You’ve heard STEM education is essential, but have you ever thought about why? Learn from experts in the field, in academic and in government about the impact of STEM education on our students now—and what strong STEM education will mean for their futures.

STEM Essential is a production of Iowa STEM, a statewide initiative leading the way for STEM. And while we’re based in Iowa, STEM Essential is for anyone who sees the value in science, technology, engineering and math.

Season 4

S4 E5: Jeff Weld (7-26-21) - On this episode, hear directly from host Jeff Weld on the last ten years of STEM and what's ahead for the state. 

S4 E4: Jan Morrison (8-2-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Jan Morrison founder and senior partner TIES (Teaching Institute of Excellence in STEM) and co-designer of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative of the STEM Funders Network, of which Iowa is part.

S4 E3: Erin Heiden (7-12-21)

S4 E2: Iowa Lakes Community College President Valerie Newhouse (7-5-21) - On this episode, host and director of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council Jeff Weld sits down with Valerie Newhouse, president of Iowa Lakes Community College. She is a founding member of the STEM Council and and advocate for STEM at Iowa Lakes and beyond.

S4 E1: Cindy Dietz (6-28-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Cindy Dietz, associate director of state government relations at Raytheon Technologies. She is a founding member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, which she directed as the interim executive director in 2018.

Season 3

In the third season, Jeff Weld and his guests talk about COVID-19 and the science behind the creation of a vaccine.

S3 E4: Ken Sharp (2-22-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld chats with Ken Sharp, division director of Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response and Environmental Health at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

S3 E3: Balaji Narasimhan (2-15-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Balaji Narasimhan about the production of vaccines and nanovaccines.

S3 E2: Patricia Winokur (2-9-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Patricia Winokur, Infectious Disease Specialist and Executive Dean at University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. She discusses what differentiates the virus behind COVID-19 from other coronaviruses, as well as the science behind new vaccines.

S3 E1: Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye (2-1-21) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Nafissa Cisse Egbounye, Public Health Director at the Black Hawk County Health Department. Hear how she found her passion in public health, how her county has navigated COVID-19 and how she anticipates we will move forward.

Season 2

S2 E5: Gabe Glynn (11-16-20) - On this episode, hear from Gabe Glynn, co-founder and CEO of MākuSafe. Learn more about how he came to be head of a technology company in Iowa and how he sees STEM jobs evolving over time.

S2 E4: Dave Zrostlik (11-9-20) - President of Stellar Industries and member of North Central Regional Advisory Board of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Dave Zrostlik is an outstanding STEM advocate. Hear more about his journey and how his organization is helping prepare Iowa for the jobs of the future. 

S2 E3: Louis Moreno (11-2-20) - On this episode, hear from Louis Moreno. He's a motivated student at Drake University studying management, specializing in economics, a member of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, a member of the Iowa Latino Affairs Commission and the first Iowan to complete a registered apprenticeship in information technology at Ruan Transportation.

S2 E2: University of Northern Iowa (UNI) President Mark Nook (10-26-20) - With advanced degrees in astrophysics and astronomy, UNI President Mark Nook is a true STEM advocate. Hear his thoughts on how STEM powers the world's economy and what he thinks the future of STEM jobs will be.

S2 E1: Beth Townsend (10-19-20) - On this episode, Jeff Weld speaks with Director Beth Townsend of Iowa Workforce Development. Hear about her family history with STEM innovation, her career path, Future Ready Iowa and all the efforts her agency and STEM advocates across the state are undertaking to prepare Iowa's future workforce.

Season 1

S1 E5: Chris Cournoyer (6-23-20) In this episode, hear from State Senator Chris Cournoyer, who has worked in STEM fields for much of her career, on what it's like to help STEM succeed across the state.

S1 E4: Emily Wilkerson (6-16-20) Hear from Emily Wilkerson, chemical engineering student and cheerleader at Iowa State, and member of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, on what it's like to prepare for a STEM career. 

S1 E3: Mark Putnam (6-9-20) On this episode, hear from Mark Putnam, president of Central College in Pella, Iowa, on the importance of STEM in higher education. He touches on his own journey to higher education, how STEM skills prepare students for a changing work environment and his thoughts on what classrooms will look like after COVID-19. 

S1 E2: Kathryn Kunert (6-2-20) Hear from Kathryn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration for MidAmerican Energy Company, about how STEM is essential to help current students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. 

S1 E1: Aris Winger (5-26-20) Hear from Aris Winger, assistant professor of mathematics at Georgia Gwinnett College and co-founder and CEO of Mathematics Enrichment for Diversity and Learning, about his journey with STEM and his outlook for the future.