AMES, Iowa – The 4-H Nutcracker Ballet + STEM program received the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seal of Approval in December 2022. This recognition indicates that a program or event officially advances one of the most progressive state STEM initiatives in the country.
The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council is focused on increasing student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Iowa. The task is to prepare STEM-literate students for career paths in the economically vital fields of bioscience (agriculture and health), finance, information technology, advanced manufacturing and other STEM fields to provide a competitive, economic advantage to Iowa communities and the state overall.
“This Iowa 4-H program celebrates the magic of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – and is offered free of charge to youth across Iowa,” said Sara Nelson, 4-H STEM program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “This unique elementary program showcases STEM in ballet and is designed to support a variety of literacy, art and STEM standards.”
In 2022 over 2,000 youth registered for the in-person or livestreamed experience.
“We are very proud to have received the Governor’s STEM Seal of Approval,” said Nelson. “Iowa 4-H STEM has worked hard with our partner, Stephens Auditorium, to present an engaging STEAM experience. This seal of approval means a lot to us and helps us to know that we are creating programs that are innovative and supportive of youth across Iowa.”
Nutcracker Ballet + STEM plans to be back in 2023, Nelson said. The program typically happens at the beginning of December. Please watch for information on how to register on the Iowa 4-H STEM website. Next year, plans include additional STEAM lessons and opportunities for youth to take part in hands-on STEM at Stephens.