Students in rural and low-income communities will soon have access to experiential learning experiences, one-on-one hands mentoring and STEM education through a $1 million program called the US2020 STEM Coalition Challenge.
“We established the STEM Challenge as a way to showcase communities across the country working to bring STEM mentorship and maker-centered learning opportunities to traditionally underrepresented students,” said Emily McCann, CEO of Citizen Schools in a release. “What we didn't quite anticipate was the overwhelming national response to the application --a clear demonstration that we need more support and partnership with these kinds of initiatives."
Out of 92 applicants, eight organizations were selected to share in the grant. For example, the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is now able to expand its outreach efforts in STEM with a $50,000 cash award and best-practices training. SREL will offer STEM education to students in Allendale, South Carolina, a community said to be historically underserved. The team includes the Allendale School District, the South Carolina Promise Zone and the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization.
In addition, seven other community organizations were selected based upon four main criteria: impact, effective partnerships, creative engagement and sustainability. The other winners are as follows:
- The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership - Buffalo, N.Y.
- Project Exploration - Chicago, Illinois
- The Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative - Cincinnati, Ohio
- The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub - The Dalles, Oregon
- The Idaho STEM Action Center - Boise, Idaho
- Remake Learning - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- The DC STEM Network - Washington D.C.