Latest STEM report shows positive results

August 25, 2016

A new report from the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council shows that efforts to generate a greater understanding of and enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among K-12 students is paying off. One highlight: students who participate in STEM projects in their schools are more interested in working in Iowa once they graduate.

ABI and its members have been very involved in efforts to highlight the importance of STEM education. Earlier this month, ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton wrote about the importance of STEM and how businesses are crucial, and active partners in education of tomorrow’s workforce.

On Monday, the executive director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Jeff Weld, joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds to share the positive results from the most recent independent STEM Evaluation Report.

Additional highlights of the 306-page Iowa STEM evaluation include:

  • Students who participated in the high-quality STEM education programs the council delivers to students statewide - called STEM Scale-Up Programs -  scored an average 7 percentage points higher in National Percentile Rank on the Iowa Assessments in mathematics, 6 percentage points higher in science and 4 percentage points higher in reading than peers.
  • The percent of students who said they were very interested in someday working in Iowa was 45 percent of STEM Scale-Up Program participants compared to 39 percent of students statewide.
  • Nine in 10 Iowans thought STEM education should be a priority in their local school districts, but only 46 percent said it actually is a priority.
  • 46 Corporate Partners (including ABI and many member companies) contributed $559,239 in 2015-2016, a 20 percent increase in private investments over 2014-2015.

In addition to these council-driven gains, evaluators also found more students are taking Advanced Placement (AP) STEM courses, more females are pursuing STEM degrees at Iowa’s four-year public universities, more high school teachers are earning a STEM endorsement and more students are aspiring to earn a STEM degree compared to five years ago.

To view the entire STEM report, please visit