STEM BEST Design Day and mini sessions coming soon in October


Iowa STEM, in partnership with the Iowa AEAs, is working together to provide six mini-sessions from October through early November or a one-day session to share information and design support to help local school districts in applying for the next round of STEM Business Engaging Students and Teachers (BEST) Awards.

The STEM Council is working to dramatically expand STEM Business Engaging Students and Teachers (BEST) via a request for proposals. The goal of the STEM BEST fund is to support the launch of new or expanded STEM BEST K-12 models and create work-based learning opportunities that allow students to develop future-focused, high-demand skills through authentic real-world experiences. The STEM BEST offers include:

1.    Award amounts up to $40,000.

2.    The timeframe for expenditure is 17 months – February 2024 to June 2025.

3.    Cost-share requirement is 2:1 match required, or $40,000 state to $20,000 awardee.

See more information about STEM BEST below, explore the website, or view the flyer with the dates and Zoom RSVPs linked on the PDF. We also encourage you to reach out to your local AEA to connect to resources, ideas, and support when planning your STEM BEST.

Application and program timeline:

  • October 2, 2023: Application portal opens
  • December 13, 2023: Application due by 11:59 pm
  • December 2023 – January 2024: Application Review
  • February 2024: Awards Announced
  • February 2024 – May 2025: STEM BEST Program Planning and Implementation
  • May 15, 2025: Progress Report 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
  • May 15, 2026: Final Report Due

Reach out to Chuck Buseman, Authentic Learning Coordinator, or Laura Williams, Iowa Authentic Learning Network Facilitator, if you have any questions.