May/June 2020

Jeff Beneke
Northeast Regional
STEM Manager 




Upcoming Events 

Have an event
coming up? 

Northeast Region
of the Iowa 
 Governor's STEM Advisory Council

 Advisory Board

Sue Burrack
Upper Iowa University

Lisa Chizek
North Tama County Community School District

Kendra Crooks
 Chickasaw County Extension and Outreach

 Kelly Cooper
 Dubuque Area
Labor-Management Council

 Larry Escalada
 University of
Northern Iowa

 Heather Fransen

 Doreen Hayek
 University of
Northern Iowa

Ellen Heuer
 Martin Brothers Distributing

Bill Holland
JB Holland Construction

 Mason Kuhn
 University of
Northern Iowa

 Jason Martin-Hiner
 Keystone Area
Education Agency

Kim Miller
TDS Automation

Allison Plunkett
John Deere

Anderson Sainci
City of Dubuque

The Deadline to Apply for STEM BEST®   
is June 15

The goal of the STEM BEST® Program is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers. Overarching guidelines are provided to assist proposers. These guidelines allow for ample flexibility in design to encourage and support organic development of STEM BEST® Programs which match local strengths, challenges and resources.    
Up to $25,000   
June 15, 2020 
An applicant is required to provide a 1:1 match, up to $25,000. The match may be either cash and/or in-kind support. The match may be contributed by the applicant or a community partner. To be eligible as match, the cash and/or in-kind contribution must be provided during the funding period of the STEM BEST® Program grant.
Please contact Jeff Beneke (, if you are interested in applying or have questions about the program. 
STEM Council Hosts  
  Twitter Chat on June 9  
To help connect STEM educators and families to each other and to ideas for growing through this period of disruption, Iowa's STEM Council invites you to;  
Twitter chat on June 9 at 8:00 PM  
Your contributions to these four discussion topics will be valuable to others:
  • Q1: Who are the undeserved learners you are striving to reach?
  • Q2: What are the some of the greatest challenges in serving those learners?
  • Q3: What are some innovative strategies being tried to serve the undeserved in STEM education?
  • Q4: How can the STEM Council help school districts and communities close the STEM opportunity gap?
To join the conversation, follow @IowaSTEM on Twitter. Use the reply icon to answer with A1, A2, A3, A4 so we know which questions (Q1-4) you are answering. Tag all tweets with #IASTEMchat and hit refresh often to see new posts.
STEM Essential - Voices of
Edu-nomic Innovation
You've heard STEM education is essential, but have you ever thought about why? The STEM Council is launching its first ever podcast series, called STEM Essential . This five-part podcast series addresses edu-nomic innovation - where education and economic development merge to improve lives and communities.
 The podcasts feature Iowa experts sharing insights about the impact of STEM education on Iowa's students now and what strong STEM education will mean for their futures, with host Jeff Weld, STEM Council Executive Director.
Podcast guests for the five-episode pilot:
  • Dr. Aris Winger, co-founder and CEO of Mathematics Enrichment for Diversity and Learning (MEDAL) on Equity in STEM.
  • Kathryn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration for MidAmerican Energy on K-12 as Workforce Development.
  • Dr. Mark Putnam, President of Central College on Higher Education STEM.
  • Emily Wilkerson, chemical engineering undergraduate at Iowa State University on pursuing a STEM career.
  • State Senator Chris Cournoyer on Legislating STEM.
The podcast is co-sponsored by Collins Aerospace and MidAmerican Energy, proud partners of the Iowa STEM Council.
To listen, visit . New episodes will be available weekly through June.
Scale-Up Professional Development  
Goes Online this Summer
Starting in July, approximately 240 educators across Northeast Iowa will begin their training through the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Programming. These programs offer curriculum in agriculture, robotics, cybersecurity, innovation, interactive math and more. 
This year, training is looking a little different.  Just as many in-person gatherings have been adjusted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the STEM Network Team and the STEM Scale-Up Program providers are swiftly making adjustments as well. Shifting from multiple in-person training sessions across the state and applying STEM solutions, all STEM Scale-Up Program training sessions will take place virtually through various methods.
Year after year, the Iowa STEM Council has shown that students who participate in these programs perform better on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress compared to students who did not receive STEM Scale-Up Programming.