Northwest Regional Advisory Board Members
A special thank you to the STEM Advisory Board
of NW Iowa

John Bedward, Storm Lake
Benjamin Bouza, Hawarden
Derek Brower, Orange City
Beth Bunkers, Primghar
Eric Forseth, Sioux Center
Makenzie Reiling, Sioux City
Ginny Gunderson, Lake Park
Kiana Johnson, Primghar
Nancy McDowell, Sheldon
Jordan Menning, Rock Rapids
Teresa Putnam, Hartley
Brenda Welch, Meriden
Mark Zabawa, Spencer
Andrew Roelfs, Sioux Center
Tyler Hahn, Cherokee

Mary Trent

NW Regional STEM Manager


 Send me an email!

January 2020
Newest STEM Gem Poster is a Northwest Librarian

Nearly every career path has STEM components that are integral to the job, even careers that are often not associated as having an emphasis on STEM. For Tyler Hahn and the Cherokee Public Library, STEM has opened doors of possibility.

As the youth and special services librarian, Hahn develops and implements STEM programs at the library that encourage ongoing learning, creativity and fun.

"I am fortunate enough to be able to sit down one-on-one with my patrons to see what their interests are, where their passions lay, what they would like to do in life. And if there's anything that I or the library can do to learn or facilitate that discovery," said Hahn, "I try to give as much voice and choice to my patrons in programming as possible because I know that in order for the library to succeed, they need to succeed."

Fourteen STEM Gem posters have been created over the past ten years featuring career fields in STEM teaching, engineering, computer programming, graphic design, aviation, race car driving and students preparing for future STEM careers.

The latest STEM Gem poster featuring Hahn will be mailed out to nearly 5,000 Iowa mathematics, science, technology and engineering educators to adorn classroom walls. Additionally, anyone wishing to receive the latest STEM Gem poster or the entire series may complete a request form or download and print in house at

Tyler was also recently appointed a seat on the NW STEM Regional Advisory Board. We look forward to the great insight, knowledge, and passion Tyler offers! 
Mark Your Calendars: 
2020-2021 STEM Scale-Up Menu Announced on January 21, 2020!

The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council will release the menu for next year's STEM Scale-Up programs on January 13, 2020. Applications open for these programs on Monday, January 21, 2019 and close March 2, 2019. These programs range from PreK-12 grade formal and informal learning programs. Selected applicants will be notified of their award beginning in early April.

Iowa's Scale-Up programs are reinventing the educational experience and introducing students to fields in STEM that have never been taught this way. To learn more about the Scale-Up programs, visit
New Timeline for 2020-2021 STEM BEST

To better serve our schools in Iowa, the timing for STEM BEST applications and awards has changed this year. If you would like to begin or expand a current work-based learning program, this application is for you!  For more information, visit:

December, 2019
Gather a community-based team
Teams could include students, educators, parents, business, post-secondary entities, non-profits, etc.

January, 2020
Ensure district administration and community support.
Draft plans for a long-term work-based learning experience that's customized for your community.

February 10, 2020 -- BEST Application Opens
Districts may apply for funds for an exploratory year, implementation plan, or expansion idea.
Reach out to past BEST schools and your Hub Manager.
Write to the rubric.

May 15, 2020 -- BEST Application Closes
Look for informational webinars and in-person gatherings before this deadline.
11:59 PM deadline.

July, 2020 -- BEST Awardees Announced
Schools awarded the $25,000 in funds will need to commit equal in matching funds. Matching funds may be defined in several ways. Click here for examples of Cost-Share ideas.
Cherokee  - Kee The STEM Festivals
Students in grades 5-8 at Cherokee Middle School and their parents enjoyed and evening of STEM!  In partnership with the Cherokee Public Library and the Cherokee Middle School, a STEM festival was held on December 10, 2019 in the evening.  Families enjoyed a dinner as well as many hands-on activities.  Local businesses and organizations presented 20 minute sessions.  Iowa State Extension, Cherokee Public Library, RJ Thomas Manufacturing, Cherokee FFA Students, Foundations Analytical Laboratory, Cherokee County Conservation, and Corteva Ag Science were among the presenters. I was well attended and sparked future interest in STEM at Cherokee Middle School.
NW STEM Checkout System 

NW STEM Checkout system utilizes the AEA van system to make deliveries and pick ups of all our kit.  You can find a complete list of our items and check out form here:
Share your Scale-Up Story with Us!

Were you awarded a Scale-Up Program this year?  If so, please share your story and pictures with us!  We will share your story in our newsletters and social media. Invite me out to see the Scale-up Program in action! 



Check out NW STEM Website!

Northwest STEM Calendar  - Stay up-to-date on all Northwest STEM regional opportunities and even a few state-wide. Use this calendar to share your STEM events with others.
NW STEM Lending Resources - Check out the STEM lending library for educators and place you order online.
Don't forget to connect with NW STEM on social media as well!

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