The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Kemin Industries have announced the recipients of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, sponsored by Kemin Industries.
The Northwest STEM region’s honoree is Shane Peterson, 8-12 Industrial Technology Instructor at West Lyon Community School District in Inwood, Iowa. He was recognized for his work in transforming the industrial technology program at the West Lyon Community School District from a basic woodworking program into an impactful STEM program over his 10 years at the school.
Mr. Peterson has acquired new technology such as 3D printers and a full-sized CNC table lathe, encouraged more female students to get involved in industrial technology, and received over $200,000 in grants for his classroom. He strives to have his program be welcoming to students of all skill levels or experience. When nominating Mr. Peterson for this award, one student wrote, “He listens to us, our ideas, and our opinions in ways that not everyone does. He makes us and our thoughts feel important. He sets a standard on how to push yourself, others, and how to be a well-rounded and amazing person.”
Mr. Peterson also finds opportunities for his curriculum to connect with the community and STEM-focused business partners as a 2021-2022 STEM BEST+HD (High Demand) Recipient. His students are currently collaborating with the local daycare to build a storage shed for their facility, partnering with a local nursing home to develop and prepare birdhouse activity kits, completing Ford technician training modules, and working with a local production facility to create prototypes using 3D printing and modeling software—all opportunities for students to gain valuable learning experiences while connecting to their community.
Now in its ninth year, the Iowa STEM Teacher Award is given annually to one full-time, licensed preK-12 teacher from each of the six STEM regions in Iowa. Each recipient is honored for their efforts to foster enthusiasm and inspire a passion for STEM that goes beyond the classroom and helps prepare students for future high-demand careers.
As a recipient of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, presented by Kemin Industries, Peterson will receive $1,500 to use for his classroom and $1,500 for personal use. He recently received his award and a small celebration at his school and will later be honored, along with his fellow recipients, in a recognition ceremony during STEM day at the Fair at the Iowa State Fair. For more information about the award and all current and previous recipients, please visit https://iowastem.org/teacheraward.