Students to Develop High-Demand Skills with STEM BEST + HD Program

The STEM BEST + HD Program application opens October 3.
The STEM BEST + HD Program application opens October 3 for school and workplace partnership models to provide students with career-linked experiences.

The application period is quickly approaching for the STEM BEST + HD (High-Demand) Program. Beginning October 3, public and non-public K-12 school districts and school buildings can submit an application to launch or expand a business partnership model to provide students with career-linked learning experiences. The program emphasizes the exploration and development of high-demand skills that allows students to experience the industry or business environment firsthand and offers an introduction to career opportunities.

The STEM BEST + HD Program encourages teachers and industry professionals to develop a work-based learning model that incorporates STEM subjects like mathematics and science with experiential learning opportunities to emphasize the necessary high-demand skills needed for post-secondary success, including:

  • innovative thinking and analysis;
  • creativity, originality and initiative;
  • complex communication and collaboration;
  • active learning through authentic experience;
  • resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility;
  • reasoning, problem-solving and ideation.

These high-demand skills align with the Iowa Core Universal Constructs and create opportunities for students to become leaders and innovators of a future-focused Iowa.

The application is available to Iowa public and non-public school districts and school buildings serving students in grades K-12. The deadline for submitting applications is December 14, 2022. The STEM BEST + HD Program implementation spans across 18 months. The awards can be used for:

  • Facility upgrades;
  • Purchase of industry grade equipment;
  • Acquiring additional space;
  • Time for program planning with partners;
  • Travel needs;
  • Integrating curriculum into existing courses;
  • Aligning learning with workplace needs;
  • Professional development for teachers, students and community partners.

For more information on the STEM BEST + HD Program or to access the application, please visit

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