Monday, June 10, 2013

Lighting the STEM Fire

In My eSTEMation, the Iowa Governor's STEM Initiative is like a spontaneous, exothermic reaction. With just the right amount of fuel, and the perfect environment for a reaction to occur, we have generated an impressive yield of desired products, and an incredible amount of free energy!

On May 31, 2013, Iowa Lakes Community College celebrated the culmination of many months of work as we zeroed out the books on a fully expended grant for Scale-Up STEM program support in Northwest Iowa. The landmark legislative funding of FY2013 has fueled the STEM fires in our region, thanks to the hard work of hundreds of NW Iowa educators, coaches, and business partners.

From Sioux City to Storm Lake, we continue to fan the flames of STEM in our preK-12 classrooms, clubs and communities. Like any good chemist, I have carefully measured the reactants (STEM programs, festivals, competitions and STEM teacher training) and I have watched with eager hopefulness as the products appeared. I can report with confidence that the STEM Initiative has produced high yields of the desired products: increased student engagement and achievement in STEM.

But even beyond the anticipated reaction products, this STEM experiment has generated an incredible amount of renewable energy.  

High yielding, spontaneous and exothermic: but, not magic. The STEM Initiative is fueled by the contributions of people just like you. You make the reaction go, whether you are a STEM program provider, a STEM educator, a STEM business partner or an Iowa legislator with the vision to support STEM for all.  

Thanks for making the light shine in Northwest Iowa.