South Central STEM Region

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STEM for All

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The Iowa STEM Advisory Council was created to increase interest and achievement in these key areas. In order for Iowa students to complete in a global economy and make smart, socially-responsible decisions, Iowa graduates need a solid STEM education. In addition, it is vital to Iowa’s economy and quality of life.

The Council unites educators, students, businesses, legislators, nonprofits, and communities in an effort to improve STEM opportunities and awareness. The SC STEM Region is just one of six around the state. Our efforts fall into three main categories: 1.) provide programming and support for K-12 teachers, 2.) host community-wide STEM festivals and events, and 3.) seek out opportunities to offer STEM to diverse communities around the region.


In the News….

Fall STEM Festivals

DMACC-Ankeny STEM Fest

WHEN:      Monday October 22, 2018
TIME:         6-8 pm
SET-UP:     5 pm
WHERE:   FFA Enrichment Center, DMACC (1055 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy, Ankeny, Iowa 50023)

On October 22, from 6-8 P.M., DMACC-Ankeny and the SC STEM Hub will host a metro STEM festival. Last year, over 800 people attended the event from all over Central Iowa.

It’s a great place to find inspiration and share inspiration. We hope to see you there!

Click HERE to register as an exhibitor or volunteer.

  • To learn more about what happens at a festival, please visit our Festivals page.
  • Note: high school volunteers are often eligible for Silver Cord hours. Please sign up using the Exhibitor/Volunteer form and bring your slip to the festival for us to sign.

Click HERE to register to attend the event as a participant.

  • Troop leaders and group advisers may register the entire group under their name by simply noting the total number of students they will be bringing along.

Appanoose Co. STEM Festival

On October 27, from 10AM-1OM, Centerville Community Schools and the SC STEM Hub are hosting a regional STEM festival. This is an incredible community event, full of fun, educational exhibits and great hands-on/take-home activities.

DATE: Saturday, October 27, 2018
TIME: 10:00am-1:00 pm
SET-UP: 8:30am
ADDRESS: Howar Jr. High, 850 South Park Street, Centerville, IA

Click HERE to register as an EXHIBITOR.

No registration is necessary to ATTEND.




STEM Innovation Funds Available

The Iowa STEM Council is launching a statewide Innovation Fund, a financial resource available to organizations with ideas for innovative STEM programs that show promise for supporting the goal.  The intention of this fund is not to support past or current STEM Scale-Up programs with additional resources, but rather serve as an incubator for new STEM Scale-Up programming (  Programs wishing to be selected for the Iowa STEM Scale-Up program menu will be evaluated through the STEMworks database at

The Iowa STEM Council invites applications for ideas that will have an impact upon Iowans locally, regionally, and potentially on a statewide level.  The Iowa STEM Council will not fund marketing or promotional campaigns for commercial products or services, nor will it fund policy advocacy activities.

Available Funding

Awards will range from $500 (minimum) up to a maximum of $10,000 per award. Applicants must provide a 10% cash match.  All programs funded must be completed within one calendar year of the award date with a final report due at the end of the award period.  A reporting template will be provided.  Funding will be provided on a cost reimbursement basis.  The Iowa STEM Council reserves the right to determine the number of awards made based on the quality of applications and availability of funds.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations eligible to apply for the STEM Innovation Fund are Iowa’s public and private educational institutions, home school associations, area education associations, and Iowa-registered non-profits. Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible to apply-though those groups may be partners in the work conducted by the award recipient. Though for-profit businesses do not meet the eligibility to apply, they are encouraged to be a part of a partnership program which would be submitted by an eligible entity on behalf of all of the partners.

The following are examples of ideas for Innovation Funds:

  1. School competitions
  2. Summer camps
  3. Educator/volunteer professional development
  4. A “student STEM corp”
  5. Pre-service educator support – conferences, etc.
  6. Higher ed. + K-12 minglings
  7. Parent engagement
  8. Work-based exposures, working with business
  9. Mentoring system
  10. STEM events
  11. Networking opportunities
  12. Curriculum development or STEM activity design and pilot
  13. After school programs
  14. Programming for underserved students

More information about the application can be found here

Questions?  Contact Dr. Sarah Derry at




Congratulations to all the Scale-Up Recipients!

Click HERE: 2018-19 Scale-Up Awards List

2018-19 Scale-Ups have been chosen! We hope there’s something on the list that’s perfect for you! The application cycle will begin again in January. Please contact the Hub if you have questions prior to that.

For program details, please visit the Iowa STEM website.



STEM BEST in the SC Region

A priority for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for 2018-2019 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models, known as Iowa STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) referenced throughout the application materials as STEM BEST®. A total of 37 STEM BEST® models have been established in Iowa over four years. These programs are now creating new excitement around the state as roles and responsibilities for meaningful activities are created and refined in the K-12 educational area. Further details on these awarded programs can be found at


  1. Applications for STEM BEST® 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 programs.
  2. For those applicants who have previously been awarded a STEM BEST® grant, or intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® awardee, please note that there is a required extra section in the Proposal Elements that must be completed as part of the submission process.
  3. There is an additional required section for those previously-awarded that are making re-application. 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.
  4. There is a distinction made between programs making re-application for additional partners, and programs making a distinctly different application by a previously awarded district. For example, a previously awarded high school program in a district now applying for a separate elementary program, not engaged with the earlier awardee.

Grant Funding: Up to $25,000

An applicant is required to provide a 1:1 match, up to $25,000. The match may be either cash or in-kind support. The match may be contributed by the applicant or a community partner. To be eligible as match, the cash or in-kind contribution must be provided during the funding period of the STEM BEST® grant.

Deadline to Apply: September 12, 2018, 5:00 p.m.Funding Period: Award notice date, to June 30, 2019.  Grants must be fully expended by June 30, 2019.



Nominate a Teacher for the I.O.W.A. STEM Award





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If you live in South Central Iowa and need help with STEM, start here!

Dr. Sarah Derry, SC STEM Regional Manager

Collier-Scripps Hall #314/317
2702 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50031

Phone: 515-271-2403

facebookFacebook: South Central Iowa STEM Region

instastram logo 2Instagram: sc_iowa_stem

 Event calendar:  Visit the SC STEM Hub’s calendar!

Share your STEM stories through the hashtag: #STEMinYourWorld.

The South Central STEM Region is part of the Iowa STEM Council. Click HERE to learn more about the state-wide program.





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