Google announces $150,000 grant to Iowa STEM Council


Google has announced a $150,000 grant to the Iowa STEM Council to help support the council’s mission to increase awareness, achievement and interest in STEM education with students in Iowa.

According to a news release, sent Aug. 9, Google will host a “Coding Carnival” at the Iowa State Fair with hands-on learning opportunities.

This announcement builds on Google’s recent news of grants awarded to the Early Learning Center in Council Bluffs and Iowa Western Community College to support technical skills training and retention of a skilled workforce in Iowa.

There are projected to be more than a half a million new STEM job opportunities in the U.S. by 2029, including right here in Iowa. This collective effort is helping to set Iowa students up for success to meet this demand with programs such as the Computer Science is Elementary (CSE) Mentorship Program, the 2022 Future Ready Iowa STEM Summit, Iowa STEM Scale-Up, and the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Program.

“I am proud of the partnership between Google and the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and Google’s commitment to preparing our students for a better tomorrow,” said Governor Kim Reynolds, in the release. “Public-private partnerships are so critical if we expect our future workforce to have the skills needed for high-demand jobs in our state. Through Google’s investment, they realize the value and importance of STEM education in our schools and the access our students will have to hands-on, advanced technology which will ultimately prepare them to be successful and career ready.”

The Google Coding Carnival at the Iowa State Fair will help ground students in how computer science skills can impact the industries in their backyard such as agriculture, wildlife, healthcare and sports.

According to the release, Google is looking to showcase the great work that has been done in partnership with the state, while looking towards what more we can do together in the future. The Google Coding Carnival will be open throughout the 10-day run of the fair and located in a tent on the lawn next to the Jacobson Center. Through interactive games like Corn Catcher and Cookie Scoop, students and fairgoers will have the chance to build code and solve brain teasers for a chance to win prizes.

Games in the Coding Carnival tent include:

  • Arcade coding games
  • Impossibly Possible computer science gallery
  • 4-H + Google Problem Solving Puzzles
  • Google prize center

“Google has been committed to helping Iowa grow since we first broke ground in 2007,” said Dan Harbeke, Head of Public Policy and External Affairs at Google in Council Bluffs, in the release. “We know education is the foundation of a highly-skilled workforce and vibrant communities, and we are doubling down on our efforts to provide access to computer science education that will not only prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, but also help us retain them here in Iowa.”