Grant Details

Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    A - Primarily intended to fund technology


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    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 three types of foundational and applied research projects: 
    • Strategies: projects that address the creation and implementation of innovative technology-related interventions
    • Exploratory: projects that advance theory or examine associations among malleable factors that influence learning, moderating conditions, and educational outcomes
    • SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination): projects that support the wider and broader dissemination and examination of innovative interventions.
    Successful ITEST projects will engage students in research studies that: (1) promote student awareness of, interests in, and capacities to participate in STEM occupations or education pathways leading to those occupations; and (2) advance knowledge of promising interventions and the conditions and contexts that influence their success in promoting STEM career awareness among PreK-12 students. ITEST projects may engage students in school or out of school, or through a blend of learning environments. Individual projects may engage students at a single grade or age level, or at multiple elementary, middle, or secondary school grade or age levels. Projects that examine the effectiveness of engaging adult volunteers with relevant disciplinary expertise from academia or industry to mentor or engage students are encouraged, as are projects that would engage students in the uses of cutting-edge technologies, in computing or computational thinking, or in work or problem based experiences involving their use. Projects that link to NSF INCLUDES Design and Develop Launch Pilot Projects are also encouraged.

    ITEST program priorities include: (1) projects that examine strategies to promote student familiarity and appropriate competencies with emerging technologies that are, or will likely become, prevalent within STEM workplace environments; and (2) projects that examine factors that promote greater access to these emerging technologies among students from populations underrepresented in the STEM workforce. To promote attention to the specific educational needs of students from underrepresented populations, the ITEST program has special review criteria that reviewers consider in addition to the potential intellectual merit and broader impacts of a proposed project. Please refer to Section VI.A of this solicitation to read the solicitation-specific review criteria for ITEST proposals.

    History of Funding

    Abstracts of recent ITEST awards are available online.

    Additional Information

    All ITEST projects are expected to:
    • Be informed by relevant research (such as that on innovative pedagogical approaches, career education, in-school and out-of-school learning environments); and
    • Contribute to the research knowledge base on strategies and program models for fostering student awareness of, interests in, and capacities to participate in STEM occupations or education pathways leading to those occupations.
    ITEST projects are expected to be grounded in professional literatures relating to career and technical education and technological literacy, in addition to the literature focusing on STEM education research and curriculum standards. 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 occupations.

    ITEST projects must involve students and may focus on investigating:
    • conceptual, epistemic, or social learning outcomes,
    • the development of technological or computational practices, or
    • learning environment conditions that enhance learner motivations, mindsets, identity, and interest in STEM learning and occupations.
    Within the focal contexts, ITEST projects are encouraged to examine the roles and influence of teachers, other education professionals, mentors, and caregivers working with students.


    ITEST Program Staff

    ITEST Program Staff
    4201 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22230
    (703) 292-8628

  • Eligibility Details

    All U.S. organizations with an educational mission are eligible for ITEST. All ITEST projects must demonstrate evidence of partnerships and collaboration in the formulation, implementation, and/or interpretation and dissemination of the project. Eligibility for Innovation through Institutional Integration is limited to institutions of higher education (including two- and four-year colleges) located and accredited in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.

    Deadline Details

    Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM local time of proposer on September 5, 2017. Deadline for applications in FY 2018 is August 8, 2018. Applications will be due on the second Wednesday in August, annually thereafter.

    Award Details

    Approximately $20,000,000 is available in total funding. Depending on the availability of funds, ITEST anticipates making approximately 2-4 Exploratory awards with durations up to two years and total budgets up to $400,000 each, 6-12 Strategies awards with durations up to three years and total budgets up to $1,200,000 each, and 1-2 SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) awards with durations of three to five years and total budgets up to $2,000,000 each. Cost sharing/matching is not required.


    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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