Learning center

Waukee Innovation & Learning Center Named STEM BEST Program



The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council has announced 12 Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers (STEM BEST) program partners for the 2022-2023 academic year. The program encourages collaboration between schools and businesses to develop an exceptional STEM curriculum that prepares students for STEM careers and emphasizes the necessary skills required in today’s workforce.

The Waukee Innovation & Learning Center is one of 12 program partners for the coming year. This grant will support the APEX EMT program, which is expected to serve two sessions of students this fall.

“Waukee APEX is proud to partner with the STEM Advisory Council,” said Michelle Hill, Director of Workplace Learning at Waukee. “Together, we are able to expand our work-based learning opportunities and provide incredible opportunities for our students.”

With the addition of 12 projects, 147 new or expanded partnerships have been created since the launch of STEM BEST in 2014. The STEM Best program supports school-business partnerships that allow teachers and industry professionals to work together on programs and projects that provide students with first-hand experience. in an industrial or commercial environment. It also allows companies to introduce students to available career opportunities.

“High-demand STEM jobs in Iowa have grown 10% in the past two years alone and are expected to double by 2029,” said Jeff Weld, executive director of the STEM Council. “Our STEM BEST partners are producing the wave of talent the state needs to stay competitive and economically vibrant.”

The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to award 12 new or expanded partnerships up to $25,000 each. Participating partner employers contribute on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with some going beyond the cost-sharing requirement. Bursaries can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace and classroom integration, and preparation of the workplace learning environment. work.

The winners of the STEM BEST 2022 program are:

  • Cedar Rapids Community School District – High School
  • MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District – Hospers Elementary School
  • MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District – High School
  • Muscatine Community School District – High School
  • Sioux Center Community School District – Middle and High School
  • Starmont Community School District – Elementary and Middle School
  • Storm Lake Community School District – Primary Elementary School
  • Turkey Valley Community School District – Middle and High School
  • Waukee Community School District – Center for Innovation and Learning
  • West Des Moines Community School District – High School
  • Woodbine Community School District – Elementary School
  • Woodbine Community School District – High School

“The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council appreciates the time and support that educators and corporate partners offer to help bring career-related learning into the classroom,” Weld said. “It’s exciting to see the STEM BEST program continue to grow and the impact it is having on local students and employers through collaboration.”

To be considered for a STEM BEST program award, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates a rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, valuable partnerships with businesses or community organizations, real-world learning opportunities, and expertise in post-secondary education and training. . These honorees will serve as a role model to share a unique perspective, strengths, demographics, and program focus with other Iowa schools. Visit www.IowaSTEM.org/STEMBEST for more information about the STEM BEST program and the 147 partners.