Google will give a $150,000 grant to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and hold a hands-on Coding Carnival at the Iowa State Fair to help promote computer science education in Iowa, the company announced Tuesday.

The grant will help support the STEM Advisory Council’s mission to increase awareness, achievement and interest in STEM education with students in Iowa.

There are projected to be more than a half-million new STEM job opportunities in the U.S. by 2029, including some 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 Mentorship Program, the 2022 Future Ready Iowa STEM Summit, Iowa STEM Scale-Up and the Iowa STEM Teacher Externship Program. Not only will these students benefit from the economic opportunity from developing these skills, they will be directly shaping the future, a press release from Google stated.

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“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,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the press 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, the press release stated.

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:

Impossibly Possible computer science gallery

4-H + Google Problem Solving Puzzles

“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. “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.”

Google has called Iowa home for more than a decade and its first data center in Council Bluffs came online in 2009. Since then, Google has invested more than $5 billion in Iowa and established a long-term commitment to the state. Google has created jobs for more than 900 people at its Iowa facility and has awarded more than $3 million to local schools and nonprofits in Iowa.


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