STEM BEST® HD (HIGH DEMAND) PROGRAM

STEM BEST® HD logo image that shows students working in computer science, health professions, and advanced manufacturing.

WHAT IS THE STEM BEST® HD PROGRAM?

The Iowa Legislature in 2021 authorized a special appropriation to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council to dramatically expand the STEM BEST® (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) Program via a Request for Proposals in the most high-need and high-demand job sectors. The STEM BEST® HD (High Demand) Program is designed to prepare students for the workforce by providing awards of up to $40,000 to develop curriculum in job sectors of computer science/information technology, health professions and advanced manufacturing. 

HOW DOES THE STEM BEST® HD PROGRAM DIFFER FROM OTHER PROGRAMS?

This special RFP differs from the traditional STEM BEST in three significant ways:

  1. The grant amount is considerably higher, providing up to $40,000 in funding
  2. The STEM BEST® HD timeline is 19 months long (February 2022 - August 2023)
  3. STEM BEST® HD has a lower cost-share requirement (2:1)

WHAT CAN FUNDS BE USED FOR?

  • Facility Upgrades
  • Purchase of Industry Grade Equipment
  • Acquiring Additional Space
  • Time For Program Planning with Partners
  • Travel Needs
  • Integrating Curriculum into Existing Courses

APPLICATION AND PROGRAM TIMELINE

October 18, 2021: Application portal opens
January 3, 2022: Application due by 11:59pm
January-February 2022: Application Review
Early February 2022: Awards Announced
February 2022 - August 2023: STEM BEST Program Planning and Implementation

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Applications for STEM BEST® H.D. Program must be submitted by Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in grades K-12. Clusters of schools and/or districts are encouraged to apply. This requirement then verifies that the submitting entity will be the responsible fiscal agent. The application must also contain evidence of the roles assumed by the partnering school/districts and other identified partners.

Different school buildings within an Iowa district may submit an independent STEM BEST H.D. proposal in the same proposal period. Individual school buildings may not submit more than one proposal in the same proposal period, unless one is for school-specific BEST H.D. creation and another is part of a multi-district consortium. In instances where this policy does not apply, please contact the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, info@IowaSTEM.org

For those applicants who have previously received a STEM BEST® Program award or who intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® Program awardee, please note that there is an additional required section in the proposal form that must be completed as part of the submission process for STEM BEST® H.D. This section will be thoroughly reviewed to determine merits of the expanded program model with regards to student engagement, specific measurable outcomes and elements of financial need.

RESOURCES

STEM BEST APPLICATION:

DEVELOPING YOUR PROPOSAL:

PARTNERSHIPS AND COST-SHARE: