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Lee County Schools Receive STEM BEST® HD Program Awards

Lee County Schools Receive STEM BEST® HD Program Awards 

Lee County, Iowa – The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announced Central Lee, Ft. Madison,  and Keokuk Community Schools as three recipients of the STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and  Teachers) HD Program models for 2021. Each district award will be $40,000, totaling $120,000 to  support the Lee County Career Advantage Center.  

The STEM BEST HD Program is designed to prepare students for the workforce through curriculum  focused on skills needed in job sectors such as computer science/information technology, healthcare  professions, and advanced manufacturing. “We are excited to be awarded these funds by the STEM  Council. “This is a collaborative effort and will make a big impact in Lee County,” stated Lee County EDG  Project Director Dana Millard. “These funds will allow us to further our goal of connecting Lee County  students with the skills needed to meet their career goals.” 

Funds awarded to Ft. Madison will support the architectural design and renovation of the former KL  Megla building in Montrose, serving as home to the Career Advantage Center. 

“The Fort Madison Community School District is excited to be a part of a partnership that supports  future learning and training opportunities for our students via the Lee County Career Advantage  Center,” said Ft. Madison Superintendent, Erin Slater. “This has been a multi-year project in the making, and we are grateful to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for their recognition of this endeavor. “ 

Funds awarded to Keokuk Community School District will provide furnishings for the four classrooms to  be created in the first phase of renovations. 

“The Keokuk Community School District is appreciative of the partnerships with Ft. Madison and Central  Lee Community School Districts in addition to Southeastern Community College and Lee County  Economic Development. Additionally, we are excited about the opportunities the Career Advantage  Center will provide for all Lee County students. This collaborative learning space will provide dynamic  opportunities to prepare students as they enter the workforce here in Lee County.” -Doreen  Underwood, Director of Instructional Services and Dan Mart, Superintendent. 

Funds awarded to the Central Lee Community School district will support the installation of technology  into the classroom spaces. 

“Having interactive display panels and HD TVs will support an engaging student experience at the Career  Advantage Center. In addition to this, business and industry can utilize this technology to interact with  students on collaborative projects. Central Lee is appreciative of the STEM Advisory Council for 

supporting this shared effort in providing robust work-based learning opportunities for Lee County  students.” - Angie Fransk, Curriculum Director 

The STEM BEST HD Program results from a special appropriation from the Iowa legislature to expand the  STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program to focus efforts on job sectors in high  demand. It will help build partnerships between schools and businesses, allowing educators and industry  

professionals to work together to develop curriculum and projects that prepare students for careers in  these high-demand fields. 

The STEM Council Executive Committee reviewed and approved 38 new or expanded partnerships  supported by up to $40,000 each. Compared to the traditional STEM BEST Program, STEM BEST HD offers a higher grant amount and a lower cost-share requirement for applicants. The awards can be used  for facility upgrades, equipment, time for program planning with partners, travel needs, or integrating  curriculum into existing courses. 

The 2022 STEM BEST HD. Program awardees are: 

  • BCLUW Community School District 
  • Bettendorf Community School District 
  • Bondurant-Farrar Community School District 
  • Boone Community School District 
  • Boyer Valley Community School District 
  • Burlington Community School District 
  • Central Community School District 
  • Central Lee Community School District 
  • Cherokee Community School District 
  • Davenport Community School District – Central High School 
  • Davenport Community School District – North High School 
  • Davenport Community School District – West High School 
  • Dike-New Hartford Community School District 
  • Dubuque Community School District 
  • Fort Madison Community School District 
  • Johnston Community School District 
  • Keokuk Community School District 
  • Lawton-Bronson Community School District 
  • Lewis Central Community School District 
  • Linn-Mar Community School District 
  • Maple Valley-Anthon Oto Community School District 
  • MFL MarMac Community School District 
  • Mount Vernon Community School District 
  • Northeast Community School District 
  • Osage Community School District 
  • Pella Community School District 
  • Pleasant Valley Community School District 
  • Sheldon Community School District 
  • Sioux City Community School District 
  • Spencer Community School District 
  • Storm Lake Community School District 
  • Tri-Center Community School District
  • Twin Cedars Community School District 
  • Waterloo Community School District 
  • West Lyon Community School District 
  • West Des Moines Community School District 
  • West Marshall Community School District 
  • Woodbine Community School District 

To be considered for a STEM BEST HD Program award, applicants were required to submit a  comprehensive proposal that incorporates rigorous and relevant STEM curriculum, valuable  partnerships with community businesses or organizations, align with STEM goals, address the  sustainability of the model program, and conduct an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. 

For more information on the STEM BEST HD Program, please visit 

About the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council: Established in July 2011 via Governor’s Executive  Order, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a public-private partnership of educators,  companies and Iowa students and families addressing policies and programs designed to improve Iowa’s  educational system focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The STEM  Council works to engage and prepare students for a career-ready workforce path, regain our state’s  historic leadership position in education and provide a vital competitive economic advantage now, and  for the future, to ensure that every Iowa student has access to world-class STEM education  opportunities. The 62-member STEM Council is co-chaired by Governor Kim Reynolds and Foundation  Analytical Laboratory Owner and Director of Technical Services Diane Young. For more information, visit