App FAQ

Who can apply?

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is inviting communities to apply for this opportunity. All communities, regardless of the stage of their ecosystem development, are required to fully complete the application process to participate in this national initiative. Please note: Only one application from each community will be accepted. Our intent is for invited communities to organize stakeholders and coordinate one application.


I’ve heard about the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative Application, where can I download a copy?

Review the Application Packet.


I reviewed the Application and discussed the Initiative with my collaborative partners. How can we apply?

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice will invite communities to apply. The application process includes:

  1. Complete the brief Interest Form
  2. Participate in two STEM Learning Ecosystems informational webinars (visit the Overview to register for the webinars)
  3. Upon invitation, complete the online application. A password will be provided to invited Ecosystems. 

Applications are due by 5:00pm PT  | 8:00pm ET on Thursday, February 28, 2019 for spring submission and 5:00pm PT | 8:00pm ET on Friday, August 30, 2019 for fall submission


Can there be more than one ecosystem from a specific geographic region?

One of the most fundamental tenets of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice is collaboration. We urge organizations from the same general geographic area to work together. We are happy to help facilitate that collaboration or to make introductions. Please let us know how we can help.


When will the selections be made?

Visit the Overview for the timeline. Selection announcement will be made at the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice Convening on April 3, 2019 in New Orleans, LA (spring) and the fall STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice Convening (TBD). We will notify selected communities in advance of the Convenings, so they may join us in person at the events.


Is this a grant program?

This is not a grant program but an opportunity for communities to join 68 other STEM Learning Ecosystems in a Community of of Practice.


What are some common traits of effective ecosystems?

After more than four years of operating the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice, we have learned that effective ecosystems:

  • Are anchored by a passionate leader;
  • Are supported by multiple and diverse funding streams;
  • Involve a wide cross-sector of diverse partners;
  • Have a governance structure that supports iteration and innovation.

How much time is expected of an ecosystem lead?

The time commitment varies, of course, depending upon how the ecosystem defines itself and its work. Generally speaking, most ecosystems in the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice do have at least one full-time lead who is often supported by one or more part-time staffers. The beautiful thing about this work is that it never ends and opportunities never cease.


Is there a fee to part of the Community of Practice?

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is now in the midst of a sustainability planning process and participation fees are currently under discussion. To date, we have not charged any fees. But we suspect that some modest fee will be adopted by the Community of Practice, which is expected to take on a larger role in the governance of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice. Those fees have not yet been set, but we will keep you posted as we develop concrete figures. We anticipate that any fees will be reasonable and well within the reach of most ecosystems.