The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, the governor's office announced today.

The money will be used for a project called Iowa STEM Education Evaluation (I-SEE), aimed at building a statewide evaluation system to assesses the educational and economic changes through the state's STEM initiative.

 I-SEE project objectives are to:

  • Generate best practices in developing evaluative strategies in the STEM initiative, as well as to use research from those evaluations to help improve the state's K-12 STEM education.
  • Develop an evaluative infrastructure to emphasize accessible resources, especially online.
  • Create a system to examine statewide cultural change related to STEM, particularly in building public awareness.

The project is a collaboration of evaluation centers at Iowa's three state universities.

The National Science Foundation is seeking to evaluate state STEM programs and Iowa is the first state to receive a grant for that goal.

"This award...acknowledges Iowa's 18-month-old STEM initiative as one of great promise for informing all states as to building a comprehensive and collaborative environment for STEM education reform," said Jeff Weld, the executive director of Iowa's STEM Advisory Council, in a press release.

Iowa's STEM project was started in late 2011 to help prepare students for jobs in the fields of math, science, engineering and technology.

To read more about the initiative, click here.