2018 STEM BEST® Program Application

A priority for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for 2018-2019 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models, known as Iowa STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program referenced throughout the application materials as STEM BEST® Program. A total of 37 STEM BEST® Program models have been established in Iowa over four years. These programs are now creating new excitement around the state as roles and responsibilities for meaningful activities are created and refined in the K-12 educational area. Further details on these awarded programs can be found at http://www.IowaSTEM.gov/STEMBEST.

The goal of STEM BEST® Program is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers. The STEM Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to support the establishment of Iowa STEM BEST® Program models, preferably evenly distributed across each of Iowa’s six STEM regions. Successful applicants will become an Iowa STEM BEST® Program model of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

A hallmark of Iowa STEM education is the connection of classroom learning to meaning beyond the school walls. Overarching guidelines are provided to assist proposers, though ample flexibility in design is encouraged to support organic development of STEM BEST® Programs which match local strengths, challenges and resources. STEM BEST® Program models are open to K-12 applicants. Past STEM BEST® Program award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs.


  1. Applications for STEM BEST® 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 programs.
  2. For those applicants who have previously been awarded a STEM BEST® Program grant, or intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® Program awardee, please note that there is a required extra section in the Proposal Elements that must be completed as part of the submission process.
  3. There is an additional required section for those previously-awarded that are making re-application. 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.
  4. There is a distinction made between programs making re-application for additional partners, and programs making a distinctly different application by a previously awarded district. For example, a previously awarded high school program in a district now applying for a separate elementary program, not engaged with the earlier awardee.

Grant Funding: Up to $25,000

An applicant is required to provide a 1:1 match, up to $25,000. The match may be either cash or in-kind support. The match may be contributed by the applicant or a community partner. To be eligible as match, the cash or in-kind contribution must be provided during the funding period of the STEM BEST® Program grant.

Deadline to Apply: September 12, 2018, 5:00 p.m.

Funding Period: Award notice date, to June 30, 2019

Grants must be fully expended by June 30, 2019

Reporting: A progress report is due January 31, 2019, and June 30, 2019.

For the purpose of monitoring program elements and determining any new strategies that will further grow the Iowa STEM model, successful applicants are required to submit a final report June 30, 2020.


  • Early June 2018: Application portal opens
  • September 12, 2018: Application due
  • September 24 - October 12, 2018: Application review
  • October 25, 2018: Awards announced
  • October 25, 2018 - June 30, 2019: STEM BEST® Program planning and implementation
  • January 15, 2019: Progress Report 1
  • June 30, 2019: Progress Report 2 and invoice must be submitted to:
    • Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Attn: Kari Britain, 214 East Bartlett Hall, Cedar Falls, IA 50614
  • June 30, 2020: Final Report