Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds today announced a new education advisory council focused on four key areas believed to be important in helping the state’s students and economy.

“Greater knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM for short — will make Iowa’s young people more competitive in the global marketplace. They should not be shut out of the growing number of jobs that pay well in these exciting field,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds will co-chair the council along with University of Northern Iowa president Ben Allen. “The new statewide STEM initiative will build on the outstanding collaborative work of the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership,” Reynolds says, “this collaboration by Iowa’s three universities, led by the University of Northern Iowa, has worked to raise student math and science achievement.”

Reynolds says the test scores of Iowa students have lagged in these areas and it’s hoped the council can help turn that around. She says the goals of the council should include: significantly raising student achievement in STEM areas, better preparing math and science teachers, mapping STEM education to economic development to foster more innovation in research and entrepreneurship.

Reynolds says the governor will appoint the other members of the STEM council, who will represent a variety of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, biotechnology, clean energy, engineering, health care and information technology. “The Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council will offer advice and make recommendations to better position Iowa’s young people and the state’s economy for the future,” Reynolds said, “It will work with schools, community colleges and Iowa’s public and private colleges and universities, with parents and community organizations, with business and industry.”

Reynolds says the STEM council can help Iowa create world class schools “if we all work together.” She made the announcement at the governor’s education summit.