Iowa STEM BEST Application Available!

A priority for the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council for 2018-2019 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM education models that unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers.  Known as Iowa STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers), these programs are now generating new excitement around the state as meaningful activities and experiences are created and refined in the K-12 educational area. Further details on these awarded programs can be found at


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® models are open to K-12 applicants. Past STEM BEST® award recipients are eligible to apply for expanding current programs.



  1. Applications for STEM BEST® 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 community partners.
  2. For those applicants who have previously been awarded a STEM BEST® grant, or intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® awardee, please note that there is a required extra section in the proposal 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® grant.

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

Grants must be fully expended by June 30, 2019


  • Early June 2018: Application portal opens
  • September 12, 2018: Application due
  • September 17 - October 12, 2018: Application review
  • October 25, 2018: Awards announced
  • June 30, 2019: Award must be fully expended

The application portal will open in Early June but applicants may get a head start on the application process by reviewing the required application questions here.