Ankeny Schools Program Named STEM BEST®
Ankeny Community School District's college and career program, Orbis, has been named a STEM BEST® program by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) focuses on teachers and industry professionals working side-by-side to craft curriculum and projects that prepare students for exciting STEM careers local to their community in manufacturing, information technology, bioscience (agriculture and medicine), finance and more.
Each 2017 awardee demonstrated, through a rigorous proposal process substantive commitments on the part of school and business stakeholders, to bridge these two cultures through education programs deeply interwoven with business applications.
"STEM BEST fosters an environment where communities match the needs of the local workforce to the skills students learn and gain in the classroom,” said Accumold President and CEO Roger Hargens, co-chair of the STEM Council. "Creating these school-business partnerships is a key priority of the STEM Council with the belief that they will meet the STEM career demand in their communities and shape the future of Iowa’s economy.”
Each selected program submitted an in-depth proposal, considering factors like education driven by industry need, rigorous, relevant and dynamic STEM curriculum and authentic partnerships. These models bring various strengths in community partnerships, district demographics and program focus and will serve as models for others around the state.
The STEM Council Executive Committee voted unanimously in October 2017 to disburse $475,000 in cost-shared funds to 19 competitively-selected school partnerships, bringing to the table a total cost-share commitment of $2,880,481.
"The STEM BEST satellite model will allow students to experience the industry or business environment firsthand," said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the STEM Council. "That experience is vital to prepare students for STEM success in college or career training after high school, and it allows business and industry to introduce students to outstanding career opportunities."