Abstract Brief profiles of each state, including the economic problems it faced, are presented. Factors underlying the creation of the programs are detailed and analyzed. Descriptions of some major science and technology programs each state supports are given. Short evaluations of the programs are provided. In Iowa, powerful public universities constructed programs in biotechnology at Iowa State University, and programs in laser research at the University of Iowa. A “power” or interest group model is useful to interpret Iowa's initiatives in science and technology. In Massachusetts, long-term public acceptance of large government provided support for programs, often independent of public universities, throughout the state. A “rational” model helps interpret that state's development of such programs. In Arkansas, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller's desire to aid his adopted state, and a tradition of progressive gubernatorial leadership since Rockefeller's terms in office, led to avariety of programs, all modestly funded. Both the rational and the power models assist understanding of the Arkansas experience.