January 2021
Monthly News

STEM Delivers Fresh, New Scale-Up Menu

Preparing the Future Workforce through STEM Teacher Externships

MVP for Iowa STEM: Wendy Batchelder

Authentic Learning Bootcamp Takes Education to the Next Level

February 9, 2021 - 1:00 p.m.
South Central Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting

February 11, 2021 - 7:00 p.m.
STEM Twitter Chat

February 23, 2021 - 1:00 p.m.
Northwest Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting
STEM Delivers Fresh, New
Scale-Up Menu
Twelve innovative Scale-Up Programs are available for the 2021-2022
academic year. Apply today!
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.
Prepare the Future Workforce through STEM Teacher Externships
Corteva hosted Norwalk High School Teacher Sarah Hunt for a STEM Teacher
Externship last summer.
Business and industry have been helping Iowa develop the next generation of high-demand workers since 2009 through the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Program. This six-week summer program matches educators with business hosts for a unique learning experience where classroom learning can be applied to local career opportunities.
This award-winning program identifies and places highly qualified teachers in organizations to assist with projects, solve problems and provide an opportunity to experience the innovative careers across Iowa. The STEM Teacher Externship Program also facilitates conversations to help bring the experience back to the classroom where its impact will be felt for years to come. 
More than 600 teacher externs have participated in the program since its inception. Even in the midst of a pandemic year, 49 educators were able to safely participate in the program during the summer of 2020.
“We’re excited about another great year for the Teacher Externship Program,” said STEM Teacher Externship Program Supervisor Jason Lang. “There are so many exciting career options right here in Iowa. One of the greatest privileges of coordinating these experiences for educators is hearing how much they learned through the program and the impact it will have in how they teach going forward.”
For more information about the STEM Teacher Externship Program, visit iowastem.org/externships. Any workplace interested in offering a valuable experience for educators this summer is encouraged to complete a Workplace Host Interest Form at iowastem.org/externships-host-interest or contact the program coordinators at externships@iowastem.org.
MVP for Iowa STEM:
Wendy Batchelder
Wendy Batchelder, Chief Data Officer for VMware, recently took a leadership role with the STEM Council’s Career Exploration and Guidance working group as co-chair alongside Des Moines Area Community College President Rob Denson.
With a passion for data science and equity, Wendy Batchelder applies her professional background and personal experiences to her role on the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
Batchelder currently serves as the Chief Data Officer of VMware, a technology company based in the Silicon Valley. In this role, she is responsible for the company’s business insights, analytics solutions and data management.
Early in her professional career, she quickly noticed that she was one of few, and often the only, females in the room. While she recognizes this has greatly improved, these experiences fueled a passion to mentor young women in their careers and promote equitable career opportunities for all.
Whether in her position at VMware, as a member of the STEM Council or in any other role, she enjoys getting involved and making a difference.
“Serving on the STEM Council ties in neatly with my personal passion. It is important to me to continue to qualify the workforce,” said Batchelder. “The more equitable opportunities and experiences offered to students of all backgrounds, the more innovative we will be as a state.”
Batchelder served as co-chair of the STEM Council’s Career Exploration and Guidance working group along with Des Moines Area Community College President Rob Denson. She is also a member of Iowa’s new Computer Science Work Group for Education, created to make recommendations to strengthen computer science instruction and promote computer science to K-12 students and families.
The STEM Council would like to thank Wendy Batchelder, along with the other 58 members of the STEM Advisory Council who help inspire young Iowans in STEM. For more information about the STEM Advisory Council, please visit iowastem.org/council.
Authentic Learning Bootcamp Takes Education to the Next Level
Authentic Learning Bootcamp offers a great, self-paced option for educators interested in applying for the STEM BEST Program. The course will train educators to use Iowa’s Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, create authentic learning experiences, determine implementation strategies and more.
At the heart of the STEM BEST Program is authentic learning and business-education partnerships. It seems a natural fit to partner and provide support and opportunities for development to Iowa’s educators, especially amidst a world with ever changing challenges. Hence, the STEM Council has teamed up with the Authentic Learning Network to offer an online self-paced course called the “Authentic Learning Bootcamp,” which will kick off on February 16. Additional cohorts will be offered in March and June 2021.
This course provides educators an opportunity to explore implementation strategies of work-based learning within their classroom. Iowa Area Education Agency (AEA) instructors Laura Williams (AEA Learning Online/Great Prairie AEA and member of the South Central Regional STEM Advisory Board), Stephanie Lane (Green Hills AEA) and Brea Baxter (Keystone AEA) will collaborate to offer regional and statewide online course options through local AEAs and AEA Learning Online. Iowa STEM program manager for STEM BEST, Tanya Hunt, is consulting the course design.
"We all believe developing students with future-ready opportunities that add value beyond school is critically important,” said Williams. “We want to help teachers do this with a fun and flexible learning opportunity!"
The work completed through this course will set up participants to become more aware of the STEM BEST Program, and potentially, be poised to complete a STEM BEST Program application for the spring of 2021. STEM BEST Program applicants focus on developing school and business partnerships to provide authentic experiences to their students. Students who have participated in these programs have said they feel that the exploration and skills acquired have better prepared them for their future. 
The application window to apply for the STEM BEST Program opens on March 8, 2021, with final submissions accepted until May 10, 2021. To find out more about the STEM BEST Program or taking part in the Authentic Learning Bootcamp, contact Project Coordinator Tanya Hunt at Hunt@IowaSTEM.org.
To sign up for Authentic Learning Bootcamp, visit: http://bit.do/AuthenticLearningBootcamp.
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Contact the Iowa STEM Operations Center by phone at (319) 273-2959
or by email at info@IowaSTEM.org.