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UNI receives $1.2 million federal STEM grant

May 30, 2013

Jeffrey Weld, executive director, Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, 319-273-2723,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant to the University of Northern Iowa to support the project "Iowa STEM Education Evaluation (I-SEE): Navigating the Iowa STEM Roadmap."

"This award from the NSF acknowledges Iowa's 18-month-old STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) 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, executive director, Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "Strong partnerships across Iowa's business and education sectors have positioned us well to lead."

The project will be a collaborative effort of Iowa's three public universities: the Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa; the Center for Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Iowa; and the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University.

The proposed plan is to build a coordinated statewide evaluation system that comprehensively assesses the educational and economic changes that occur throughout the long-term statewide STEM initiative.

State STEM Evaluation is a new category within the Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA) aspect of NSF's Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. Iowa is the first state to be given an award of this kind.

The project objectives are to:

1. Generate best practices in developing and implementing evaluation strategies to examine statewide STEM initiatives, as well as translate and disseminate evaluation and research findings to support and improve the state plan to advance K through 12 STEM education.

2. Identify, develop and sustain evaluative capacity and infrastructure that emphasizes accessible and useful resources, especially those that are online.

3. Create a system to examine statewide cultural change related to STEM, particularly in terms of public awareness of and support for STEM education, and workforce and economic development initiatives. 

For more information about the grant, contact Jeff Weld at 319-273-2723 or