There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to implement a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) program for your schools when you know you have to jump through multiple hoops. After helping your team understand the differences between STEAM and STEM, realize the benefits that it could bring to your student population and put together an implementation plan, it can be a real challenge to execute on one of the most important stages of all: evaluating options in the K-12 marketplace.
Because most school districts require that purchases over a certain amount go out for competitive bidding, you may be required to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for STEAM products and accompanying curriculum. RFPs are common in K-12, and when administrators solicit RFPs for typical edtech resources, there are often example proposals that they can look to for inspiration to see how other districts have successfully evaluated vendors.
STEAM is still an emerging, innovative practice for both staff and students and does not have an extensive history for solicitations. Because of this, SAM Labs is excited to release a comprehensive template for both educators and administrators to make their own.
The STEAM RFP Template for Product and Curriculum includes:
- An Overview Section – This section helps schools and districts tell prospective vendors who bid exactly what they are looking for in a solution as well as key details pertinent to the document.
- Scope of Services – This section outlines exactly what will be needed in a product and curriculum, and gives suggestions on professional development to fully support staff onboarding and training. Suggestions on key elements for a best-in-class STEAM product are also included.
- Implementation Timeline – This section guides schools on how to ask vendors to present an implementation timeline that would be structured to critical dates that meet the needs of the school’s or district’s school year.
- Pricing – This section breaks out an area for vendors to present their best price for the school or district with everything included (product, curriculum, onboarding, professional development and support).
- Award Criteria –The template has an additional section with suggested award criteria based on industry examples, such as “Ability to Perform Services”, “Product for Supporting the Program” and “References”, and points are assigned to each vendor. The vendor with the most points, along with internal district feedback, will win the bid.
- Proposal Format and Contents – The final section outlines what vendors should include in their final submission.
STEAM programming is an excellent way to jumpstart your students’ interests in creating, inventing and solving complex problems while combining multiple curricular areas across your schools and district.
More Resources for K-12 STEAM Education Programs
SAM Labs offers a variety of additional tools to help you get started with STEAM today. Check out these additional resources:
- STEAM vs. STEM Learning for K-12: The True Definitions, Differences and Best Practices
- Sample STEAM Lessons
- SAM Labs’ STEAM and Maker Course Kit Bundle
- The Ultimate Edtech Grant Writing Guide and List of Grants 2019-2020