A new report released by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Iowa Department of Education highlights the statewide impact of STEM Council’s programs on PK-12 students and educators across the state. The independent assessment examines 18 indicators ranging from student interest in STEM, public support of STEM and postsecondary majors and career trends in STEM.

"When students are excited about what they're learning, deeply engaged in the process and able to see the relevance, that's when true learning happens," said Jeff Weld with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Iowa Department of Education. "Our goal is to build on the momentum we've achieved so far and expand STEM education opportunities so that many more Iowa students have access to this kind of innovative, applied learning.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2021-22, 89% of Iowans said STEM education should be a priority in their local school district.
  • STEM Scale-Up participants who graduated high school between 2017-2021 chose STEM majors at a 47.7% rate, compared to non-participants at a 37.6% rate.
  • The number of minority students enrolled in STEM coursework has increased by +10.7% in science, +8% in technology and +11.9% in mathematics in the last nine years.
  •  Among educators taking part in the STEM Scale-Up Program, 94% agreed or strongly agreed that they now have more confidence to teach STEM topics and 96% have increased their STEM knowledge.
  • STEM jobs pay an average of $49,660 higher per year at $95,420 compared to $45,760 for all other jobs.
  • Young Iowans in STEM are 7% more interested in living and working in Iowa, than their peers.
  • There are STEM BEST® schools in 67% of Iowa counties with 770 unique community partners working with STEM BEST Models between 2014 and 2022.

The Iowa STEM Evaluation Report is conducted by a collaboration of partners from Iowa’s three Regent universities: the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), the Iowa State University Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) and Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa.

View the entire 2021-22 Iowa STEM Evaluation Report.