DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa State University has named East High School the Best Des Moines High School for its STEM program.
“Science Bound” is a pre-college program for minority students in the DMPS district.
East High Science Teacher Nikki Door said, “It allows students, specifically minority students, the opportunity to pursue a STEM career in college and a career afterwards. It’s a program that you get picked in seventh grade by your science teachers.”
Students selected for the program need to maintain a 75 percent attendance record for all activities, and keep a 3.0 GPA all four years in high school.
Students who make it in the program through senior year of high school will receive free tuition to Iowa State University earning a STEM related degree.
"They do different projects: career projects, science fairs, oral justification. Basically, they present their case as to why they should continue into the program,” Door said.
There are 70 students at East High in the program.
East High School Senior Kimberly DeAvila Sanchez said she was chosen in seventh grade.
“It’s an amazing opportunity. You don’t just get that out of nowhere. It’s crazy to think about college in middle school, but if you know what you want to do and if you have your mind set on a certain goal than you will do whatever in order to accomplish that goal,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez recently was accepted to Iowa State University and plans to study pre-vet med, hoping to be a veterinarian one day.
East High School Senior Elizabeth Flores said the program is life changing.
“To be honest I wouldn’t be so invested into my college plans as I am now. It’s just been a huge part of my academics and what I want to do in the future,” Flores said.
Flores recently was accepted to Iowa State University and plans to study medicine.
There are currently fifteen seniors in “Science Bound” at East High School.