UI among groups awarded grant to design new STEM course

UI among groups awarded grant to design new STEM course

The University of Iowa, Kirkwood Community College, seven partner school districts and 25 STEM business and industry leaders have been awarded an Iowa Governor’s STEM Center grant to jointly design a STEM innovator course at the new Kirkwood Regional Center which opens in the fall of 2015.

The one-time $24,948 grant will be used to develop a course in which students will work with industry and academic leaders in STEM to solve problems of student and community interest. The idea is to blend the expertise of public and private sectors to strengthen the connection between traditional STEM coursework and pathways to future careers. The course will serve partnership students in grades 11 and 12 as a stand-alone course or as a companion course to one of the STEM career academy courses that will be offered.

The grant was awarded to the College of Education, and Leslie Flynn, assistant professor in the College of Education will be the project director.  The STEM Innovator is a collaboration between the College of Education and the UI’s Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship. 

The school districts involved with STEM innovator course include Clear Creek Amana, College Community, Iowa City, Solon, Tipton, West Branch, and Regina.

The STEM innovator course is one of five similar initiatives across the state the IA Governor’s STEM Council recently selected to receive a portion of the $150,000 in state appropriations set aside for such programs.

The Kirkwood Regional Center, which is located at the Iowa Research Park, will provide approximately 500 high school students with career experiences while earning transferrable college credit at no cost to families.

In 2011, Gov. Terry Branstad declared that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education should be strengthened to encourage innovation that would enhance economic development in Iowa.

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