MMCRU receives STEM BEST® + HD Program Award
MARCUS/REMSEN The Iowa Governors STEM Advisory Council announced MMCRU Industrial Technology Program as one of the 37 school districts joining the STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) + HD (High Demand) Program. The STEM BEST Program brings schools and businesses together to provide students with real workplace experiences, introduce businesses and career opportunities in Iowa and gain career-ready skills.
The STEM BEST + HD Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize high-demand skills for the workplace. The Councils investment of professional and financial support can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration and preparing work-based learning environments.
In our past application process in 2019 for the singular STEM BEST Grant, our goal at MMCRU was to develop and establish a stronger foothold within the manufacturing sector here in NW Iowa and produce greater opportunities for our students to discover a passion for not only the skilled trades, but more specifically the manufacturing industry in the fields of engineers, welding, metal fabrication, and general machining. Our previous award not only afforded us the opportunity to build partnerships and get our students out into the local manufacturing sector, but it also allowed us to bring real-world learning opportunities and technology into our classroom. Because of the establishment of our new manufacturing program, our student interest in this field has grown along with immensely impacting the enrollment in our manufacturing program with 138 individual students now enrolled in some form of Industrial Technology class at MMCRU. Because of this, we have found new areas in our program that we would like to expand into as well as new partnerships with area businesses that could be added or expanded on. One of the biggest opportunities we see is to expand our program to include CNC machine works and programming to accompany what we are already doing with manual machining and basic robotics programming. Our previous award allowed us to essentially start and establish the basics of this field in our program, but as the demand for skilled tradesmen grows here in Iowa with the skills gap, many businesses have been asking if we can establish and grow more CNC based training into our manufacturing program through the new STEM BEST HD Grant in 2023.
Our industrial trades program is proud to once again partner with the Iowa STEM Council as we further develop our courses to better meet the needs of our students and area businesses. We are truly blessed to have industry partners that believe in the vision we have for our program, and I cannot thank them enough for their continued support on this project.
The STEM Council Executive Committee reviewed and approved 37 new or expanded partnerships supported by guidance, collaboration, and financial investment of up to $40,000 each.
The 2023 STEM BEST + HD Program awardees are:
Allamakee Community School District
Anamosa Community School District
Ankeny Community School District
Boyden-Hull Community School District
CAL Community School District
Carroll Community School District
Cedar Rapids Community School District
Central DeWitt Community School District
Central Lee Community School District
Chariton Community School District
College Community School District
Coon Rapids-Bayard Community School District
Creston Community School District
Davenport Community School District
Dubuque Community School District
Earlham Community School District
East Mills Community School District
East Union Community School District
Fort Dodge Community School District
Griswold Community School District
Harlan Community School District
Holy Family System (Dubuque)
MMCRU Community School District
MOC-Floyd Valley Community School District
Muscatine Community School District
New London Community School District
Ogden Community School District
Okoboji Community School District
Orient-Macksburg Community School District
Osage Community School District
Pella Community School District
Sergeant Bluff-Luton Community School District
Sioux Center Christian School
Sioux Central Community School District
Van Buren Community School District
Waterloo Community School District
Woodbine Community School District
The STEM BEST + HD Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize high-demand skills for the workplace. The awards can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration, and preparing work-based learning environments.
To be considered for a STEM BEST + HD 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 programs effectiveness.
For more information on the STEM BEST + HD Program, please visit https://www.iowastem.org/STEMBEST.