Beth Dykstra VanMeeteren is a 24-year-veteran early childhood teacher who now serves as director of the Iowa Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education housed at the University of Northern Iowa. In addition to serving as director, she holds the position of associate professor and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, early childhood, and science education. Her area of research is in early STEM education grounded in the child’s interest in the natural and designed world, and the synergy among STEM and literacy learning. VanMeeteren designs and delivers professional learning in early STEM, and is editor of the "STEM For Our Youngest Learners Series" published by Teachers College Press. She has served as a keynote speaker on early STEM at both national and international conferences. VanMeeteren is a charter member of the Early Childhood Science Interest Forum, a 21st Century Fellow at ITEEA-FTEE-CTETE, and serves as advisor for FIRST LEGO Discovery.