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National Science Foundation: Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

Deadline: November 6, 2014

The ITEST program, through research and model-building activities, seeks to build understandings of best practice factors, contexts and processes contributing to K-12 students’ motivation and participation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) core domains along with other STEM cognate domains (e.g., information and communications technology (ICT), computing, computer sciences, data analytics, among others) that inform education programs and workforce domains.

The ITEST program funds foundational and applied research projects addressing the development, implementation, and dissemination of innovative strategies, tools, and models for engaging students to be aware of STEM and cognate careers, and to pursue formal school-based and informal out-of-school educational experiences to prepare for such careers. ITEST supports projects that:

  • increase students’ awareness of STEM and cognate careers;
  • motivate students to pursue the appropriate education pathways for STEM and cognate careers; and/or
  • provide students with technology-rich experiences that develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, and non-cognitive skills (e.g., critical thinking and communication skills) needed for entering STEM workforce sectors.

ITEST projects may adopt an interdisciplinary focus on one or more STEM domains or focus on sub discipline(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 cognate intensive education and workforce domains. Strongly encouraged are projects that actively engage business and industry to better ensure K-12 experiences are likely to foster the skill-sets of emerging STEM and cognate careers.

ITEST supports two project types: Strategies and SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) projects. Strategies projects address the creation and implementation of innovative technology-related interventions that support ITEST’s objectives. SPrEaD projects support the wider and broader dissemination and examination of innovative interventions to generate evidence and understanding regarding contextual factors that operate to enhance, moderate, or constrain the desired results. All ITEST projects include activities designed to inform judgments regarding the feasibility of implementing strategies in typical delivery settings such as classrooms and out-of-school settings.

Amount: $50,000,000 is available for 20 to 30 grants each year, depending on the availability of funds. Approximately 15-20 Strategies awards with durations up to three years and total budgets up to $1,200,000 each will be made; and approximately 5-10 SPrEaD awards with durations of three to five years and total budgets up to $2,000,000 each will be made.

Eligibility: Universities and colleges; nonprofit and nonacademic organizations; for-profit organizations; state and local governments; and unaffiliated individuals with the resources necessary to carry out the project.

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14512

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