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John Deere Foundation Awards $100,000 To Help Iowa Teachers

CEDAR FALLS -- The John Deere Foundation has approved a grant of $100,000 to support Real World Externships for Teachers of Mathematics, Science and Technology, a program operated by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Now in its fifth year, the Real World Externships Program matches mathematics, science and technology teachers with Iowa businesses for six weeks during the summer, allowing teachers to work side-by-side with their businessworld counterparts and learn how mathematics, science and technology are used in the workplace. The funds awarded by the John Deere Foundation will support eight educators in Deere locations during the summers of 2013 and 2014. This partnership will allow teachers to take back to the classroom industry insights for targeted lessons and more inspired students.

“The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is appreciative of the leadership and support the John Deere Foundation is providing to ensure high-quality STEM opportunities,” said Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “It is inspiring to see a world-class Iowa business supporting a world-class Iowa education and its educators.”

“The John Deere Foundation has set a powerful example of private-sector partnership in education solutions by investing in Iowa's STEM initiative,” said Jeff Weld, executive director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “We are grateful for their investment in Real World Externships, allowing teachers first-hand knowledge they might not otherwise experience.”

"Strengthening youth education in Deere’s home communities is a priority for the John Deere Foundation,” said Mara Sovey, president of the John Deere Foundation. “Through our support of Real World Externships and other STEM initiatives, we welcome the chance to partner with other public and private stakeholders to enhance the competitiveness of our communities in a global economy increasingly dependent upon STEM talent.”

The nationally-recognized program, which up to this year has been funded thorough a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa businesses partners, will place 57 mathematics, science and technology teachers in 41 businesses and organizations across the state this summer.

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