The Iowa STEM Monitoring Project (ISMP) is a multi-faceted and collaborative effort that works in support of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. ISMP partners include University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Social and Behavioral Research (CSBR), Iowa State University’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE), and Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa. This project is funded by the Iowa State Legislature through a grant award to the University of Northern Iowa (Grant Agreement Number, UNI-CSBR_FY2014_01).
The purpose of the ISMP is to systematically observe a series of defined metrics and sources to examine changes regarding STEM education and economic development in Iowa centered on the activities of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. The ISMP is comprised of four components: (1) Iowa STEM Indicators System (ISIS), (2) Statewide Survey of Public Attitudes Toward STEM, (3) Statewide Student Interest Inventory, and (4) Regional Scale-Up Program Monitoring. Data for these four components come from several sources, including publicly available data at the national, state, and regional levels (Component 1), Iowans who participate annually in the statewide public attitudes survey (Component 2); students statewide who participate in a Scale-Up program (Component 3 and 4), and Scale-Up educators who complete a survey describing the participants and outcomes of the Scale-Up programs held across Iowa (Component 4). Evaluators in RISE work primarily on Component 1 and Component 4.
Iowa STEM Indicators System (ISIS)
ISIS is a system to track annual benchmarks using publicly available data on a variety of STEM topics in education and economic development by systematically assessing the progress and condition of the state’s STEM landscape. ISIS includes eighteen indicators across four primary areas of focus: (a) STEM achievement and interest among K-12 students, (b) STEM preparation of K-12 students, (c) STEM college completions, and (d) STEM employment.
Regional Scale-Up Program Monitoring
As part of the Iowa STEM Monitoring Project, all local education agencies implementing a Scale-Up Program are asked to complete three submissions to help evaluate the Scale-Up
Initiative. This includes: 1) a teacher/leader survey, 2) a student participant list, and 3) student surveys. Taken together, the three submissions inform the ISMP by providing the project partners with consistent information across all Scale-Up programs.