Hansen receives I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award

Thursday, January 23, 2020
Matt Hansen, industrial technology teacher at MMCRU High School, received the 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award at a special surprise ceremony on Wednesday, January 15 at the school. Pictured above, from left: Katie Miner from Kemin Industries, Matt Hansen from MMCRU High School, and Brenda Welch and Beth Bunk from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Northwest Board.
(Photo contributed)

Award recognizes excellence in STEM education in six Iowa regions

MARCUS - The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is proud to announce Matt Hansen, industrial technology teacher at MMCRU High School in Marcus, Iowa, has been named as a recipient of the 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, sponsored by Kemin Industries. The award is given to teachers who go above and beyond to inspire student interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Now in its sixth year, this award is given annually to one full-time, licensed teacher from each of the six STEM regions in Iowa. Educators can work with any grade level from preschool to high school. It celebrates innovative teachers who help their students understand science, technology, engineering and mathematics are more than just academic subjects. STEM is all around them—and STEM skills are essential life skills.

Matt Hansen talks at a special ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, January 15.
(Photo contributed)

Hansen has been with MMCRU for six years. After being nominated separately by two of his students, he applied for the award and was selected by a panel of reviewers.

Hansen was recognized for his focus on quality—in the projects his students create, in the lessons he imparts on his students and in his efforts to connect his classroom with professional resources. After his first year at the school, Hansen went out and met industry professionals living and working in the local community to find out what skills his students would need most after graduation. Over time, that original effort has evolved into an industrial technology advisory board that helps guide the curriculum for his students.

Also recognized for his work to involve more students with industrial technology, Hansen attributes the success of his program to a strong junior high exploratory program and the noticeable success of former students after they complete the program.

As a recipient of the 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, Hansen will receive $1,500 to use for his classroom and $1,500 for personal use. He will also be recognized by Gov. Kim Reynolds in a special ceremony during STEM Day at the Capitol on February 19, 2020.