STEM Scale-up
Application Closed

STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application

The program provider application window is closed for the 2024-25 school year. The opportunity to apply for the 2025-26 school year will open Aug. 5, 2024. 

Each year, Iowa STEM seeks prospective program providers to offer STEM Scale-Up programs. Through an application and selection process, program providers offer evidence-based STEM programs for Iowa STEM Scale-Up educators to use in their classrooms.

STEM Scale-Up programs align with Iowa STEM’s strategic priorities on workforce needs in agricultural science, computational thinking, early learning, ecology and energy education, mathematics, STEM and arts integration, STEM careers, integration into existing curriculum and transdisciplinary learning.  

STEM Scale-Up uses a combination of state and private funds to invest in evidence-based STEM programs for Iowa schools. The intent of the program is to develop or expand exemplary STEM programs that have future sustainability and the power to inspire and educate PK-12 students.

The following documents are from the 2024-25 STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application opportunity and are provided for planning purposes and may change before the 2025-26 application opens in August 2024.

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Steps for Completing a STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application

  1. Ensure you have an account in
  2. First-time users will need to set up an account in IowaGrants. See Login Instructions. Note: It can take up to three business days for a new account to be activated.
  3. For additional instructions on starting and finding a funding opportunity, see WebGrants Instructions for Applying for Funding.


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  • Aug. 5, 2024: 2025-26 STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application posted and disseminated.
  • August 2024: Informational webinar for program providers.
  • Sept. 10, 2024, 4:59 PM Central Standard Time: Program provider application submission deadline.
  • September - November 2024: Review period.
  • Nov. 15, 2024: Selected program providers notified.
  • November - December 2024: Selected program providers collaborate with Iowa STEM to prepare materials for the educator application phase.
  • January 2025: Educator application opens
  • March 2025: Educator application submission deadline.
  • March - April 2025: Regional STEM Advisory Boards determine awarded educators.
  • April 2025: Awarded educators notified.
  • May 2025: Program providers introduced to awarded educators to begin planning.
  • Summer 2025: Professional development/training in preparation for program implementation 2025-26 school year.
  • July 2025 - April 2026: Scale-Up Program Implementation
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Eligible Applicants

STEM programs that serve PK-12 students in or out of school with the capacity to deliver professional development/training and materials in Iowa are eligible to apply to provide programs for STEM Scale-Up. Professional development/training is appropriate for Iowa STEM Scale-Up programs when preparing an educator to implement a student kit, curriculum, activity, lesson or new course of study in STEM.

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Process Overview

Iowa STEM Scale-Up process has three stages:

  1. Iowa reviewers selected and trained by Iowa STEM review program applications against the STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application Scoring Rubric to assess their readiness to go to scale in Iowa.
  2. Programs selected for STEM Scale-Up are offered to Iowa educators. Iowa educators apply to bring the program(s) to their students during the 2025-2026 academic year. Implementation training occurs during the summer 2025. Rare exceptions may be made for training.
  3. Advisory boards in each of the six STEM Regions in Iowa determine which of the STEM Scale-Up educator applications they will award in their regions. Not all eligible programs are equally implemented in all six STEM Regions of Iowa.

Programs previously selected as an Iowa STEM Scale-Up program, must submit a new program provider application each year to be considered for STEM Scale-Up program eligibility.

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PK-12 Educator

Eligible educators may be associated with organizations in Iowa such as: public and private PK-12 schools, childcare centers, county conservation, libraries, county extension offices, home school associations and other formal and informal youth organizations that deliver STEM education programming for PK-12 youth.

Program Provider

A Program Provider is an organization providing a high-quality STEM education program, and the program is selected to be offered to Iowa educators through the Iowa STEM Scale-Up program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application open?

The application period is open from August to September 2024.

How should we communicate our budget/pricing structure?

Use the STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application Budget Template

What is allowed for the facilities and administration (F&A) fee within the proposal budget?

Indirect costs, also known as Facilities and Administration costs (F&A) or overhead costs: we allow providers to factor in the expense of facilities operation, maintenance costs and administrative expenses, commonly categorized as indirect costs. We require that such costs be built in as a portion of the per unit cost of the program deliverable, up to 5% of the per unit cost.*

In the budget template, enter these F&A in the associated administrative costs line.

*Indirect costs are an ideal space for cost share, and many providers use F&A as their cost share component.  We acknowledge F&A beyond 5% as cost share. 

What are the program capacity and funding requirements?

It is anticipated the Iowa legislature will support the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program at just over $3 million total for FY2026. That amount may vary year to year. Typically, funds are distributed across ten to twelve programs that are selected for scaling across Iowa every year. The funds are distributed through a cost reimbursable model. Single program provider funding through the STEM Council across six regions can reach six figures, depending upon how many educators select the program from the menu and how many educators who select the program are awarded the program by the regional STEM advisory boards. Numerous factors influence total funds to providers, including marketing effectiveness, alignment with educators' goals and standards and/or number of educator applications across programs at the regional level. There is no assurance by the STEM Council that any program will be scaled. It is market driven.

What kinds of programs are you looking for this year?

Strategic Priorities for Elementary, Middle or High School Levels unless identified below:

  • Agricultural science
  • Applied engineering
  • Computational thinking
  • Ecology and energy education
  • Mathematics, especially applied and contextual to students' lives
  • STEM and arts integration
  • STEM careers (especially with local context) - ideally an element of any Scale-Up application
  • STEM programming that integrates into existing curriculum
  • Transdisciplinary (integrated) S-T-E-M

Applications for other topical fields will also be considered.  

Can we submit applications for multiple programs in the same cycle?

Yes. In fact, individual applications of deliverable education programs are required, as opposed to a “blanket” application that covers multiple distinct, deliverable programs.

What is required for a separate application?

If multiple programs are being proposed, programs that require a separate training must be submitted in a separate applicaiton.

When may our organization begin educator training?

The ideal time frame to begin training is between July 15 – August 15. The initial training may not be scheduled earlier than July 1 and must occur by October 31.  

Are organizations (Program Providers) submitting a program through the STEM Scale-Up Program application required to offer educators a stipend to attend training?​

No, stipends are not required.  Note: If an organization offers a personal stipend or sub pay, how will your organization verify the educator is not being paid by their host organization to attend the training. Note: If a stipend is offered, the program provider is responsible for administration and verification of stipend payments. 

May a provider propose to cover the cost of license renewal credit(s) for educators who take part in program professional development/training? 

Any provider considering proposing to offer licensure incentives should contact the Iowa STEM Program Provider applications manager Sarah Derry at for guidance.

Can we get some pointers on what you expect for rigorous evaluation?

The webinar will include information regarding evaluation. Essentially, the STEM Scale-Up Program Provider Application Scoring Rubric contains information about what is considered for each section of the proposal. Reviewers will be looking for strong evidence that programs meet the criteria listed in the application. Show evidence, rather than telling about it, and be as clear and concise as possible.

I have more questions. Who should I contact? 

For more information on the Iowa STEM Scale-Up program, contact Sarah Derry, South Central Region STEM Manager, at

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