2021-2022 STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application

The Scale-Up Program of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, a signature investment of state and private funds in students and educators with ample accumulated evidence of effect. The Council’s intention is to bring top STEM education opportunities to all learners, especially those historically underserved. The intent is to seed, jumpstart or expand little-known and exemplary programs proven to inspire and educate PreK-12 students, enabling educational organizations to sustain beyond the Council’s trial investment.    

For the 2021-2022 academic year the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council is seeking program providers for the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program. If you are interested in providing STEM programming in Iowa and would like to be considered for this initiative, please apply through our application portal when it opens on August 17, 2020.

Summary of important dates and deadlines:

  • August 17, 2020: Request for Proposals posted and disseminated.
  • Week of September 9, 2020: Webinar for interested STEM program providers.
  • October 5, 2020: Proposal submission deadline.
  • October 5 - November 9, 2020: Review period.
  • December 7, 2020: Proposers notified.
  • January 2021: Selected Program Providers collaborate with STEM Council network administrators to prepare materials for the educator application phase.
  • February - April 2021: Programs marketed to Iowa educators.
  • April 2021: Regional STEM Advisory Boards determine awardee educators.
  • May 2021: Program Providers introduced to awarded educators to begin planning.
  • Summer 2021: Training, professional development in preparation for program implementation academic year 2021-2022.

Eligible applicants

STEM programs that serve PreK-12 grade audiences in or out of school with the capacity to deliver professional development/training and materials in Iowa are eligible for the STEM Scale-Up Program. Professional development/training is appropriate for Iowa STEM Scale-Up Programs when preparing an educator to implement a student kit, curriculum, activity, lesson or new course of study in STEM.

Process Overview

The Iowa STEM Scale-up process has three stages:

  1. Iowa reviewers selected and trained by the STEM Advisory Council review programs against the Iowa Scale-Up RFP Rubric to assess their readiness to go to scale in Iowa.
  2. Programs selected for scale-up in Iowa are offered to educators across the state in spring of 2021. Educators apply to bring the program(s) to their students over the 2021/2022 academic year. Implementation training will occur in summer, 2021. Rare exceptions may be made for training in summer, 2022.
  3. Advisory boards in each of six STEM regions in Iowa determine which of the Scale-Up educator applications they will award in their regions. Not all eligible programs are equally implemented in all six regions of Iowa.

Programs that were selected for Iowa Scale-Up for the 2020/2021 or any past year must submit a complete proposal again to be considered for 2021/2022 Scale-Up eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Provider Request for Proposals (RFP) open?

The application period is open from August 17 to October 5, 2020. CLICK HERE for a copy of the application.

Where can I find the Iowa STEM Scale-Up RFP rubric?

CLICK HERE for a copy of the application rubric used by evaluators to assess program proposals. The RFP application portal will open August 17, 2020.

What is the amount of available funds?

Typically, 10 to 12 programs are selected for scaling across Iowa every year. The legislature supports the STEM Scale-Up Program at just over $3 million total for FY2020. That amount may vary year to year. Single program provider funding through the STEM Council across six regions can reach six figures, depending upon how many educators select the program from the menu and how many educators who select the program are awarded the program by the regional advisory boards. Numerous factors influence total funds to providers, including marketing effectiveness, alignment with educators' goals and standards, number of educator applications across programs at the regional level, and so on. There is no assurance by the STEM Council that any program will be scaled by any educators. It is market driven.

Can we submit proposals for multiple programs in the same cycle?

Yes. In fact, we require separate, independent proposals of deliverable education programs, as opposed to a "blanket" proposal that covers multiple discrete, deliverable programs.

Can we get some pointers on what you expect for rigorous evaluation?

The webinar will include information regarding evaluation. Essentially, the rubric contains information about what is considered for each section of the proposal. Reviewers will be looking for strong evidence that programs meet the criteria listed in the application. Show evidence, rather than telling about it, and be as clear and concise as possible.

I have more questions. Who should I contact? 

For more information on the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program, please reach out to Dr. Sarah Derry, South Central Regional Manager, who coordinates this function for the STEM Council. Questions directed to and answered by Dr. Derry will be made public on this page on Monday, September 28, after which no further questions will be accepted for response.
For other questions or technical assistance with your application, please contact info@iowastem.org

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