October 2020
Monthly News

Five Leading Thinkers on STEM Jobs of the Future

Iowa STEM Council Welcomes New Members

Adapting STEM for 2020 Limitations

Volunteerism at the Heart of STEM in Iowa

November 10, 2020 - 3:30 p.m.
Iowa STEM BEST Webinar: The Scoop on High School Registered Apprenticeships

November 12, 2020 - 7:00 p.m.
STEM Twitter Chat

November 17, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.
North Central Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting

November 17, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.
Northeast Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting

November 19, 2020 - 11:00 a.m.
Southeast Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting

November 23, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
Northwest Regional STEM Advisory Board Meeting
Five Leading Thinkers on STEM
Jobs of the Future
Season 2 of the STEM Essential Podcast is now available and features conversations with Iowa leaders about STEM jobs of the future.
Season 2 of the STEM Essential podcast is under way focusing on STEM Jobs of the Future. This series covers the current state of STEM jobs, the outlook for STEM jobs, the talent needed to fill them and the strategies for meeting the demand for STEM jobs in Iowa. STEM Council Executive Director Jeff Weld is back hosting conversations and addressing these topics with Iowa experts.
Guests of the five-episode series include:
  • Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development (now posted)
  • Mark Nook, President of the University of Northern Iowa (now posted)
  • Louis Moreno, student at Drake University and Program Graduate of the Ruan Information Technology Apprenticeships Program (available first week of Nov.)
  • Dave Zrostlik, President of Stellar Industries (available second week of Nov.)
  • Gabe Glynn, CEO and Co-Founder of MkuSafe (available third week of Nov.)
In the first episode of Season 2, Iowa Workforce Director Beth Townsend shared, “STEM is not just the future. It’s here. It’s going to become even more important as we move forward. Certainly the pandemic, I think, has accelerated the need for STEM education in our K-12 system, but also in post-secondary career paths.”
Season 2 of the STEM Essential podcast is sponsored by Principal Foundation, a proud partner of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
To listen to Seasons 1 and 2 of the STEM Essential podcast, visit iowastem.gov/podcast. New episodes will be available weekly through November 16. Podcast episodes are also available on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Iowa STEM Council
Welcomes New Members
Gov. Kim Reynolds recently appointed six new members to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The photo above was taken at the last STEM Council meeting in January 2020.
Six Iowa leaders recently joined the STEM Advisory Council, appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds. The STEM Council is comprised of representatives from all over the state, including leaders in higher education and business, Pre-K through 12 formal and informal educators, nonprofit leaders, as well as state and local government officials.

“The STEM Council brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds to collaborate on strategies to provide STEM programs, events and resources for all Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds, STEM Council co-chair. “STEM education is a critical component for a 21st Century education, and we appreciate the investment and collaboration from our new Council members as we continue to expand these opportunities to Iowans.”

The new STEM Council appointees are:
  • Calvin Carter, postdoctoral fellow and researcher, The University of Iowa
  • Gabe Glynn, CEO and co-founder, MākuSafe
  • Dan Harbeke, public policy and government affairs manager, Google
  • Kathleen Kay, senior vice president, Principal Financial 
  • Somchai Rice, assistant scientist, Midwest Grape and Wine Industry
  • Brian Waller, president, Technology Association of Iowa

Additionally, seven current members are reappointed to the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council:
  • Emily Abbas, senior vice president and chief consumer banking and marketing officer, Bankers Trust
  • Patrick Barnes, senior global program officer, Education and Equity, John Deere Citizenship and Foundation Group
  • Emily Fuerst, director of research and development, Crop Technologies, Kemin Industries, Inc.
  • Jessica Hyland, executive director, Iowa Biotechnology Association
  • Laurie Phelan, president and CEO, Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates (iJAG)
  • Joyce Pingel, CEO and founder, Epiphany, LLC and SVP/CIO/Head of Digital Strategy, HOLTCAT
  • Tod Santel, senior director of engineering, Avionics Products Engineering, Commercial Systems, Collins Aerospace

For more information on the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, visit www.iowastem.gov.
Adapting STEM for 2020 Limitations
Educators are receiving and implementing their Differentiated Math Centers STEM Scale-Up Program materials in new and innovative ways.
As early snow falls in Iowa, all communities continue to feel the effects of COVID-19. Organizations, businesses and educational institutions are adapting to an environment of social distancing and virtual access.
The STEM Scale-Up Program, a signature initiative of the Governor’s STEM Council, has confronted these challenges starting with professional development held this past summer. The STEM Network Team and Scale-Up Program providers quickly adjusted the training of over 1,000 educators to an online format. After training was completed, many educators, who have received Scale-Up Program award materials, found that adjustments were needed for the 2020-2021 academic year as well.
Some Scale-Up Program awardees are looking at new and innovative ways of implementing their programs. One child care center in particular had more school age children attending the childcare center during the day in addition to those who regularly attended the center before and after school. The childcare center had been awarded Differentiated Math from the STEM Scale-Up Program menu and is using the materials daily. The materials are easily adjusted within each grade level and even adapted for use with other grade levels so children of different ages and levels can learn.
“Math was an area I felt we were falling short on. Today, I can say we are on top of it. I'm proud to say that all the school age kiddos we serve are working above grade level. The addition of the STEM Scale-Up awards have contributed to their success,” said Joann Gansen of Tender Traditions Child Care.
Learn more about the STEM Scale-Up Program at iowastem.gov/Scale-Up.
Volunteerism at the Heart of STEM in Iowa
STEM Council working groups are one example of the many opportunities for volunteers to get involved with the STEM Council.
Each year, it takes an army of STEM advocates to keep the wheels in motion for STEM programming in Iowa. From serving on Regional STEM Advisory Boards, working groups and committees to reviewing program applications and helping with events, hundreds, if not more than a thousand, volunteers willingly devote their time and resources to providing access to STEM programs, materials and events for educators and students across Iowa.

Throughout the six STEM regions and on a statewide level, volunteers are the glue of the STEM infrastructure, often serving year after year.

“In the end and at the heart of it all for me, it will always come to my why behind the why: What is best for kids? By focusing my volunteerism on one singular question, it helps me maintain focus to stay inspired in how I bequeath myself and my resources to any group or cause. This allows me to connect to youth in a myriad of ways through sitting on a regional STEM Board and getting to see first-hand the excitement as a classroom explores a hands-on activity, watching a robotics team learn about failing forward as their trial run with their robot doesn’t quite work and yet they stay undeterred, or seeing the smiling faces of kids having fun in learning as they encounter challenging content with an appetite for more,” said Camille Sloan Schroeder, Iowa State University College of Engineering Community Outreach Programs Manager and North Central Regional STEM Advisory Board Member.
While this year looked different in the face of a global pandemic, the need for STEM volunteers did not change. Some of the needs shifting to reconfiguring virtual STEM festivals, adapting trainings to virtual formats and providing supports from a distance rather than face-to-face.
“Colleagues in other states often ask how we get so much done in Iowa with a lean staff, to which I proudly proclaim ‘Volunteers’”, said Jeff Weld, the Council’s executive director. “The review of program proposals, BEST applications, teaching award nominations, Seal of Approval candidates; the staffing of exhibit booths at the Fair, the Capitol, at conferences; and steering of our goals, mission and functions as working groups and committees, and so much more are functions we rely upon through volunteerism of our Council and Regional Board members as well as allies and collaborators across Iowa.”

If you are interested in getting involved in Iowa’s STEM Council, contact us at info@iowastem.gov.
Contact the Iowa STEM Operations Center by phone at (319) 273-2959
or by email at info@IowaSTEM.gov.