The Nation’s Interest in STEM Innovation is Exploding!

The University of Iowa’s STEM Innovator professional development program equips educators with the tools needed to partner with business and industry.

STEM Innovator prepares teachers to have their students work in teams employing an entrepreneurial mindset and innovative thinking to solve authentic, community-driven, real-world problems.

STEM Innovator students identify a problem of interest, verify and validate the problem through customer discovery, and establish and implement a solution.

STEM Innovator students gain the skills needed to thrive in a 21st Century global economy.


What: STEM Innovator Online Training

Who: Middle and high school educators and administrators

When: Online training is offered twice a year, with winter and summer sessions. Join the wait list here.

We also can tailor a program to your needs with onsite professional development. Contact us at to learn more.


    • Strategies to teach and assess STEM innovation, entrepreneurial mindset and 21st Century Skills through a problem-based learning framework
    • Build network and partnership models with local, state and national STEM industry experts, and the University of Iowa
    • Upon successful completion, you will become a University of Iowa STEM Innovator Instructor, allowing STEM, Business and Marketing teachers the opportunity to OFFER UNIVERSITY OF IOWA COLLEGE CREDIT to high school students.


  • Nine-month STEM Innovator® professional development, followed by ongoing professional collaboration
  • Access to STEM Innovator® toolkit: curriculum, instruction and assessment resources
  • Option to receive up to five graduate credits at a significantly reduced rate
  • Optional onsite summer Ed Camp, including meals
  • Ongoing mentoring and support across three-plus years

*A State of Iowa economic development grant provides some funding for Iowa teachers to participate in STEM Innovator®. Iowa teacher support is contingent upon continued state funding.

History of STEM Innovator Teacher Institute

Since 2013, teachers from 58 school districts in four states have participated in The University of Iowa’s STEM Innovator Teacher Institute and developed new ways of infusing STEM innovation and entrepreneurship into their classrooms. Through collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, the Institute emphasizes customer discovery, opportunity recognition, rapid prototyping, intellectual property, and commercialization through authentic interactions with STEM industry leaders. The Institute’s training has informed innovative models in Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey and Florida with these concepts. Since 2013, an estimated 27,000 students have engaged in STEM Innovator projects.