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….


Scale-Up Applications to open January 21!

Each year, reviewers from around the state choose STEM programs to scale-up for the state of Iowa. Both traditional and non-traditional educators are invited to apply. This year’s application is open from January 21 – March 4.

Visit the state website for more info: (updates January 21)

Have questions? Email Dr. Sarah Derry at

Click HERE for last year’s Scale-Up recipients.


Computer Science is Elementary Applications open January 22!

Six schools with 40 percent or more students receiving free-or-reduced-lunch are invited to apply for this innovative computer science program. Each of the six awards will be for $50,000.

Application opens January 22. Details here:

Read about the programs pilot school–Sioux City’s Loess Hills Elementary School here:



STEM BEST in the SC Region

The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to award 13 of 23 proposed new or expanded STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program partnerships.

These newly added partners bring the total to 50 partnerships in Iowa, since the inception of the program in 2014.

The STEM BEST® Program fosters a learning environment where students are able to participate in collaborative, real workplace projects designed by business professionals along with educators that apply K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics to skills, knowledge and behaviors needed for STEM careers.

The 13 new partners were awarded up to $25,000 each. Employer partners and program awardees contribute a dollar-for-dollar match or, in some instances, well beyond a 50 percent cost-sharing commitment for equipping collaborative workspaces, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration, and curriculum development and coordination. The 2018 STEM BEST® Program awardees are (SC Regional Awardees in BOLD:

  • Allamakee Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Belle Plaine Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
  • CAM Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region
  • Cedar Falls Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Central Community School District in the Northeast STEM Region
  • Des Moines Independent Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
  • Keokuk Community School District in the Southeast STEM Region
  • Okoboji, Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts in the Northwest STEM Region
  • Ottumwa Community School District in the South Central STEM Region
  • Sioux City Community School District in the Northwest STEM Region
  • St. Mary School (Humboldt) in the North Central STEM Region
  • St. Theresa School (Des Moines) in the South Central STEM Region
  • Woodbine Community School District in the Southwest STEM Region

Each STEM BEST® Program awardee submitted an in-depth proposal, which described factors like education driven by industry need, rigorous, relevant and dynamic STEM curriculum, authentic partnerships and connection to post-secondary education or training. Each awardee will serve as a model to share unique perspectives, strengths, demographics and program focus with others schools across the state.

To learn more about the STEM BEST® Program and all 50 partners, visit





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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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