Keokuk School Awarded STEM BEST Program

Published Thursday, October 25, 2018

Connecting Students with Careers
The Governor’s STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Advisory Council awarded Keokuk Community Schools for their STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) project. This makes the 2nd STEM BEST awardee for Lee County, with Fort Madison receiving this award in 2016, and only one in 50 across the state since 2014.

The STEM BEST Program fosters a learning environment where students are able to participate in real workplace projects designed by business professionals and teachers and apply K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics to skills, knowledge and behaviors needed for STEM careers.

“STEM BEST opens the door to outstanding STEM careers that can transform lives, communities and our state’s economy,” Gov. Kim Reynolds, STEM Council co-chair, said. “I appreciate the collaboration by educators and employers that makes this extraordinary public-private partnership successful. It’s in keeping with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of our workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.”

Each STEM BEST Program awardee submitted an in-depth proposal, considering factors like education driven by industry need, rigorous, relevant and dynamic STEM curriculum, authentic partnerships and connection to post-secondary education or training. Each awardee will serve as a model to share unique perspective, strengths, demographics and program focus with others schools across the state.

“We congratulate Keokuk Schools in being selected for the Iowa STEM BEST program and are very pleased that our matching funds helped them secure the award.  Preparing students for STEM careers by partnering with local business and industry will expose them to a variety of career opportunities and help further cultivate their STEM skills to better prepare them for employment in the future.” –Javier Guevara, General Manager Climax Molybdenum Fort Madison

“I'd really like to thank our partners, Tara Hosick and Freeport McMoran (Climax), Tiffany Martin and Roquette America, Dana Millard and the Lee County Economic Development Group, and the Keokuk Community School District for stepping up for students,” stated Keokuk teacher Diane Berner. “Building professional relationships and community partnerships will help our students be more prepared and better qualified to meet the goal of college and career ready.“

Keokuk Superintendent Chris Barnes commented, “We are very excited to have received this grant. We have a team of educators who are committed to providing the best opportunities for students, and they saw this grant as a means to provide even more opportunities. I'm very proud of our team who worked on this grant and thrilled that our kids will reap the benefits of it.”

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