2017 Iowa STEM BEST® Model Proposals

A priority for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for 2017-2018 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models, known as Iowa STEM Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers (BEST®). A total of 18 Iowa STEM BEST models have been established over three years that are now on the developmental spectrum.

The overarching goal of STEM BEST is to unite the expertise of educators and employers to strengthen the continuum from school to careers. The STEM Council has designated a portion of the state legislative funding to support the establishment of up to 15 new Iowa STEM BEST models, preferably evenly distributed across each of Iowa’s six STEM regions. Awarded applicants will become an Iowa STEM BEST model of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and receive $25,000 to be matched 1:1 with local cost-share. The funding period is from October 2017 to June 2018.



All Iowa public and non-public school districts and buildings serving students in any of grades K-12 are eligible to apply. Clusters of schools and/or districts are encouraged. Past STEM BEST award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs.


The STEM Council has committed $25,000 each for up to 15 innovative STEM BEST model proposals with a required 1:1 match. A matching investment of $25,000 in new funding or as in-kind support is required of the applicant. Match and in-kind may be contributed by both the awardee school as well as employer partners (examples can be found in the RFP). Awarded funds must be fully expended in FY2018 (by June 30, 2018).


  • Page Limit: 9 (Page limit does not include cover or commitment letters)
  • Spacing: Single-spaced
  • Margins: Minimum of 1-inch margins
  • Proposal Components:
  • A singular proposal for the school or district or cluster must provide:
    • Cover Form (with each superintendent's signature)
    • Description of community, district(s) and school(s) demographics (1 page)
    • Description of current STEM education in applying school(s) or district(s) (1 page)
  • Statement of school/district/cluster goals for the planning year (October 2017 to June 2018) and for the year that follows (2018-19 school year) (1 page)
  • Narrative plan to implement elements #1-7 as described below (6 pages)
  • Commitment Letters explicitly defining the role of... (not included in page count):     
    • Area Business Partner(s)
    • Higher Education Partner(s)
    • Other relevant contributors: Community, Extension, Nonprofit, etc.


  • May 24, 2017 — Request for Proposal Release
  • June 21, 2017 — Numerous established STEM BEST models will present at the Fast-Track Iowa’s Future conference.
  • September 15, 2017, 5:00 p.m. (CT) — Proposal DUE
  • September to October 12, 2017 — Proposal Review
  • October 23, 2017 — Award Recipients Announced
  • Winter/Spring 2017-18 — STEM BEST—Program Planning, Implementation
  • Summer 2018 — Self-Assessment and Fall Planning


Follow this link to see frequently asked questions. Don't see an answer in the list that you need? Send the question to us directly at Info@IowaSTEM.gov.

To help guide the expectations for this proposal, please view the following example STEM BEST proposals of successful awardees:


Click here to download the FULL proposal.


Submit your proposal by September 15, 2017 at 5:00 P.M. (Central Standard Time) by filling out the information below and uploading your proposal to our server. Once you hit submit, you will receive a confirmation e-mail of your submission that you we highly recommend you print for your records. If you do not receive this e-mail, please call 319-273-2959.