With a twinkle in her eye and a genuine smile that spread across her face, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds told me, “If there had been a program like STEM when I was in school I might have made different choices.”
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In talking with the Lieutenant Governor it was clear the STEM program is more than just another program for her, it is something she really believes in and has a passion for.
Central College in Pella was the location for the fourth of six stops on the STEM Town Hall Tour. Joining Lieutenant Governor Reynolds for this stop was Vermeer Corporation CEO Mary Andringa. One of the things that is uniquely special about these two powerful ladies spearheading this project is that it is a truly functioning public-private partnership. It was so refreshing to hear about and see people from both political realms and private businesses successfully working together.
Joining Reynolds and Andringa for this presentation was Myron Linn, Manager of Government Affairs at Pella Corporation. Kicking off the event and welcoming everyone was Central College President Mark Putnam. Putnam is also an executive committee member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
The STEM Advisory Council was formed by executive order in July 2011. Its goal is to increase “student interest and achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and promote STEM economic development.” As demonstration of this, students, along with their teachers, from Pella Community Intermediate, Middle and High Schools presented projects from their Scale-Up programs this year. Some of the students said it was, “challenging because we aren’t given the answers.” In spite of being challenging, they all expressed that they like the program, especially “working together with others and with new people (that they otherwise would not have gotten to meet or know".