How it Works

This page provides an overview of the entire application process. For details specific to the STEMworks section of the application, click here. To view the requirements for this cycle's state/district partners, please select the appropriate page under the How it Works menu above.

Please review the Design Principles thoroughly before starting the application. The questions in the STEMworks self-rating are taken directly from a rubric related to these Design Principles.

Summary of important dates and deadlines:

  • STEMworks normally has two application cycles per year - in spring (beginning around March 1) and fall (beginning around September 1).
  • The timeline and state partners are updated as the dates draw closer.

STEMworks application and review cycle

The Review Process
After you submit your complete application, a team of independent reviewers will determine if the evidence provided supports your program's self rating. In cases where reviewers disagree with your self rating, they will provide feedback on how you can address those discrepancies. Each program will receive a feedback report.

Reviewer ratings are used to determine whether programs are admitted to STEMworks as Accomplished. STEMworks will not publicly reveal the names of programs that have submitted applications but not been admitted to the database. Programs that have not been admitted will have the opportunity to participate in STEMworks Academy, a support service designed to enhance program quality and encourage successful reapplication to STEMworks.

Accomplished programs meet the following definition:

  • They do not receive an "Undeveloped" rating on any Design Principle
  • They receive "Developing" ratings on no more than three Design Principles
  • They receive an "Accomplished" rating on Principle A (Need) and at least one of the following principles: Principle G (Content); Principle H (STEM Practices); or Principle I (Inspiration).

WestEd is available to answer any questions about the application process. You can contact WestEd at