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ITEST Grants (National Science Foundation)

The Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program promotes prekindergarten through grade 12 students interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. To do this, ITEST supports the development, implementation, and selective spread of innovative strategies for engaging students in experiences that: (1) increase students’ awareness of STEM occupations; (2) motivate students to pursue the appropriate education pathways for STEM occupations; and (3) develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, or promote critical thinking, reasoning, or communication skills needed for entering STEM workforce sectors.

ITEST projects may adopt an interdisciplinary focus on one or more STEM domains or focus on subdiscipline(s) within a domain. ITEST projects must involve students, and may also include teachers. ITEST is especially interested in broadening participation of student groups from traditionally underrepresented in STEM and related education and workforce domains.

Strongly encouraged are projects that actively engage business and industry to better ensure prekindergarten through grade 12 experiences are likely to foster the skill sets of emerging STEM careers. ITEST supports three project types: Exploratory, Strategies, and Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination (SPrEaD) projects. Exploratory projects advance theory or examine associations among malleable factors that influence learning, moderating conditions, and educational outcomes. Strategies projects address the initial design, development, and implementation of innovative technology-related interventions. SPrEaD projects support the further examination and broader implementation of interventions that have demonstrated evidence of impact.

Partnerships with prekindergarten through grade 12 schools, two- and four-year colleges, universities, informal science education institutions, government laboratories, or community-based organizations are encouraged along with business and industry partners that support, inform, and cultivate students’ career awareness and interests. These partnerships can provide opportunities for career exploration and mentoring, interactions with technology and STEM professionals, and workplace applications of technology skills. Projects that expand and extend notions of learning environments, and where learning STEM-related skills are taking place, are also encouraged.

Eligibility: Charter, Public, Private, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations)

Award: Exploratory grants of up to $400,000 with durations of up to two years. Strategies grants up to $1.2 million with durations up to three years are awarded. SPrEaD grants up to $2 million with durations of three to five years are awarded.

Deadline: Full proposals are due the second Wednesday in August, annually.


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