What educators should know about funding STEM initiatives

SmartBrief reports that with STEM funding on hold at the federal level, schools are turning to corporations, foundations and private investors to help fund new initiatives, consultant Doug Haller writes in this blog post. Data increasingly is important when these groups evaluate requests, he notes. “Regardless of their motivations for investment, corporations, foundations and private investors want to support and invest in effective education efforts,” he writes. “To do this, they increasingly expect recipients to provide data demonstrating program efficacy.”

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Where’s the money for STEM education?

You might be surprised to know that buried deep in the almost 900-page immigration reform bill by the “Gang of 8” is a section that proposes to allocate H-1B visa fee revenues toward STEM education programs, the National Math and Science Initiative Blog reports.  Immigration reform in the U.S. is certainly a sensitive issue, and STEM education can easily be overlooked when it is coupled with such a hot topic. Given the statistics on the U.S. shortage of qualified STEM workers and the need for foreign high-skilled workers, it is easy to understand why STEM education became part of the immigration reform agenda…

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More belt-tightening in store for NASA as STEM education programs face consolidation

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has just released President Obama’s budget request for 2014. It will take some time for the budget’s full impacts on science to be dissected and debated, but here is a quick look at how one closely watched agency—NASA—fared, Scientific American reports. The president’s budget, which is subject to Congressional negotiation and approval, would provide $17.7 billion for NASA, down a bit from the previous year. As widely reported, the budget request includes money to begin work on an ambitious plan to robotically capture an asteroid and haul it closer to Earth for exploration. It also keeps the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope in development for a 2018 launch…

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Legislature appropriates $10M for STEM education

The Utah legislature has granted $10 million to further the science, technology, engineering and math education, or STEM, throughout the state in an effort to prepare Utah students for high-tech careers, KSL.com reports. Students at Granite School District’s Institute of Technology have learned the importance of science and technology to help them find future careers. “The business world is kind of competitive and I wanted to have a little edge over other people to be successful, so I thought, ‘Why not come here?’ ” said sophomore Aline Bustios about the Institute of Technology…

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States can compete for $200 million in federal funds with STEM education focus

Beginning this week, nine states that were the runner-up finalists from last year’s Race to the Top competition can apply for a portion of the $200 million Race to the Top round three fund, the Huffington Post reports. The Department of Education announced Wednesday that Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina can seek funding for part of their Race to the Top plan, which should include a focus to improve science, technology, engineering and math education.

“Race to the Top round three will enable these nine states to further their reform efforts already underway and help them get better faster,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Wednesday. The grants will range from a maximum possible $12.25 million for Colorado to $49 million for California. Grant figures depend on state population and are adjusted based on assurance compliance and application proposals…

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House passes major science, technology bill

Schools and universities urged the bill's passing for STEM funding.
Schools and universities could see millions more for STEM education.

The U.S. House of Representatives gave its assent on May 28 to $84 billion in federal funding to help keep the country competitive in the fields of scientific and technological innovation, just days before a new list suggested China is challenging America’s dominance in supercomputing.

Among other measures, the bill supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through a coordination of activities at all levels.

Passage of the legislation, called the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5116)—the biggest science bill that Congress is expected to consider this year—came on a third try. Republicans objecting to the cost of the bill succeeded in sidetracking it on two previous occasions.…Read More