Grant Spotlight

Technology & STEM Program to Award up to $30 Million

The deadline for the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) grant program is just around the corner.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, ITEST offers grants ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars for programs that use technology to "strengthen knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers. To achieve this purpose, ITEST supports projects that engage students in technology-rich experiences that: (1) increase awareness and interest of STEM and ICT occupations; (2) motivate students to pursue appropriate education pathways to those occupations; and (3) develop STEM-specific disciplinary content knowledge and practices that promote critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills needed for entering the STEM and ICT workforce of the future," according to NSF.

Up to 30 grants will be awarded in 2021 with a total grant pool of $25 million to $30 million. According to NSF, there will be a number of different types of projects awards and a wide range of funding amounts, with the largest grants for the 2021 funding year topping out at $3 million. NSF indicated there will be 10 to 16 awards on the lower end of the spectrum, with budgets up to $400,000. Eight to 10 will be for budgets up to $1.5 million. And three to five will be for budgets up to $3 million.

While typical grantees for the ITEST program are universities and nonprofits, K–12 schools are eligible and have received funding in the past.

For example, Riverside Unified School District received an award of nearly $1.2 million in 2019 for an air quality monitoring project designed to boost student interest in STEM. Details on this award, including an abstract, can be found on NSF's site.

Full proposals for the 2021 ITEST program are due Aug. 13 through research.gov. Further information on the grant can be found at nsf.gov.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at d[email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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