A governor-initiated advisory council established to develop a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Iowa has chosen four school districts to receive $50,000 classroom grants.
The Davenport, Mount Pleasant and Sioux Center community school districts and Des Moines Public Schools were chosen from among 23 applicants for the grants offered through the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
A total of about $150,000 initially was available – at up to $50,000 per award – but the advisory council on Tuesday announced that private contributions enabled them to award four $50,000 grants.
Cedar Rapids Community Schools and the Iowa City Community School District both applied for but were passed over for the grants.
Chosen projects are listed below:
Davenport will launch a STEM active learning classroom to host an interdisciplinary ninth-grade course – Earth and Space Science with Geometry. The course will be part of a new Career Institute of Innovation and Technical studies.
Hoover High School in Des Moines will restructure two learning spaces – one to become a dedicated STEM classroom and the second to serve as a flexible space for STEM work, professional development and student-centered pedagogical approaches.
Mount Pleasant Middle School will create a learning environment that emphasizes “personalized learning plans” for extended project development with community partners.
Sioux Center will create an active learning classroom at the middle and high school levels, with a parallel STEM classroom at Dordt College that allows collaborative video conferencing.
The advisory council was formed in 2011 and is a partnership of 46 business, policy and education leaders. Its purpose is to bolster STEM education and innovation “to better position Iowa’s young people and the state’s economy for the future.”