The economic prosperity and national security of the United States is reliant upon the nation’s capacity to remain globally competitive in the technological and computational fields. The nation’s competitiveness, however, is contingent upon its capacity to educate the next generation. Learning and teaching must be reimagined to better represent the diverse composition and perspective of our nation’s people and be expanded to encompass all pathways for students to receive a high-quality STEM education. A highly proficient and diverse technological and computational STEM workforce is needed to advance new discoveries in science, engineering, and technology in the service of the nation. The ITEST program is one way NSF is responding to the challenge and opportunity to provide all students with equitable access to a STEM education related to the technical and scientific workforce.
ITEST is an applied research and development program with goals to advance the equitable and inclusive integration of technology in the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from pre-kindergarten through high school. The program’s objective is to support all students’ acquisition of the foundational preparation in STEM disciplines. Preparation for the current and future workforce is increasingly dependent upon the application and use of technology and computing.
Proposed ITEST projects are expected to (1) engage students in technology-rich learning to develop disciplinary and/or transdisciplinary STEM content knowledge, including skills in data literacy and evidence-based decision-making and reasoning; (2) prioritize the full inclusion of groups who have been underrepresented and/or underserved, including but not limited to Blacks and African Americans, Alaska Natives, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, persons with disabilities, neurodiverse students, and women in the STEM and information and communication technologies (ICT) workforce; (3) motivate students to pursue appropriate education pathways to technology-rich careers; and (4) leverage strategic and community partnerships to expand education pathways in communities through public and private partnerships and collaborations.
ITEST supports three types of projects: (1) Exploring Theory and Design Principles (ETD); (2) Developing and Testing Innovations (DTI); and (3) Scaling, Expanding, and Iterating Innovations (SEI). ITEST also supports Synthesis and Conference/Workshop proposals. ITEST will support one 5-year resource center starting in FY23. All ITEST proposals must address how the proposed research and development project meets the ITEST program Pillars: 1) Innovative Use of Technologies in Learning and Teaching, 2) Partnerships for Career and Workforce Preparation, and 3) Strategies for Equity in STEM Education (Program Description, section A.). All proposals must also include high-quality research design, a section describing how the project meets the Solicitation-Specific Review Criteria and plans for project evaluation and dissemination of findings (Program Description, section B: Requirements for Research Proposals.)
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