March 2021 -- SC STEM Hub Newsletter
Grateful for our STEM Community!

SC Regional Manager:
Collier-Scripps Hall #314/317
2702 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50031
STEM BEST Application Opens Today
Iowa STEM provides funding and resources to grow a series of community collaborations involving school+business partnerships. Working side-by-side, teachers and industry professionals will craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting career pathways in the STEM fields of manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance, and more.

Most likely, YES! Funds can be used for planning, creating, implementing, or expanding. The state role model programs you see in the news all began with one teacher working with one business to grow something incredible.

  • March 8, 2021: Application portal opens
  • May 10, 2021: Application due by 11:59pm
  • May-June, 2021: Application Review
  • July-August 2021: Awards Announced
  • August 2021 - June 2022: STEM BEST Program Planning and Implementation
  • January 30, 2022: Progress Report 1 Due
  • May 31, 2022: Progress Report 2 and final invoice must be submitted
  • June 15, 2023: Final Report Due

Applications for STEM BEST® Program must be submitted by Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in grades K-12. Clusters of schools and/or districts are encouraged to apply. This requirement then verifies that the submitting entity will be the responsible fiscal agent. The application must also contain evidence of the roles assumed by the partnering school/districts and other identified partners.

Different school buildings within an Iowa district may submit an independent STEM BEST proposal in the same proposal period. Individual school buildings may not submit more than one proposal in the same proposal period, unless one is for school-specific BEST creation and another is part of a multi-district consortium. In instances where this policy does not apply, please contact the Governor's STEM Advisory Council.

For those applicants who have previously received a STEM BEST® Program award or who intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® Program awardee, please note that there is an additional required section in the proposal form that must be completed as part of the submission process. This section will be thoroughly reviewed to determine merits of the expanded program model with regards to student engagement, specific measurable outcomes and elements of financial need.

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 award.
Congrats to Van Meter's Rebecca Wilson!
Above: Wilson focuses on hands-on experiences to build curiosity and interest in life-long learning. Below: Wilson receives the award check from Kemin Industries.
Congratulations to our South Central STEM region Teacher Awardee, Rebecca Wilson! She is a preschool teacher at Van Meter Elementary School in Van Meter, Iowa. Awarded by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Kemin Industries, she was recognized for the big STEM education opportunities she provides to little learners. 

In Wilson’s classroom, students are encouraged to be curious, explore and ask questions. She focuses on helping children develop deep thinking. As an important foundation for the rest of their academic careers, Wilson takes care to help students utilize the scientific process of investigation from the very beginning.

After a Scale-Up Program, Light & Shadow, her class wanted to learn more about how lighting works. Wilson set up an in-depth unit to help them understand, including a visit and presentation from an electrician. 

To help expose students to all the possibilities of STEM, Wilson also includes visits from a variety of professionals. While preschoolers don’t do the same amount of reflection on their future careers as older students, they are interested in hearing about what adults do for work. And that helps them understand all the doors STEM can open. 

This award recognizes and celebrates one teacher from each of the six STEM regions who goes above and beyond to increase their students’ interest in STEM. Each recipient was selected by a panel of judges after being nominated for the award by a colleague, school administrator, parent, student or community member and completing an application showcasing their contributions to STEM education. Each recipient will receive $1,500 for their classrooms—as well as another $1,500 for personal use.

Wilson and the other five recipients will also be recognized together at STEM Day at the Fair, held August 22, 2021. Usually held during STEM Day at the Capitol in February, the change was made with the health of teachers, their students and their families in mind. For more information about the award and all current and previous recipients, please visit
Invitation for Teachers of Pre-Service Programs
Iowa professionals directly involved in placing teachers in workplaces for externship-like experiences are invited to a Zoom meeting on March 31, 9:00am to noon, to share programs and learn about analogs for more effective and comprehensive advocacy.
TITLE: Teacher-Externship-like Programs Assembly of Coordinators
DATES: Wednesday, March 31, 9:00am to noon (virtual); Register by March 26

GOAL: Understand all programs in this space, borrow promising practices, complement each others' work, and present a full pallet of options to educators. An online database to be the eventual outcome.

INFO: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Direct any questions to Iowa STEM.
Access IMMAWII's STEM Resources Year-Round
Meet Amiah Gooding
Calendar of Events

March 3 – STEM Scale-Up Educator App Due
March 13 -- Jewels -- Spring App Camp Begins

If you have a STEM-related class, celebration, tribute, or event, please email us so we can share via social media and/or our event calendar.

For more events and details, please visit our website calendar.
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