STEM Scale-Up Program

2022-2023 Request for Application (RFA)

April 1, 2022 – May 1, 2022

2022 Scale Up Initiative Winners

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Request for Application

For the 2022-2023 year, the Alabama STEM Council is seeking program providers for the Alabama STEM Scale-Up Program.  If you are providing STEM programming in Alabama and would like to be considered for this initiative, please click on the links to the right for the application template, rubric, and budget template.

What is Scale Up?

The Council’s mission is to bring top STEM education opportunities to all learners, especially those historically underserved. The Scale Up program intent is to seed, jumpstart, or expand little-known and exemplary programs proven to inspire and educate PreK-12 students, enabling educational organizations to sustain beyond the Council’s trial investment.

STEM Scale-UP Program Provider Guidelines

Terminology

PreK-12 Educator

Eligible STEM programs may be associated with an organization in Alabama, such as: public and private PreK-12 schools, childcare centers, county conservation, libraries, county extension offices, home school associations, and other formal and informal youth organizations who deliver STEM education programming for PreK-12 youth.

Program Provider

A Program Provider is an organization providing a high-quality STEM program and the program is selected to be offered to Alabama educators through the Alabama STEM Scale-Up Program.

Eligible Applicants

All STEM programs that serve PreK-12 grade audiences in or out of school are eligible to apply. Professional development/training is appropriate for Alabama STEM Scale-Up Programs when preparing an educator to implement a student kit, curriculum, activity, lesson or new course of study in STEM.

Process Overview

The Alabama STEM Scale-up process has three stages:

  1. Alabama STEM Council reviewers review programs against the Alabama Scale-Up RFA Rubric to assess their readiness to go to scale in Alabama.
  2. Industry advisors in each AlabamaWorks! region will give their input on which of the Scale-Up applications passing the initial Rubric review will be awarded in their regions. 
  3. Programs selected for scale-up in Alabama are offered across the state in Spring of 2022. Mentoring to expand capacities will occur in Summer 2022.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • April 1, 2022: Request for applications (RFAs) posted and disseminated.
  • April 5, 2022, 3:00-4:00 PM Central Standard Time: Zoom with Q & A for Applicants* (Sign-up)
  • April 8, 2022, 3:00-4:00 PM Central Standard Time: Zoom with Q & A for Applicants* (Sign-up)
  • April 19, 2022, 3:00-4:00 PM Central Standard Time: Zoom with Q & A for Applicants* (Sign-up)
  • April 22, 2022, 3:00-4:00 PM Central Standard Time: Zoom with Q & A for Applicants* (Sign-up)
  • Sunday, May 1, 2022, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time (just before midnight): application submission deadline.
  • May 2 – May 12, 2022: 10-Day Review Period.
  • Friday, May 13, 2022: Applicants notified.
  • Summer 2022: Applicants participate in mentorship to expand capacities in areas of Alabama in-demand innovation.
  • May 2022 – May 2023: Programs marketed to all Alabama stakeholders; programs use funds and report back for evaluation by May 2023.

*If none of the above Zoom Q & A sessions are on dates and times you may attend, please feel free to reach out with questions via email to Amy Hammett, AL STEM Council Program Manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

The application period is open from April 1, 2022 to May 1, 2022.

The budget/pricing structure should be entered on the provided Budget Template.

Indirect costs, also known as Facilities and Administrative costs (F&A) or overhead costs: we allow providers to factor in the expense of facilities operation and maintenance costs, and administrative expenses, commonly categorized as indirect costs. We require that such costs be built in as a portion of the per unit cost of the program deliverable, up to 5% of the per unit cost*.

In the budget template, enter these F&A in the associated administrative costs line.

*Indirect costs are an ideal space for cost share, and many providers use F&A as their cost share component.  We acknowledge F&A beyond 5% as cost share.

AL STEM Council Funding

The STEM Council is supporting the inaugural round of Scale Up at $75,000 total for FY2022.* Three levels of funding are available:

Level 1 – Up to $1000

Level 2 – Up to $10,000

Level 3 – Up to $50,000

Business and Industry and/or Other Grant Funding

Although this funding is not guaranteed, business and industry and/or other non-profit organizations may select some of these programs to fund independent of the aforementioned $75K funding level. Therefore, applicants are also encouraged to prepare and to submit a secondary “wish list budget” beyond the levels listed above. This “Wish List Budget” should be labeled as such and should be submitted along with the Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 budget request as defined above.

All funds will be distributed through cost-reimbursement.

Numerous factors influence total funds to providers, including marketing effectiveness, alignment with Education goals and standards, and number of applications at the regional level. There is no assurance by the STEM Council that any program will be scaled; program selections are market-driven.

Strategic Priorities*:

  • STEM careers (especially with local context) – ideally an element of any Scale-Up application
  • Computational thinking (elementary, middle or high school levels)
  • Early learning (PreK-3) STEM
  • Agricultural science (elementary, middle or high schools levels)
  • Ecology and energy education (elementary, middle or high schools levels)
  • Mathematics, especially applied and contextual to students’ lives (elementary, middle or high schools levels)
  • STEM and arts integration (elementary, middle or high schools levels)
  • Interdisciplinary (integrated) S-T-E-M (elementary, middle or high schools levels)

*Applications for other topical fields will also be considered.

Yes. In fact, individual applications of deliverable education programs are required, as opposed to a “blanket” application that covers multiple distinct, deliverable programs.

If multiple programs are being considered, programs that require a separate training must be submitted in a separate application.

No, stipends are not required.  Note: If an organization offers a personal stipend or sub pay, how will your organization verify the educator is not being paid by their host organization to attend the training. Note: If a stipend is offered, the program provider is responsible for administration and verification of stipend payments.

Any provider considering proposing to offer licensure incentives should contact the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) for guidance.

The live Zoom Q & A Sessions will include information regarding evaluation. Essentially, the rubric contains information about what is considered for each section of the application. Reviewers will be looking for strong evidence that programs meet the criteria listed in the application. Show evidence, rather than telling about it, and be as clear and concise as possible.

For more information on the Alabama STEM Scale-Up Program or for other questions or technical assistance with your application, please reach out to Amy Hammett, Program Manager, who coordinates this function for the STEM Council.