Monthly News of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council | July 2014

The Executive Committee learns about resources from the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service at the July 17 board meeting.


Big Decisions of Executive Committee Steer STEM


At a time of year favoring vacations and meditations over workaholism, Iowa's STEM Council has not let up one bit. At their meeting on July 17 the executive committee made several significant decisions to strengthen Iowa STEM into the future. Most prominently, the frequency of Council meetings was determined to be in need of ratcheting up, thus quarterly meetings will define FY2015. Then our signature program, Scale-Up, was brought under the microscope resulting in a two-year commitment to current providers along with a limited search for additional programs to balance the portfolio next round. (continued...)

The majority of students reported increased interest in STEM topics and careers following participation in a Scale-Up program. (Click continue below to view a larger version of the chart.)

Between 120,000-130,000 people are expected to attend STEM Day at the Fair. Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski.


Educators take part in the CASE animal and plant biotechnology and PD course in Ankeny in mid-July. 

Year Two Assessment Yields Gains and Gaps for STEM



The inter-university assessment consortium has released their year 2 indicators on STEM, many of which bolster the Council's pathway, and others that remind us of much work yet to be done. With longer lead-in time compared to program year 1 participation rates were far higher among students and educators statewide, providing more robust findings. Awareness among random Iowans of the meaning of the acronym STEM has increased by 58 percent in the last year, and 98 percent of surveyed Iowans agree that advancements in STEM will give more opportunities to the next generation. 


Behind the Scenes: What it takes to Plan STEM Day at the Fair


Four stage shows, 21 exhibitors, dozens of hands-on activities, six scavenger hunt stops, 22 STEM advocate vendors, hundreds of hours of planning, thousands of participants. It all will culminate to one fantastic day of STEM on August 17 at the Iowa State Fair. The Governor's STEM Advisory Council will host STEM Day at the Fair the final Sunday in Des Moines where STEM will cover the fairgrounds.

The daunting task of planning such an event has taken months of planning and coordination, constant communication... 

Summer Scale-Up Professional Development is Well Under Way


Shattering the myth that teachers take the summer off, educators across Iowa are going through professional development during these summer months for new curriculum brought to them through the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Scale-Up programming. 

Recently, CASE (Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) held two full workshops for the animal and plant biotechnology and introduction to agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) curriculum they offer. (continued...)


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Governor's STEM Advisory Council Administrative Office
UNI, 214 East Bartlett Hall, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0298 
Contributors to this edition: Jacci Linn and Jeff Weld