Iowa STEM is a public-private partnership representing education, business and industry, nonprofits, students and families, and state government. It is focused on raising student interest and achievement in STEM subjects and improving STEM economic development in Iowa.

Guidelines for School+Business Partnerships in STEM lists programs that engage business and education through the Iowa STEM. Iowa businesses are invited to invest in a variety of ways, whether in the form of time, talents, or in some instances, treasures. By working together we can elevate STEM education in Iowa.

Greatness STEMs from Partnerships

Positive change in the quality of our workforce comes from STEM education. Partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organizations and industries are very important in STEM education.

STEM is vital for economic development and quality job growth in Iowa. Interest and achievement in STEM disciplines advances Iowa’s workforce and economy. Business partners can accelerate the progression of STEM talent development by collaborating with educators, policymakers and students to improve strategies in STEM learning.

There are many benefits of engaging in STEM education partnerships.

Benefits for Businesses

  • Boost employee morale
  • Contribute to community vitality and economic development

Benefits for Schools and Students

  • Introduce students to real-world application
  • Establish mentorships and support in their study of STEM education

Dual Benefits

  • Advance STEM learning by creating new educational experiences (business tours, job shadowing, etc.)
  • Create exposure and recognition of STEM professional careers available to students in Iowa

Businesses can create partnerships based on the context, assets and interests of the organization. Each business is different and has varying abilities. It is important to understand the type of partnership you want to establish.

Types of Iowa STEM Partnerships
Type of PartnershipExplanation and Example Activities
Experienced STEM Professional

The experienced STEM professional helps students and teachers discover more STEM knowledge and skills.

Example activities:

  • Student internships (exploration of career opportunities)
  • Teacher externships (experience real-world application of STEM content)
  • Mentorships, cultivating ideas of opportunities for students and providing guidance for future courses and careers
  • Provide expertise to professional development for teachers and administrators
  • Engagement in classroom discussions, demonstrations, events such as science fairs, etc.
  • Contribute to classroom projects, and curriculum
STEM Resource

Donations are helpful in education because materials, transportation, meals, and much more add up quickly.

Example activities:

  • Financial resources such as funds, grants, employee collections or sponsorships
  • Financial support such as collective grant writing to STEM-based organizations
  • Material and equipment donations, such as remaining or retired materials, as well as new materials
STEM Supporter

Building community support and excitement about STEM is important to the lives of today’s students and their future. The STEM Supporter helps develop and deliver a consistent message about the importance of STEM.

Example activities:

  • Visible commitment to STEM education
    Commentaries in the media
  • Testimonials and letters to school board, government and community organizations
  • Visibility and communication at community events to share the excitement of STEM