INWOOD, Iowa – A graduate of Northeast Community College has been named a recipient of the 2023 Iowa STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Teacher Award. Shane Peterson, 8-12 industrial technology instructor at West Lyon Community School District in Inwood, Iowa, is one of six Iowa educators who have gone above and beyond to inspire student interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Now in its ninth year, the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council award is presented annually to one full-time, licensed preK-12 teacher from each of six STEM regions in Iowa. Each recipient is honored for their efforts to foster enthusiasm and inspire a passion for STEM that goes beyond the classroom and helps prepare students for future high-demand careers.
Peterson was recognized for his efforts in expanding the industrial technology program at West Lyon Community School District and transforming the program from a basic woodworking program to an impactful STEM program over his 10 years at the school.
In his nomination for the award, Peterson’s students describe him as someone who encourages them to think creatively, goes above and beyond for the industrial technology program, and someone who has nurtured his students’ confidence in their futures. His principal noted that in addition to acquiring new technology, encouraging more female students to take interest in industrial technology and bringing in industry speakers to his classroom, Peterson has received over $200,000 in grants for his classroom.
Peterson finds opportunities for his curriculum to connect with the community and STEM-focused business partners. His students are currently collaborating with the local daycare to build a storage shed for their facility, partnering with a local nursing home to develop and prepare birdhouse activity kits, completing Ford technician training modules, and working with a local production facility to create prototypes using 3D printing and modeling software—all opportunities for students to gain valuable learning experiences while connecting to their community.
As a recipient of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, presented by Kemin Industries, Peterson has received $1,500 to use for his classroom and $1,500 for personal use. He recently received his award during a celebration at his school. All recipients will be recognized in a ceremony during STEM Day at the Fair at the Iowa State Fair this summer.
Peterson, originally from Norfolk, graduated from Norfolk Senior High School. He earned his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Drafting and then went on to Wayne State to complete his bachelor’s degree prior to becoming an industrial technology instructor.
The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is a public-private partnership of educators, companies and Iowa students and families addressing policies and programs designed to improve Iowa’s educational system focused on STEM. The STEM Council works to engage and prepare students for a career-ready workforce path, regain our state’s historic leadership position in education and provide a vital competitive economic advantage now, and for the future, to ensure that every Iowa student has access to world-class STEM education opportunities.
PHOTO ID: Shane Peterson. (Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council)