The Iowa Department of Education’s Governor’s STEM Advisory Council will hold its annual STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience dozens of hands-on STEM activities with businesses and organizations from across the state on the Grand Concourse.


“Attending STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair is a highlight of our community outreach events each year,” said Jeff Margrett, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional director for Iowa and Nebraska. “We bring approximately 10 FIRST teams ranging from first grade through high school to share what they've done and show off our program. The teams have always enjoyed the excitement of the fair, the people they meet and the visit from the governor. The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council really does a great job showcasing the amazing programs bringing STEM concepts to life in Iowa.”


Approximately 10,000 fairgoers each year engage in experiential learning during STEM Day events including bubble science, robotics, engineering circuit challenges, chemistry experiments and much more. A new feature this year is the Blue Origin New Shepard crew capsule. Named after astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, it is an exact replica of the suborbital rocket system built to fly humans into space.

Always a hit are the live STEM performances, which will be held on the MidAmerican Energy Stage from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, performances will be presented from Blank Park Zoo, Blue Origin, Iowa State University Insect Zoo, the Science Center of Iowa and Nutcracker Ballet + STEM.

At noon, there will be a presentation recognizing the six recipients of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, sponsored by Kemin Industries, along with remarks from Gov. Kim Reynolds, Jeff Weld with the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Iowa Department of Education, Kemin Industries Vice President and General Counsel Libby Nelson, Google Regional Head of Public Policy and External Affairs Dan Harbeke and Foundation Analytical Laboratory Owner and Director of Technical Services and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Co-Chair Diane Young.


“STEM is firmly part of the fabric of Iowa and is at the heart of the Iowa State Fair,” Young said. “Iowans are innovators, inventors, growers and big dreamers. I once dreamed of launching my own company and it took a strong education to do it. I’m on the other side of the equation now and like so many employers across the state, I’m seeking talent to fill our exciting jobs. I appreciate the strong foundation of a STEM-skilled workforce and STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair highlights the many fields of opportunity.”

STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair is sponsored by Alliant Energy, Collins Aerospace, Google and MidAmerican Energy.

Subscribe to receive email updates from the Iowa Department of Education.