STEM B.E.S.T® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers)

A priority for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for 2020-2021 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models, known as Iowa STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) referenced throughout the application materials as STEM BEST®. A total of 63 STEM BEST® models have been established in Iowa since 2014. These programs are now creating new excitement around the state as roles and responsibilities for meaningful activities are created and refined in the K-12 educational area. Further details on these awarded programs can be found at

The goal of STEM BEST® is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers. The STEM Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to support the establishment of Iowa STEM BEST® models, preferably evenly distributed across each of Iowa’s six STEM regions. Successful applicants will become an Iowa STEM BEST® model of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

A hallmark of Iowa STEM education is the connection of classroom learning to meaning beyond the school walls. Overarching guidelines are provided to assist proposers, though ample flexibility in design is encouraged to support organic development of STEM BEST® programs which match local strengths, challenges and resources. STEM BEST® models are open to K-12 applicants. Past STEM BEST® award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs.

The STEM Council is now accepting application for STEM BEST proposals.

Apply for STEM BEST


  • February 10, 2020- Application Opens
  • June 15, 2020 - Application Deadline
  • August 1, 2020 - Awards announced
  • August 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 - Implementation


STEM B.E.S.T schools in Northeast Iowa

  • Allamakee Community School District  (Awarded in 2018-19)
  • CF CAPS - Cedar Falls High School (Awarded in 2018-19)
  • CF CAPS - Cedar Falls High School   (Awarded in 2017-18)
  • Clayton Co. BEST - Central Community School District  (Awarded in 2018-19)
  • Iowa BIG North - New Hampton High School  (Awarded in 2015-16)
  • Iowa BIG North - Riceville High School   (Awarded in 2017-18)
  • Iowa BIG North - Turkey Valley High School   (Awarded in 2017-18)
  • Jesup CAPS - Jesup High School (Awarded in 2019-20)
  • New Hampton High School (Awarded in 2019-20)
  • Oelwein Huskies Project One - Oelwein High School  (Awarded in 2017-18)
  • DelCo BEST - West Delaware County High School (Awarded in 2016-17)
  • North Cedar Elementary - Cedar Falls Community School District  (Awarded in 2016-17)
  • Waterloo Career Center - Waterloo Community Schools (Awarded in 2019-20)

To learn more about Iowa STEM BEST, please visit