Jacobson Institute

The Jacobson Institute

The Institute’s STEM Innovator® and BizInnovator programs continue to grow, reaching high school teachers and students across Iowa and the nation. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have teachers actively using our programs. STEM Innovator® and BizInnovator teachers in 25 states are certified to offer University of Iowa college credit.

Through professional development, curriculum resources and assessment tools, STEM Innovator® and BizInnovator provide teachers with the concepts and modern methodologies they need to infuse innovation, invention and entrepreneurship into their classrooms. Through these teachers, the Jacobson Institute has an impact on students, equipping them with the skills needed to be college and career ready.

View Full 2018 Annual Report

FY 2018 Impact


Students received college credit

Since 2014

Seed capital awarded

Since 2002

Teachers certified

in FY 2018

STEM Innovator Ed Camp

The Jacobson Institute hosted the inaugural STEM Innovator® Ed Camp for teachers in July 2017 at the niversity of Iowa’s Kirkwood Regional Center. Nearly 50 teachers from 23 Iowa schools attended the advanced professional development program. Participants further developed their innovation models and networked with peers, University STEM experts and community partners. Highlights included a workshop by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, a valued Jacobson Institute partner, and an evening reception celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jacobson Institute’s endowment.


Britany Flockhart (Student)

Flockhart’s entrepreneurial journey began in the classroom when she took Engineering the Future with Courtney Giesel, a STEM Innovator® Certified Instructor at Keokuk High School. Giesel uses the STEM Innovator® toolkit to teach innovation, problem solving, and collaboration. In the class, Flockhart – a hunter herself – invented a device to help hunters field-dress a deer. Final class assignment was to apply to the Jacobson Institute’s spring 2018 Innovator Competition. Flockhart practiced her pitch in front of classmates, the Keokuk high school principal and the City Council. Her hard work paid off. Flockhart won first place in the competition and was awarded $1,500 in seed money. “The course helped me gain a passion and confidence,” she said.

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Dawn Dawkins (Teacher)

Dawkins leads an innovative application of STEM Innovator® in Columbus, Miss. Dawkins is a STEM Innovator® Certified Instructor and lead teacher of Heritage Academy’s STEM innovation model. Heritage offers an extensive STEM program that stretches from elementary to high school. Heritage students begin with STEM units in grades 3-6 and then advance through STEM-focused courses that build upon each other until graduation. Along the way, students have a chance to work on real-world problems and participate in innovation challenges for prizes. “As a whole, the community benefits because of the increased problem-solving ability and contribution these students will be able to offer,” she said.

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