STEM award will allow Johnston to launch new EMT course

New EMT Course 2JOHNSTON, Iowa (Feb. 23, 2022) — The Johnston Community School District is one of 38 school districts that will receive STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) H.D. Program grants, to help prepare students to enter job sectors that are in high demand.

The awards were announced this week by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, after its executive committee reviewed and approved of 38 new or expanded partnerships supported by up to $40,000 each.

Johnston’s program will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about becoming emergency medical technicians (EMTs), a health care profession that’s in high demand. Under the program, Johnston High School will offer a new semester-long EMT elective course for seniors that’s a partnership between the Johnston community schools, Dallas Center-Grimes community schools, Des Moines Area Community College and the Johnston-Grimes Fire Department. The class is expected to be offered in fall 2022 and spring 2023.

“What should students expect in this unique new class?” asked Jyll Johnson Miner, Johnston’s career technical education/related arts postsecondary education learning coordinator. “In addition to attending class at Johnston High School, students should anticipate experiencing 12 hours of ambulance ride time, 24 hours in an emergency room, and approximately 10 hours per week of classroom work. These hours typically happen outside the normal school day.”

The STEM BEST H.D. Program is the result of a special appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to expand effort efforts on job sectors that are in high demand. It is designed to prepare students for the workforce through curriculum focused on skills needed in job sectors such as computer science/information technology, healthcare professions and advanced manufacturing.

The program will help build partnerships between schools and businesses, allowing educators and industry professionals to work together to develop curriculum and projects that prepare students for careers in these high-demand fields.

Compared to the traditional STEM BEST Program, STEM BEST H.D. offers a higher grant amount and a lower cost-share requirement for applicants. The awards can be used for facility upgrades, equipment, time for program planning with partners, travel needs or integrating curriculum into existing courses.

For more information on the STEM BEST H.D. Program, visit