Iowa STEM Scale-Up Selects NCTL Curriculum
January 18, 2014
The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council announced in November 2013 that Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), the innovative engineering curriculum developed by the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) at the Museum of Science, Boston, is one of nine exemplary STEM curricula chosen for the state's STEM Scale-Up initiative in 2013-2014. Funded through a $4.7 million appropriation by the state legislature, the STEM Scale-up program helps Iowa schools improve STEM instruction.
"Innovation and creativity are driving a cultural shift in our schools, afterschool programs, and communities," says Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. "Students are problem solvers; they see a problem and diligently work to find a solution--ask any FIRST Tech Challenge, A World in Motion, or Engineering is Elementary group. Their passion and enthusiasm for science and math [are] contagious."
In the first year of the STEM Scale-Up, the Governor's STEM Advisory Council reached nearly 40,000 students with high-quality programs across the state; 89% of students said they were more interested in at least one STEM subject after participating in a Council STEM education program. Says Reynolds, "As co-chair of the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, I am proud of the work that has been accomplished through this public-private partnership."
Christopher Soldat, a science consultant with the state's Grant Wood Area Education Agency, recommended EiE for statewide dissemination. "Our center already had three years' experience helping local schools implement EiE," he says. "I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread! We were impressed with the curriculum design and with the associated professional development. So we felt ready to scale up EiE to the statewide level."
This is the second year EiE has been selected for the Iowa STEM Scale-Up and the first year the curriculum will be available in all six of the state's "STEM Regions." Soldat has criss-crossed the state, facilitating EiE workshops for teachers from Sioux City to Burlington. He expects to train more than 300 teachers, who will use the curriculum with more than 6,000 students.