Opportunity number
NSF 19-583
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
Due date
August 13, 2021; Second Wednesday in August Annually
Education & Workforce
Project funding
2-4 Exploratory awards for 2 years up to $400,000 each, 6-12 Strategies awards for 3 years up to $1,200,000 each, and 1-2 SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) awards for 3-5 years up to $2,000,000 each.
Program funding
$25-30M each year.
Funding size
Up to $5M

Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

RFP Summary provided by the agency

The aim of the ITEST program is to advance understanding of how to foster PreK-12 student interest and capacities to participate in the STEM and ICT workforce of the future. To achieve this purpose, ITEST supports projects that engage students in technology-rich experiences that:

  • increase awareness and interest of STEM and ICT occupations.
  • motivate students to pursue appropriate education pathways to those occupations.
  • 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.

ITEST seeks proposals that pursue innovative instructional approaches and practices in formal and informal learning environments, in close collaboration with strategic partnerships. ITEST proposals should broaden participation of all students, particularly those in underrepresented and underserved groups in STEM fields and related education and workforce domains.

ITEST supports three types of projects:

  • Exploring Theory and Design Principles (ETD)
  • Developing and Testing Innovations (DTI)
  • Scaling, Expanding, and Iterating Innovations (SEI). ITEST also supports Synthesis and Conference proposals.

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Research, Social, Economic

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system. In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. PAPPG Chapter II.D.3 provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2 for guidance on the required sections of a full research proposal submitted to NSF. Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the PAPPG instructions.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)
Non-profit, Non-academic Organizations
For-profit Organizations
State and Local Governments
Unaffiliated Individuals
Foreign organizations
Other Federal Agencies

Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

This two-year collaborative research project will address the lack of diversity in STEM fields by engaging high school aged learners in an after-school club that uses data to identify a compelling local community challenge and to design a potential solution to address the problem. Leveraging the constructionist design paradigm and research on project-based service learning, the project will investigate how framing STEM practices to contribute to and improve one’s community might increase student interest in and shift identity towards STEM fields. Rather than create a one-size-fits-all activity that assumes a community problem, the project aims to develop and study design frameworks for creating personally meaningful and learner-centric experiences and activities that can be deployed in a broad range of communities with similar demographics. Year 1 of the project will be devoted to the development of a network of education and industry partners and pilot activity design and evaluation. In year 2, a pilot will be deployed at two locations with eight partnering schools. Research activities will include the evaluation of student learning about the core concepts and practices of data science, students’ personal connections with local communities, and students’ STEM interests and identities. The project will deepen collaborations between Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Teachers College, the New York City Department of Education’s Division on Teaching and Learning, community organizations, school educators, and relevant industry partners.

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