STEM Evaluation Report Indicates Progress and Opportunities

Iowa STEM Evaluation Report

The STEM Council released the 2019-2020 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report, which highlights the statewide impact of STEM Council’s programs on PreK-12 students and teachers across the state. The independent assessment examines eighteen indicators ranging from student interest in STEM, public support of STEM and postsecondary majors and career trends in STEM.

Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2019-20, 96% of Iowans said STEM education should be a priority in their local school district.
  • Nearly 87% of Iowans support state efforts to devote resources and develop initiatives to promote STEM education.
  • Students who participated in the STEM Scale-Up Program performed better on state assessments than students who did not receive STEM Scale-Up Programming. In 2016-2018, STEM Scale-Up Program participants scored an average of five points higher in mathematics and four points higher in science for sixth to 10th grade students.
  • Among educators taking part in the STEM Scale-Up Program, 96% agreed or strongly agreed that they now have more confidence to teach STEM topics and 95% have increased their STEM knowledge.
  • Students who participated in a Scale-Up Program in 2018-2019 were more interested in working in Iowa when they graduate compared to their non-participating peers statewide (85% to 79%).
  • The number of minority students enrolled in STEM coursework has increased by +5.9% in science, +3.2% in technology, +3.1% in engineering, +6% in mathematics and +4.9% in health in the last seven years.
  • Iowa university enrollees who took part in the STEM Scale-Up Program in kindergarten through grade 12 were 22% more likely to major in a STEM field.
  • Community college STEM diplomas, certificates and degrees increased 8% among white graduates and 31% among minority graduates compared to 2013.
  • STEM jobs pay an average of $22,916 higher per year at $70,250 compared to $47,334 for all other jobs.

Due to the pandemic, Iowa’s statewide standardized tests were not administered in 2019-20. Some annual indicators monitored by STEM evaluators are therefore not available for this report.

The Iowa STEM Evaluation Report is conducted by a collaboration of partners from Iowa’s three Regent universities: the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), the Iowa State University Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) and Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa.

To view the entire report, please visit

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