North Scott Receives STEM BEST® Program Award with Tri-City Electric’s Partnership

Eldridge, IA – The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announced North Scott Community School District as one of the 21 school districts receiving the STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program award. The STEM BEST Program brings schools and businesses together to provide students with real workplace experiences. The program helps introduce students to businesses and career opportunities in Iowa, while also gaining future-focused skills.

North Scott’s STEM BEST Program is a partnership with Tri-City Electric Co., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local #145 and the Quad Cities Electrical Contractors Association, to develop an electrical Quality Pre-Apprenticeship for area high school students. In addition to the $20,000 program investment, Tri-City Electric Co. will participate in student learning through class presentations, career fair participation, and job shadow and internship hosting.

James Simmons, Work-based Learning Coordinator at North Scott High School, explains, “This grant will allow us to break new ground in Eastern Iowa with the electrical pre-apprenticeship. Offering electrical theory and hands-on training to students in our region will create competitive advantage for them as they enter apprenticeships after graduation. Likewise, this creates a steady pipeline of highly skilled workers for local businesses in a high-demand career. STEM education creates a connection between education and industry that is vital for the future of our students and our economy.”

Sarah Potter, Community Outreach and Workforce Planning Manager at Tri-City Electric Co., adds, “TCE is proud to partner with North Scott on this project. In fact, we recently onboarded two high school student interns who are working in our prefabrication shop receiving industry-specific skills training. We’re excited to see participation grow for us and in other businesses throughout the region. Workforce planning is a community effort, and TCE is committed to supporting students by providing valuable real-world skills training that will help them successfully enter an electrical apprenticeship after graduation.”

The STEM BEST Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize high-demand skills. The Council’s investment of professional and financial support can be used for curriculum development and coordination, educator training and development in workplace-classroom integration, and preparing work-based learning environments.

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

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