National Science Foundation: Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
ITEST is a program that promotes PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. To achieve this objective, ITEST supports the development, implementation, and selective spread of innovative strategies for engaging students in experiences that:
- Increase student awareness of STEM and ICT careers
- Motivate students to pursue the education necessary to participate in those careers
- Provide students with technology-rich experiences that develop their knowledge of related content and skills (including critical thinking skills) needed for entering the STEM workforce
ITEST projects may adopt an interdisciplinary focus on multiple STEM domains, focus on a single domain, or focus on one or more sub-disciplines within a domain. ITEST projects must involve students, and may also include teachers. The ITEST program is especially interested in broadening participation of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM fields and related education and workforce domains. Projects that actively engage business and industry partners to better ensure that PreK-12 experiences foster the knowledge and skill-sets needed for emerging STEM-related occupations are strongly encouraged.
ITEST supports two types of research and development projects:
- Strategies projects: Projects that support the design, implementation, and testing of innovative educational experiences that support the objectives of the ITEST program.
- SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) projects: Projects that support the wider and broader testing and dissemination of promising strategies to generate evidence and greater understanding of contextual factors that operate to enhance, moderate, or constrain anticipated project impacts.
All ITEST projects are expected to: a) be informed by relevant research (such as that on innovative pedagogical approaches, career education, in-school and out-of-school learning environments); and b) contribute to the research knowledge base on strategies for improving awareness of, interests in, and readiness for STEM-related occupations or education pathways to those occupations. ITEST projects are expected to generate data and provide evidence that furthers and deepens understandings of factors, designs and practices that encourage and motivate students to pursue and persist in education programs or pathways that prepare them for STEM-related occupations.
Amount: Approximately $35,000,000 is available.
- Strategies awards: Approximately 15-20 awards will be made that range up to $1,200,000 and span a period of up to three years
- SPrEaD awards: Approximately 5-10 awards will be made that range up to $2,000,000 and span up to five years
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.
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