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Professional Development for teachers and administrators who want to infuse innovation, invention and entrepreneurship into their schools by working with business and industry community partners. 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.
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[av_heading heading=’Prepares students for the 21st Century…’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’50’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”][/av_heading]

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Over 50 STEM business and industry partners worked alongside educators to identify these essential skills necessary for the next generation of students to thrive in a global economy.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4301′ name=’Susan Weaver’ subtitle=’Monticello High School, Monticello, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
STEM Innovator is the most valuable, practical, and transformative professional development I have experienced in over 20 years of teaching.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’3438′ name=’Greg Smith’ subtitle=’Davenport West High School, Davenport, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
In my nine years as a teacher, I have never seen anything like STEM Innovator. The collaboration modeled through this program is the type of model that needs to be taught in Colleges of Education across the Nation. The University of Iowa needs to embrace this model and lead the nation in teacher education reform by having teachers collaborate across the hallway, building, and through other disciplines.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’3440′ name=’Kelly Carr’ subtitle=’Lewis Central Middle School, Council Bluffs, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
STEM Innovator was an eye-opener for me. I think the design process will be a process that my own students will love!
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4300′ name=’Hannah Haarhues-Casey’ subtitle=’Lewis Central Middle School, Council Bluffs, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
STEM Innovator opened my eyes to terminology, processes to follow, and search techniques, while transforming what we are going to teach into very real and exceptionally innovative ideas.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4826′ name=’Reagan Boeset’ subtitle=’Clear Creek Amana, Oxford, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
“I am a firm believer that experiences lead to learning, and I can’t believe that I get paid to try to create awesome experiences for my students. The University of Iowa’s STEM Innovator has been the best training program I was given the opportunity to participate in.  STEM Innovator training has allowed me to learn new strategies and methods for creating valuable experiences for my STEM students.”
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4512′ name=’Steve Davis’ subtitle=’President of Bio::Neos’ link=” linktext=”]
Students learn how to collaborate, solve problems, work in teams, and be more innovative- these are the skills I want in my employees.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4305′ name=’Laurie Worden’ subtitle=’Workplace Learning Connection’ link=” linktext=”]
We believe in a vibrant community with a workforce ready for a changing and challenging world.  Our next generation of the workforce will benefit immensely  from the  STEM Innovator  program as students are able  to grow their ideas and solutions to challenges in our world and workforce both in the classroom and in the world of work.  Workplace Learning Connection , as a department of Kirkwood Community College,  is excited to join forces with  the STEM Innovator team and students to assist with the work-based learning needs of this  visionary program.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4304′ name=’Beth Hochstedler’ subtitle=’State Hygienic Laboratory, Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’ link=” linktext=”]
STEM Innovator is a win-win. Students become more aware of the careers they want to pursue with fulfilling work they are interested in, while businesses gain a new perspective on a project.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’4246′ name=’David Hensley’ subtitle=’Executive Director of JPEC and UI Associate Vice President for Economic Development’ link=” linktext=”]
Innovation and technology are what’s driving new company formation. In Iowa, 86% of companies have fewer than 20 employees, so this is a very small-business dominated state. Students who have technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation skill sets are well positioned to pursue any career path they choose. We’re very excited to be a part of STEM Innovator, working alongside teachers and community partners on what we can accomplish collectively in our schools, at the university level, and at the state level to assist students. Ultimately, we’re all here to make a better educated populace and create an economic environment in the state so our young people will stay here and prosper.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’3638′ name=’Michael Abdo’ subtitle=’Iowa City West High School, Iowa City, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
The value of STEM Innovator is undeniable. The experiences you gain through the STEM Innovation Institute it is incredible. You have the opportunity to improve yourself in endless areas, and here are just a few of mine: personal growth, hands on involvement with technology, social skills that create long lasting friendships with both peers and mentors, and practice with public speaking.
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[av_testimonial_single src=’3657′ name=’Bennett Robertson’ subtitle=’Davenport North High School, Davenport, Iowa’ link=” linktext=”]
The STEM Innovation Institute has helped me to realize that a career in technology is more achievable than I had ever dreamed, and I don’t even have to work for a large company to make it happen. Starting your own business only takes a great idea and some friends with dedication and drive. I made so many friends and contacts that once the business model is solidified, we will be steps ahead of any other competing teams. It was a blast, and I encourage anyone interested to give it a shot.
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Coralville, IA
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High school students partner with local organizations on solving real-world problems, like decreasing fatalities from ATV accidents.
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A renowned assessment tool helps students identify their strengths and choose projects and roles that let them grow and stretch.
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Connecting classroom learning to real-world issues helps students see how they can put their education and skills to use as leaders in innovation.
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Students of all abilities gain the 21st century skills and entrepreneurial mindset they’ll need to succeed in the new economy.
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