fifth of Iowa students each year.
The Scale-Up Program invites educators to provide hands-on STEM units covering topics such as robotics, coding, engineering design, agriculture, animal science and more. Students who participate in the Scale-Up Program have a proven success rate of performing better on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress as well as more positive attitudes about STEM study and careers, compared to students who did not receive Scale-Up Programming.
The Scale-Up Program menu for the 2021-2022 academic year includes the following twelve options for educators, one-third of which are home-grown Iowa* projects:
- CodeJoy Computational Thinking in Action with Micro:bit for Grade Levels 3-12
- Dreambox Learning Mathematics for Grade Levels K-8
- *Fierce and Fearless STEAM Teacher Training for Grade Levels PreK-5
- FIRST Lego League Explore for Grade Levels K-4
- *Ioponics for Grade Levels PreK-12
- *Light and Shadow for Grade Levels PreK-3
- Nepris for Grade Levels K-12
- Project Lead the Way Medical Detectives for Grade Levels 6-8
- *SoapyCilantro for Grade Levels 6-12
- Storytime STEM-Packs for Grade Levels PreK-2
- Teaching Energy Transformations and Energy Sources for Grade Levels 3-12
- VEX IQ for Grade Levels 5-8
In making selections for the 2021 menu, trained expert reviewers weighed evidence of effect, diversity impact, cost-benefit ratio, sustainability, Iowa Core alignment and more. The Council’s executive committee considered additional factors including coverage across S-T-E and M and resources serving PreK through 12, as well as Iowa-specific priorities such as career awareness, computation, agriculture and more.
The application period for educators to apply for Scale-Up Programming is open from January 11 through March 5, 2021. Award recipients will be announced in April. Learn more about what is offered for each Scale-Up Program by joining upcoming program informational sessions. Visit www.iowastem.org/scale-up-application for more information.