Branstad promotes STEM education

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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Gov. Terry Branstad aired a public-service announcement on Thursday featuring a new campaign initiated to create the importance of students developing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education. 

Branstad’s announcement campaign was launched through his STEM Advisory Council to promote awareness that will focus on making sure students in Iowa are competitive with those in other states and countries.  According to a news release by the Iowa City Area Development Group, only 26 percent of Iowans understand what STEM stood for as of the fall of 2012. 

Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said STEM-related jobs are projected to grow four times faster than other career fields. 

“By 2018, Iowa will have 72,000 STEM jobs to fill,” he said. 

He said Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are committed to ensuring Iowa’s children are receiving a quality education today to prepare them for the careers of tomorrow. 

The $150,000 public-awareness campaign includes a new brand and logo, core messages, billboard advertisements, statewide events, and public relations. They will be paid for from the $5.2 million appropriated from the Iowa Legislature to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council this fiscal year. 

The STEM Advisory Council is split into six regional network hubs throughout the state; the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College were named the Southeast Iowa hub. 

Eric Hanson, communications director of Iowa City Area Development Group, said the group works with the Advisory Council to promote the STEM-based programming to address workforce, job growth, skills and education challenges for its clients. 

— by Abigail Meier

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