Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science
Table of ContentsBackground
America's Strategy for STEM Education
Department Offices that Support STEM
Secretary's STEM Priority
ED Delivers Historic Investment in STEM
Open ED Funding and Other Opportunities
Examples of the Department's discretionary grants that can support STEM
Call for Peer Reviewers
New Grant Applicant Resources
Second Annual Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award
Archived STEM Newsletters
Other communications tools
STEM Education Briefings
Upcoming STEM Briefings
Other Federal Agency STEM websites
Department STEM Contacts
In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it's more important than ever that our nation's youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math—disciplines collectively known as STEM. If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students' skills, content knowledge, and fluency in STEM fields is essential. We must also make sure that, no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environments. A child's zip code should not determine their STEM fluency.
The STEM Education Strategic Plan, Charting a Course for Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education, published in December 2018, sets out a federal strategy for the next five years based on a vision for a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education and the United States will be the global leader in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment. It represents an urgent call to action for a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities, and employers—a "North Star" for the STEM community as it collectively charts a course for the Nation's success. The Department is an active participant in each of the interagency working groups focused on implementation of the plan.
In October 2019, the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House issued the Progress Report on The Federal Implementation of The STEM Education Strategic Plan. This report provides an update on how federal agencies are implementing the STEM Strategic Plan and what activities are they doing. Organizations from across the country are aligning their STEM efforts with the Strategic "North Star" Plan as well. This report reflects the shared value of STEM education and training to our Nation, and also demonstrates the power of coordination in achieving important national goals.
Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD)
Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE)
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)
Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE
Office of Educational Technology (OET)
Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)
Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
White House Initiatives
Federal Student Aid (FSA)
Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO)
STEM is a centerpiece of Secretary DeVos' comprehensive education agenda. The STEM priority may be used across the Departments' discretionary grant programs to further the Department's mission, which is "to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access."
The U.S. Department of Education announced in November 2020 that during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, it invested $578 million to support high-quality STEM education, including computer science, for students through its discretionary and research grants. The Department reported strong progress in implementing the Administration's five-year STEM education strategy, including building on more than $819 million in STEM investments during fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Find more details here on these investments, including approximately $156 million to support projects with a focus on computer science.
"This Administration's strategic focus on STEM education will help expose America's students to new and exciting learning environments that will prepare them for in-demand, high-paying careers," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. "I'm grateful to President Trump for making STEM education a priority and for putting America's students and her workforce first."
These STEM education investments deliver on President Trump's commitment to help expand opportunities in high-demand STEM careers and achieve the overall vision and goals of the five-year federal STEM education strategic plan, titled Charting A Course For Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education.
Of the FY 2020 STEM education investments, the Department awarded $141 million in new grants and $437 million to continue existing projects that are making substantial progress toward their goals. For example, Department funds will be used to prepare the STEM teacher corps for careers in the classroom, expand opportunities for low-income students to succeed in postsecondary education, and expand research and training opportunities on the improvement of students' STEM knowledge and skills, including learners with or at risk of disabilities.
Approximately $156 million supported projects with a focus on computer science. Several of the STEM investments support the Administration's Opportunity Zones Initiative, which fosters economic development and job creation in economically distressed communities.
Go here to read the full press release. Check out the "Examples of the Department's discretionary grants that can support STEM" section below for investments made in FY 2020.
The Department's Office of Post-Secondary Education issued a notice inviting applications (NIA) for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Career and Educational Pathways Exploration System (Career Pathways) Program. The purpose is to develop technology-based or technology-enabled career exploration systems that enable high school students to identify and explore career opportunities; learn from individuals who work in those fields; and identify education and training options—including non-college programs such as work-based learning opportunities, military training, apprenticeships, and employer-sponsored training—that enable entry into or advancement in those careers. Applications are due by December 9, 2020.
School Ambassador Fellowship Program
One-year long professional learning community that enables outstanding teachers, administrators and other school leaders, like school counselors, psychologists, social workers, and librarians to bring their school and classroom expertise to the Department and to expand their knowledge of the national dialogue about education. Applications are due by 11:59pm EST on January 11, 2021.
