Joint Press Release – from mid January 2016


Iowa Innovation Learning Center Closes, Imagination Iowa Continues STEAM Programming

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Dec. 31, 2015)

For years, the Iowa Innovation Learning Center (formerly the CR Science Center) provided leadership in STEM-based education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through camps, classes, and outreach programs as a nonprofit, community-supported educational resource. Over the years, patrons continued to support educational programming while support for sustaining brick and mortar operations declined. Accordingly, operations at the Iowa Innovation Learning Center ended in November 2015.

To ensure that our community continues to be served with quality STEM programming and opportunities, Imagination Iowa, the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) initiative of the Iowa Startup Accelerator, will offer summer camps starting in 2016.

It was essential for an organization with a strong commitment to an educational vision to make these opportunities available to the community. Combining proven programs with the innovative resources of the new parent organization ensures that quality STEAM-focused events will continue for years to come as a new future begins.

For more information on upcoming activities and programs, at ImaginationIowa.com

For inquiries about IILC, contact Randy Bachman, Director@IowaILC.org .


Imagination Iowa Expands PreK-12 STEAM Programs, Starts Summer Camp Series

Cedar Rapids, IA – January 8, 2016

Imagination Iowa, an initiative of Iowa Startup Accelerator, is expanding its staff and launching a new summer camp series for kids.

“We’ve run CoderDojo, our coding camps for kids, every two weeks for the past two years,” David Tominsky, Program Manager for ISA, said. “Now, we’re looking to grow our STEAM programs aggressively in 2016 in order to fill some holes in the market.”

Recently, with the closing of the Iowa Innovation Learning Center, Imagination Iowa has been fortunate to receive their camp materials to complement its already high-tech coding and creative play arsenal. Those materials will form the foundation for a new summer camp series, planned for June and July 2016.

“There are lots of summer camp options in Cedar Rapids already,” Tominsky adds. “We want to add a strong emphasis on coding, engineering, the arts, math, and entrepreneurship which are the critical skills kids need in our community and for their future.”

Registration for the camps is expected to open in early February.

Randy Bachman, Executive Director at the Iowa Innovation Learning Center, is excited that some of the most important work of the organization has a long-term future. “The mission of IILC was geared toward the importance of STEM education for kids. Imagination Iowa will carry that mission forward and take it in exciting new directions,” he said.

Imagination Iowa is ISA’s nonprofit’s preK-12 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) initiative. The organization is seeking a STEAM Program Director to lead the new camps and other projects. Until now, Imagination Iowa has run purely on volunteers.

Jessalyn Holdcraft, ISA Marketing & Communications Coordinator added, “The demand for hands-on, experiential learning for Iowa’s next generation of entrepreneurs, creatives, and engineers is so strong that that we wanted to invest big on these educational programs.”

About Imagination Iowa, an initiative of Iowa Startup Accelerator

Imagination Iowa is a preK-12 STEAM program that encourages creativity, fosters entrepreneurship, and helps kids learn how to code. It started as a CoderDojo chapter in April 2014, then added an Imagination Foundation chapter in November 2014 and a Google CS First chapter in March 2015.

Learn more at imaginationiowa.com

Media Contact: Jessalyn Holdcraft, Marketing & Communications Coordinator; jessalyn@iowastartupaccelerator.com