This year, the Iowa Legislature authorized a special appropriation to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council channeled through the Iowa Economic Development Authority expressly to expand the Council’s STEM BEST® (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) Program. Eighty such partnerships are now flourishing across Iowa, each sharing a common goal of connecting classrooms to commerce in the community. A new Request for Proposals is soon to come, designed to connect teachers and learners to the most high-demand job sectors. Thus, the opportunity is dubbed the STEM BEST H.D. (High Demand) Program.
This special RFP differs from the traditional STEM BEST Program opportunity offered next Spring in three significant ways:
- The grant amount is increased from $25,000 to up to $40,000.
- The timeframe for expenditure is 19 months – February 2021 to August of 2023 (an increase compared to 10 months, traditionally).
- The cost-share requirement of applicants is reduced from a 1:1 match to a 2:1 match, thus for a $40,000 grant the cost-share expected from the awardee would be $20,000..
The goal of this STEM BEST H.D. Program fund is to support the launch of up to 20 new or expanded STEM BEST Program K-12 models specifically focused on high-demand job sectors of (a) technology, which includes computer science and information technology; (b) health-related fields or (c) advanced manufacturing school+business partnerships (Iowa: Education and Workforce Trends Through 2025, luminafoundation.org/files/resources/iowa-workfrce-2025.pdf). Both new applicants and past awardees in good standing are invited to compete for these funds.
Interested in exploring this opportunity? Connect with Project Coordinator Tanya Hunt for more information at Hunt@IowaSTEM.org.