STEM education provides many opportunities and challenges. How can our practice evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century learners?

Funding for STEM

Carlton Grizzle

We are starting a STEM program at our charter middle/high school. With the government and industry emphasizing STEM education I am surprised at the difficulty we are having at finding funding opportunities for program implementation. I would appreciate any tips and/or funding sources you might be able to suggest!

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Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

Funding

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Many of the projects that I know of in Wisconsin are funded by corporate sponsors. You may want to consider approaching industry directly or their philanthropic foundations.

If you are working with anyone in higher education on this project, they may have info on specific state grants that could be used.

Finally, every state as a Space Grant Consortium. Many of these provide small grants that can be used to improve STEM education (especially with aerospace connections).

Thanks for the info. We have

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Thanks for the info. We have identified a few grants indirectly addressing STEM that may work, but I'm surprised that there aren't federal education grants specifically designed for STEM implementation.

Director of Program Strategies, National Youth Leadership Council

Carlton,There are a number

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Carlton,

There are a number of federal grants for STEM education, but not necessarily in the places one might first think of looking for them, and of course not all will fit the immediate needs of what your school has chosen to do.

Learn and Serve America, for example, had a grant competition for middle school STEM service-learning implementation. My organization is a grantee, and we work with about about 30 subgrantee schools in Chicago, the Twin Cities, and the Gulf Coast on environmental science projects. Youth Service America is another grantee offering subgrants to schools doing what they call a STEMester of service. (Year 2 of these grants starts in the fall and grantees have to expand the number of students they reach, so many grantees will be seeking additional subgrantee schools to work with.)

The National Science Foundation offers grants to K-12 educators, and you can look at some those opportunities here: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type=4

Also check other federal agencies such as CDC, EPA, Defense, Labor, and your state equivalents. State grants and industry grants may not carry the often burdensome reporting requirements of federal grants. And often, the federal ed grants that might be used for STEM implementation, such as the i3 grants, are too big for a school--grantees have to reach 50,000 to a million students--so you'd have to get in as part of a coalition or as a subgrantee.

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