2020 STEM BEST® Program Application With New Timeline

Click on the button below to apply for the 2020-2021 STEM BEST® Program!

A priority for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council for 2020-2021 is to expand the community of innovative, replicable STEM work-based learning models, known as Iowa STEM BEST® (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program. A total of 63 STEM BEST® Programs have been awarded throughout Iowa. 

The goal of STEM BEST® Program is to unite educators and employers to expand the learning continuum from school to careers. Overarching guidelines are provided to assist proposers. These guidelines allow for ample flexibility in design to encourage and support organic development of STEM BEST® Programs which match local strengths, challenges and resources.


February 10, 2020: Application portal opens

February-March: Five Part Informational Webinar Series 
          Session 1: "Work-based learning and STEM BEST®: What is it and why do I need it?" - February 12, 3:30 PM - Access recording HERE
          Session 2: " Tips to building partnerships with local business and industry." - February 24, 3:30 PM - Access recording HERE
          Session 3: "Grant writing 101" - March 5, 3:30 PM - Access recording HERE
          Session 4: "Cost-Share: What is it and how do I plan for it." - March 10, 3:30 PM - Access recording HERE
          Session 5: "How to navigate the online database for application submission." - Postponed - Recording will be posted at a later date.

May 15, 2020: Application due

May 23, 2020: June 21, 2020: Application Review

July 2020: Awards Announced

August 1, 2020 - June 15, 2021: STEM BEST Program Plannin and Implementation

January 30, 2021: Progress Report 1 Due

May 31, 2021: Progress Report 2 and final invoice must be submitted to:

Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Attn: Program Manager, 214 East Bartlett Hall, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614

June 30, 2022: Final Report Due


  • 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 other identified partners.
  • For those applicants who have previously received a STEM BEST® Program award or who intend to connect to a past STEM BEST® Program awardee, please note that there is an additional required section in the proposal form that must be completed as part of the submission process. 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.
  • There is a distinction made between programs making re-application for additional partners and programs making a distinctly different application apart from a previously awarded district. For example, a district that has a previously awarded high school program may now apply for a separate elementary program which is not engaged with the earlier awarded program.


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



"Work-based learning and STEM BEST" from February 12, 2020

 "Tips to building partnerships with local business and industry." from February 24, 2020

"Grant writing 101" from March 5, 2020

 "Cost-Share: What is it and how do I plan for it." from March 10, 2020


Please contact hunt@IowaSTEM.gov for additional information.

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