How to Apply

Increasing the Equity and Inclusiveness of STEM Experiences

Applications for 2021-22 have ended.

We are looking for Illinois and Indiana schools committed to taking steps to encourage women, Black and Latina/o youth, low-income, or otherwise traditionally underrepresented populations to stick with and excel in math, science, and engineering. Announcing Year 3 of the NSF-funded Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experience All Year Round (CISTEME365) grant initiative of the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering in partnership with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity.

Seeking Middle and High School Partners:

What you’ll do

Blackboard from Summer 2019 Institute: "Unaware to Aware; Understand to Action; equals UA squared. Remember to share the mic!"
Blackboard from Summer 2019 Institute
  • Form an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA) Team (3-4 members including a teacher AND a counselor/college & career advisor)
  • Participate in PD. (Scheduled professional development dates noted in the timeline below)
  • Establish a new STEM Club or enhance a current club (receive electrical engineering curriculum, supplies, and training, as well as additional flex funding for STEM club implementation)
  • Complete an Action Research for Equity Project (AREP) to apply and study a STEM equity and inclusion strategy in local contexts and STEM Clubs. (We’ll guide you every step of the way!)


  • Receive 12 days (virtual and in-person) professional development for increasing diversity in STEM and the facilitation of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Illinois Professional Development Hours provided)
  • Receive project-based curriculum and multi-purpose equipment and materials for STEM Clubs
  • Flexible allowance for STEM Club activities or STEM Club infrastructure
  • Gain exclusive access to scholarships for University of Illinois STEM summer camps for your students
  • Receive a $1,200 stipend for each team member completing the program requirements
  • Access to a collaborative network of educators
  • Opportunity to participate in a research project funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • A budding relationship with the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering. As other grants come along or opportunities for cutting-edge STEM connections with schools, we aim to remain connected and in communication. We are committed to broadening participation in STEM, and we believe that establishing this network is just a first step in developing ongoing partnerships.

The value of the program is equivalent to more than $50,000 per school!

Applications are closed.


2021-22 Cohort timeline

Educators soldering breadboards during the Summer 2019 Teacher Institute
Educators soldering breadboards during the Summer 2019 Teacher Institute
  • April 10, 2021: Cohort 3 application opens
  • April 13, 2021: Project Overview and FAQ webinar
  • May 25, 2021:  Application closes
  • Late-May/Early June: Cohorts announced
  • June 15, 2021: Virtual program kick-off for new teams and school administrators (3:30-5:00pm)
  • Virtual full days: 7/12, 7/14, 7/16, 7/19, 7/21, and 7/23
  • In-person full days: 11/4, 11/5, and 11/6 (travel costs covered by project)
  • Virtual half-days (mornings): 9/22, 12/8, 1/19, and 2/16
  • Virtual after-school sessions (1.5-2 hours): 4/13 and 5/4

Learn more about the project

What you need to do to apply:

Here's what you need to do to apply: 1) TEAM: Identify a 3-4 person team, which must include at least one counselor/academic advisor and one teacher. 2) ESSAY: Prepare ~500 word essay to tell us why you are interested in the program and why it is a good fit for your school. 3) COMMITMENT: Gather commitments from each team member and the campus principal. (Must include commitments to cover substitutes.)