What is the STEM BEST Award?

Keokuk Senior High School was awarded the STEM BEST® award in the fall of 2018.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a public-private partnership of educators, business leaders, nonprofits and local and state government officials, collaborating to increase student interest and achievement to meet the STEM employer demand across Iowa. The 50-member STEM Council is led by co-chairs Governor Kim Reynolds and Accumold President and CEO Roger Hargens.

A STEM BEST® Program partner:

... helps transform typical K-12 classroom environments and methods to unite the workplace with the classroom and develop clear pathways from STEM education to STEM careers in the state.

… works to help reach the state’s Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.

…[is] funded through a $25,000 cost-share from STEM Council made possible through a combination of state and private investments.

My STEM BEST® Program model is one of 50 awarded since 2014. Our model focuses on creating an active learning center to include learning hubs, flexible seating and technology. This will provide a sophisticated space for students to interact with professionals, connect students to the work of work and help them develop soft skills and job awareness.

Before the STEM BEST® Award

Fall 2018

Tables & Chairs

The tables, though sturdy, were quite old. All wooden tables and chairs were replaced.

Outdated Technology

The outdated computers along the lab wall were outdated and taking up valuable space. Chromebooks are being added for check-out at the circulation desk and the space has been changed to promote professional collaboration.

Underused Space

An un-needed library clerk desk was taking up valuable space that has since been revamped for technological collaboration and networking.

Shelving Shifts

In order to create more collaborative space, unnecessary shelving was shifted to open up more seating area.

After the STEM BEST Award

Spring 2019

Updated Seating

Modern, flexible tables were added for student, professional, and teacher use throughout the year.

Modern Seating

The same space where outdated desktop computers were (photo above) is now a modern, flexible seating area. Here, author Carol Gorman talks with students about writing tips in April 2019.

Updated Tech Hubs

Two collaborative hubs were added (above) with mobile smart TV carts for students, teachers, and professionals to use.

Booth Seating

Booth units were added in the areas where shelves were located.

Panoramic Overview

The STEM BEST Award has provided the library with two mobile collaboration hubs, updated tables and chairs, booth seating by outside windows, mobile white boards, an interview seating area, and a (not pictured) cafe table for collaboration in the back of the library.

After - Spring 2019

Before - Fall 2018