How it Works for Iowa Programs

For the 2018/2019 school year, Change the Equation and the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council are collaborating on the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program, an initiative to scale effective STEM programs in the state of Iowa using a combination of state and private funds.

If you are interested in providing STEM programming in Iowa and would like to be considered for this initiative, please register to apply to STEMworks. 

Summary of important dates and deadlines:

  • September 1, 2017 – STEM Scale-Up Program application opens.
  • September 8, 2017, 4 pm Central Time – Webinar for prospective applicants.
  • October 7, 2017, 5 pm Central Time – Pre-screening application due.
  • October 9, 2017, 5 pm Central Time – STEM Scale-Up Program application closed.
  • January 3, 2018 – Programs notified of selection;
  • January 22, 2018 – Application opens to educators aiming to implement selected programs.
  • March 5, 2018 – Educator application closed.
  • April 10, 2018 – Final scale-up selections announced.

Webinar orientation for prospective applicants
Missed the September 8th webinar on STEMworks and the proposal process? You can view a recording here.

Overview: the review process

The Iowa review process proceeds in five stages:

  1. First, Iowa reviewers selected by the STEM Advisory Council review proposals against Change the Equation's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs they deem "Promising" or "Accomplished" are included in Change the Equation's STEMworks database of effective STEM learning programs.
  2. Second, reviewers review proposals that make it into STEMworks against a brief set of additional criteria to assess their readiness to go to scale in Iowa. All proposers complete the STEMworks proposal form as well as an additional set of questions to determine their readiness to scale in Iowa. (See below for more information.)
  3. Third, programs accepted for scale-up in Iowa are offered to educators across the state in spring of 2018. Educators apply to bring the program(s) to their students over the 2018/2019 academic year (with, in some instances, professional development in summer of 2018).
  4. Fourth, advisory boards in each of six STEM regions in Iowa determine which of the Scale-Up educator applications they will award in their regions. Not all eligible programs are equally implemented in all six regions of Iowa.


Already listed on the STEMworks honor roll and submitting for the Iowa Scale-Up Program?

Programs already listed on the STEMworks honor roll need only submit their responses to the Iowa-specific scale-up questions on the application site. Programs that were awarded Iowa Scale-Up Funds for the 2017/2018 school year must complete the Iowa-specific questions again to be considered for 2018/2019 Scale-Up funds.

How to submit a proposal
Our online proposal form asks for information you most likely already have available. Programs that show significant evidence of impact and effectiveness are included in STEMworks. Every program that submits a proposal receives feedback on its proposal.

Who may submit a proposal
STEM programs that serve primarily target audiences in Iowa are eligible for the Scale-Up Program.

The Proposal Process
The online proposal process has five steps:

  1. Register. Programs must register with the CTEq proposal site to gain access to that site.
  2. Create a program profile. Programs are asked to provide basic information about themselves.
  3. Upload supporting documents: Before programs can begin the full proposal, they must upload some basic documents into the system. Programs are expected to have most, though not necessarily all, of these documents before they can complete a full proposal:
    • Strategic plan
    • Annual report
    • Budget report
    • List of partners
    • Evaluation plan
    • Organizational chart
    • Alignment to relevant standards (STEM content and/or practices)
    • Sample curriculum or program activities
Programs that do not provide sufficient documents are referred back to the proposal website for examples of the types of evidence expected in a STEMworks proposal. All documents must be uploaded in PDF format. When you upload a file, you will be able to add a brief description.
  1. Complete the online STEMworks program ratings: Programs rate themselves as Accomplished, Developing, or Undeveloped on each of the ten CTEq Design Principles.
    • After rating themselves each Design Principle, programs must provide an explanation of their self- rating. This explanation not only justifies the self-assessment, it provides reviewers with a clear understanding of how evidence provided for the pre-screen checklist supports the self-rating. Programs also select each uploaded evidence file cited to in the summary paragraph.
    • Programs may use the same evidence to support theirclaims for more than one Principle, but summaries should clearly convey how each Principle is specifically supported by the evidence programs cite. Programs should be as specific as possible: where possible, they should cite specific page numbers in their evidence to spare reviewers the trouble of reading extraneous information.
    • The Rubric offers examples of evidence that can support each Design Principle.
    • Programs are able to review and update self-ratings and evidence at any time prior to submission.
  1. Programs complete the Iowa-specific questions to determine their readiness to scale in the state.

Programs should review the CTEq Design Principles and Rubric thoroughly before starting the proposal.

See a brief orientation video: Introduction and Orientation to the STEMworks Proposal Process

Preview the proposal form
Programs can preview the online STEMworks proposal by downloading a PDF version of the complete online proposal form. Programs can also preview the additional questions they must complete to be considered for the Iowa Scale-Up ProgramNOTE: These documents are for information purposes only. All proposals must be submitted through the online STEMworks proposal form.

The Review Process
A team of independent reviewers retained by The Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council review all program proposals. The review process will determine if the evidence provided supports each program's self-ratings. It will also determine whether programs were ready to go to scale in Iowa. Following the reviews, programs not admitted to the STEMworks database will be able to submit revised proposals when the next round is announced.

Reviewers placed each successful program in one of four categories:

  1. Unsuccessful programs have not met the bar for Accomplished or Promising programs. Neither Change the Equation nor the Iowa STEM Advisory Council will reveal the names of programs that have submitted proposals but not been admitted to STEMworks
  2. "Promising programs" may be too new to present strong evaluation data, for example, but they show the potential to be accomplished with further development.
  3. "Accomplished programs" that meet the national STEMworks bar for admission but have not been selected for scaling in Iowa..
  4. Iowa Scale-Up programs have made it into STEMworks as either Accomplished or Promising and demonstrated their readiness to go to scale in Iowa.

How does Change the Equation define "Accomplished" and "Promising" programs?
Accomplished programs meet the following definition:

  • They do not receive an "Undeveloped" rating on any Design Principle
  • They receive "Developing" ratings on no more than three Design Principles
  • They receive an "Accomplished" rating on Principle A (Need) and at least one of the following principles: Principle G (Content); Principle H (STEM Practices); or Principle I (Inspiration).

Promising programs meet the following definition:

  • They receive "Undeveloped" ratings on no more than four Design Principles: Principle B (Evaluation); Principle C (Sustainability); Principle D (Replication); and Principle E (Partnerships).
  • They receive an "Accomplished" rating on Principle A (Need) and at least one of the following principles: Principle G (Content); Principle H (STEM Practices); or Principle I (Inspiration).

Questions? Comments?
For more information, please reach out to Sarah Derry.