Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and UNI President Ben Allen are pleased to announce the selection of six regional network hubs that will promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and economic development across Iowa.
This is the first major initiative of the new Governor's STEM Advisory Council, a public-private partnership whose overarching goal is creating greater student achievement in STEM subjects and a stronger STEM workforce. Each STEM network hub will work with business, education institutions, nonprofit groups and others in their region in a way that best fits local needs, interuests and resources.
The six hubs are:
Northwest hub -- Iowa Lakes Community College
Northeast hub -- University of Northern Iowa
North central hub -- Iowa State University
Southwest hub -- Southwestern Community College
Southeast hub -- University of Iowa & Kirkwood Community College
South central hub -- Drake University
"These six regional STEM network hubs will be the driving force offering Iowa youngsters more opportunities to learn about STEM, which will better prepare them to someday consider STEM careers," Branstad said. "STEM fields are among the fastest-growing, with many jobs that pay well."
"Iowa is fortunate to have some outstanding STEM education programs, but whether students have access right now depends largely on where they live," said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "The hubs will provide these opportunities more equitably around the state. STEM occupations are critical to Iowa's economic competitiveness because of the direct ties to innovation, productivity and economic growth."
"Regional needs in STEM can best be met through local and regional programming that takes advantage of local assets such as partner businesses, county extension, formal and informal education organizations, nonprofits, and more," said UNI President Ben Allen, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "Great hope and expectation rides on these regional hubs and their managers to unite those assets for the betterment of STEM education across Iowa."
Thirteen Iowa institutions and organizations applied to serve as regional STEM network hubs, which will physically house the coordinating centers and their network hub managers. A review panel selected by the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Executive Committee recommended the six finalists to Branstad, who accepted the recommendations without change. More details will be provided at the administration's weekly press conference at the Science Center of Iowa on Monday, May 7, at 9 a.m. (NOTE: The administration's weekly press conference will not be held in the State Capitol.)