Grant Spotlight: $20 Million for PK-12 STEM Education

Grant Spotlight: $20 Million for PK-12 STEM Education 

The National Science Foundation is awarding up to 18 multi-year grants for efforts that promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in PK–12 schools. The awards this year are expected to total $10 million to $20 million, with individual awards ranging from $400,000 to $2 million apiece. The deadline for proposals this year is Sept. 5.

The program — Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) — is aimed at increasing awareness of STEM occupations among PK–12 students, motivating them to pursue STEM careers and helping them develop "disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, or promote critical thinking, reasoning skills, or communication skills needed for entering STEM workforce sectors," according to NSF.

Proposed programs can be designed for engaging students within school, outside of school or a combination of the two. Partnerships between PK–12 schools, colleges, universities and other organizations are encouraged.

Three different types of grants will be awarded this year:

• Up to four two-year "Exploratory" grants of up to $400,000 each;

• Up to 12 three-year "Strategies" grants worth up to $1.2 million each; and

• Up to two three-to five-year "Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination" grants of up to $2 million each.

According to NSF: "The ITEST program supports projects that provide evidence for factors, instructional designs, and practices in formal and informal learning environments that broaden participation of students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields and related education and workforce domains. Projects that actively engage business and industry partners to better ensure that PreK-12 experiences foster the knowledge and skill-sets needed for emerging STEM occupations are strongly encouraged."

Complete details can be found at nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17565/nsf17565.htm.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).