Innovation Fund Application Opens September 4

Youth take part in STEM Scale-Up Program
The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is launching a statewide Innovation Fund to serve as an incubator for new STEM Scale-Up programming.

A goal of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council is to support research-based STEM education proven to promote, inspire and engage youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities and to introduce youth and their parents to careers through STEM.

In support of that goal, the Iowa STEM Council is launching a statewide Innovation Fund, a financial resource available to organizations with ideas for innovative STEM programs that show promise for supporting the goal. The intention of this fund is not to support past or current STEM Scale-Up programs with additional resources, but rather to serve as an incubator for new STEM Scale-Up programming. Programs wishing to be selected for the Iowa STEM Scale-Up program menu will be evaluated through the STEMworks database at https://cte_rating.wested.org/how-it-works/ia.php.

Beginning September 4, the Iowa STEM Council invites applications for ideas that will have an impact upon Iowans locally, regionally and potentially on a statewide level. The Iowa STEM Council will not fund marketing or promotional campaigns for commercial products or services, nor will it fund policy advocacy activities.

Estimated Funding

Awards will range from $500 (minimum) up to a maximum of $10,000 per award. Applicants must provide a 10% cash match. All programs funded must be completed within one calendar year of the award date with a final report due at the end of the award period. A reporting template will be provided. Funding will be provided on a cost reimbursement basis. The Iowa STEM Council reserves the right to determine the number of awards made based on the quality of applications and availability of funds.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations eligible to apply for the STEM Innovation Fund are Iowa’s public and private educational institutions, home school associations, area education associations and Iowa-registered non-profits. Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible to apply—though those groups may be partners in the work conducted by the award recipient. Though for-profit businesses do not meet the eligibility to apply, they are encouraged to be a part of a partnership program which would be submitted by an eligible entity on behalf of all of the partners.

The following are examples of ideas for Innovation Funds:

  1. School competitions
  2. Summer camps
  3. Educator/volunteer professional development
  4. A "student STEM corp"
  5. Pre-service educator support - conferences, etc.
  6. Higher ed. + K-12 minglings
  7. Parent engagement
  8. Work-based exposures, working with business
  9. Mentoring system
  10. STEM events
  11. Networking opportunities
  12. Curriculum development or STEM activity design and pilot
  13. After school programs
  14. Programming for underserved students

More information about the Innovation Fund, contact Southeast Regional STEM Manager Kristine Bullock at kristine-bullock@uiowa.edu.

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