The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the Iowa Department of Education announced 21 Iowa school districts will join the STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to provide students with career-linked learning experiences in high-demand fields. Selected through a competitive process, these school districts will receive resources and financial support to develop or expand authentic and work-based learning programs created through business and education partnerships that provide students with real-world, hands-on opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related careers.

With the latest awardees, a total of 118 STEM BEST Program models have been created or expanded since the program launched in 2014. The STEM BEST Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize high-demand workplace skills. The Department’s investment of up to $40,000 in professional and financial support for each awardee can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing work-based learning environments.

The 2024-25 STEM BEST Program awardees are:

  • Center Point-Urbana School District
  • Central Lyon Community School District
  • Easton Valley Community School District
  • Edgewood-Colesburg Community School District
  • Gerald W. Kirn Middle School, Council Bluffs
  • Kingsley-Pierson Community School District
  • Lewis Central Community School District
  • Logan-Magnolia Community School District
  • Marion High School, Marion Community School District
  • Marion Intermediate School, Marion Community School District
  • North Polk Community School District
  • North Scott Community School District
  • Odebolt Arthur Battle Creek Ida Grove Community School District
  • Red Oak Community School District
  • Sioux City Community School District 
  • Southeast Warren Community School District
  • Unity Christian High School
  • Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District
  • Western Christian High School
  • Winterset Community School District
  • Woodrow Wilson Jr. High, Council Bluffs

To be considered for a STEM BEST Program award, applicants were required to submit a comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, includes valuable partnerships with community businesses or organizations, aligns with STEM goals, addresses sustainability of the model program and evaluates the program’s effectiveness.

For more information on the STEM BEST Program, visit the Department’s website.


About the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council: Established in July 2011 via Governor’s Executive Order, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council leverages public-private partnerships of educators, workplaces and Iowa students and families to ensure that every Iowa student has access to world-class STEM education opportunities. The Council’s work supports strong college and career pathways for students and growth for state and local economies. The 44-member STEM Council is co-chaired by Governor Kim Reynolds and Foundation Analytical Laboratory Owner and Director of Technical Services Diane Young. For more information, visit