2021-22 Scale-Up Programs

CodeJoy Computational Thinking in Action with Micro:bit

(Grades 3 - 12)


Helps students understand the power of computer science and how things work in the real world by seeing their projects come to life.



Kelsey Derringer, CodeJoy

PDF | Video | Website

Dreambox Learning Mathematics

(Grades K - 8)


DreamBoxis a K-8 digital math program designed to complement your math curriculum whether in the classroom or at home. Proven to positively impact student achievement by multiple independent studies, DreamBox encourages students to think deeply about math while providing educators with valuable insights about learning progress across topics and standards for each student.


Mary Kareem Smith, DreamBox Learning

PDF | Video | Website

Fierce and Fearless STEAM Teacher Training

(Grades PreK - 5)

Monthly professional development in the form of short, on-demand videos taught in the context of real-world problems or phenomena.

Dr. Yen Verhoeven, QI Learning Research Group

PDF | Video | Website



First LEGO League Explore

(Grades K - 4)


An international program created by LEGO® and the nonprofit FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).  Teams of up to 6 students discover and learn about the topic, present their findings in the form of a team poster and LEGO model they design, build and program to move autonomously. 

Camille Schroeder, Iowa State University


PDF | Video | Website



(Grades PreK - 12)


Ioponics is different from other aquaponics systems because it couples an easily modifiable hands-on unit with academic supports; standard-aligned lessons, systems support network and the ability to add personally created lessons to the composite system.


Dr. Michael Bechtel, Wartburg College

PDF | Video | Website


Light & Shadow

(Grades PreK - 3)


In Light & Shadow (L&S), students construct the technology of shadows to fulfill their human need or want to make an object interact with light in an interesting way. Through construction, they engage in the processes of engineering design and grapple with the constraints of physics to cast different kinds of light and/or develop shadows using a variety of objects, screens, and light sources.


Dr. Beth VanMeeteren
University of Northern Iowa

PDF | Video | Website


Nepris - Virtual Industry Connections to Real World Learning

(Grades K - 12)

Nepris provides a web-based platform that connects teachers with industry professionals from various STEM pathways to virtually interact with students to bring abstract lessons to life, mentor students on class projects, evaluate student work, provide insight into a day in the life of a professional, conduct virtual job shadows, participate in career days and offer virtual tours of workspaces. Nepris has over 5,000 companies and 40,000 professionals represented in the platform with partnerships that bring diverse STEM role models to students.



Amanda Holsclaw, Nepris

PDF | Video | Website


Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Medical Detectives

(Grades 6-8)

Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease.








Contact: Vic Dreier, Project Lead the Way

PDF | Video | Website


SoapyCilantro: A Hands-On Introduction to Genomics

(Grades 6 - 12)

Practicum offers hands-on learning experience in Precision Medicine connecting genomics to human health and agriculture. In this Iowa-grown program, students isolate and analyze their own DNA in their classroom. Students taste fresh cilantro leaves and note down the taste: Spicy, mild spicy or soapy. They collect their own buccal (cheek) cells, purify genomic DNA, amplify their gene responsible for cilantro taste and detect their genotype. Students correlate their genetic and taste-test results and discuss implications of genetic variations to human health using this innocuous ‘cilantro taste’ human trait. 


Contact: Dr. Pramod Mahajan
Drake University

PDF | Video | Website



Storytime STEM Packs


(Grades PreK - 2)

Educational innovation designed to connect children’s literature with STEM. Enables educators of young children to successfully incorporate age appropriate STEM concepts into children’s programming.


Contact: Gabriela Rose, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 

PDF | Video | Website


Teaching Energy Transformations and Energy Sources

(Grades 3 - 12)

Explains the science of energy, sources of energy, electricity generation and transmission, transportation and efficiency and conservation at home and at school.


Contact: Rebecca Lamb
National Energy Education Development

PDF | Video | Website


VEX IQ Challenge


(Grades 4 - 8)

Provide the opportunity to learn introductory programming and engineering skills with a snap-together robotics system designed from the ground up. 


Contact: Cheryl Burley-Rausch
REC Foundation

PDF | Video | Website