College Assistance Migrant Program
The Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a notice inviting applications (NIA) for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). The CAMP is designed to assist migratory or seasonal farmworkers (or immediate family members of such workers) who are enrolled or are admitted for enrollment on a full-time basis at an institution of higher education (IHE) to complete their first academic year. Applications are due by January 22, 2021.
Request for Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth
The Department's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education is pleased to announce the release of a Request for Information (RFI) on Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth. Please use the following link to share your thoughts and ideas on barriers that limit and successful approaches for expanding work-based learning (WBL) opportunities for youth.
The Department will use submitted information to inform its implementation of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Submissions due by January 13, 2021.
Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP)
The Department's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education issued a notice inviting applications (NIA) for new wards for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the NACTEP. This program provides grants to improve career and technical education (CTE) programs that are consistent with the purposes of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (the Act or Perkins V) and that benefit Native Americans and Alaska Natives. NIA has a competitive preference priority for STEM. Applications are due by January 30, 2021.
Transformative Research in the Education Sciences Grants Program
Through the Transformative Research in the Education Sciences Grants Program, the National Center Education Research supports innovative or unconventional research that has the potential to lead to new scientific paradigms, novel and more effective approaches to education practice or policy, or transformative technologies that substantially increase learner outcomes. There are two open opportunities found here. Application dues by February 25, 2021.
Below are investments made in FY 2020.
- $3.6 million for the Alaska Native Education Equity Program
- $300,000 for Braille training (rehabilitation services demonstrations and training)
- $5.1 million for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
- $5 million for the Comprehensive Centers Program
- $124.7 million for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Partnership Grants) (GEAR-UP)
- $23 million for Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need
- $25 million for Innovative Approaches to Literacy
- $5.7 million for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program
- $900,000 for Migrant Education Consortium Incentive Grants (CIG)
- $29 million for the Native Hawaiian Education Program
- $12.6 million for the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)
- $1.4 million for the Perkins Innovation & Modernization Grant Program
- $300,000 for Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI)
- $2.3 million for Strengthening Native American Nontribal Serving Institutions (NASNTI)
- $1.5 million to provide special education programs in educational technology, media, and materials for students with disabilities via a cooperative agreement with the Center on Early STEM Learning for Young Children
- $9.3 million to provide special education programs educational technology, media, and materials for individuals with disabilities via Stepping Up
- $151.2 million for Federal TRIO Programs
- $73.7 million for Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED)
- $49.4 million for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP)
- $28.2 million for Education Research Grants Programs
- $1.5 million for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program
- $4.3 million for the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Program
- $11.1 million for the Special Education Research Grants Program
- $6.3 million for Research Training in the Education Sciences
- $2.6 million for Research Training in Special Education
You can search for open discretionary grant opportunities or reach out to the Department's STEM contacts noted below. The Forecast of Funding Opportunities lists virtually all Department discretionary grant programs for FY 2021.
Recent STEM grantees include, but are not limited to, MSEIP awards and Innovation and Modernization Career and Technical Education awards.
The Department is seeking peer reviewers for our Fiscal Year 2021 competitive/discretionary grant season, including in the STEM/CS areas (among others). The Federal Register notice spotlights the specific needs of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The How to Become a Peer Reviewer slide deck provides additional information and next steps.
The Department recently published two new grant applicant resources. These resources were developed to (1) provide an overview of the discretionary (or competitive) grants application process and (2) offer more details intended to be used by prospective applicants, including new potential grantees. These support one of the Secretary's new administrative priorities on New Potential Grantees that was published in March 2020. They can also be found under the "Other Grant Information" on the ED's Grants webpage.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on November 9, 2020 the call for nominations for the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, which honors two K-12 educators for excellence in cybersecurity education.
Now in its second year, the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award is presented annually to one elementary educator and one secondary educator who instill in their students skills, knowledge, and passion for cybersecurity. The award, established on May 2, 2019, by President Trump's Executive Order on America's Cybersecurity Workforce, was created by the Department in consultation with Homeland Security, the National Security Council, and the National Science Foundation.
Go here to learn more about the inaugural award recipients Donna Woods and Kara Four Bear and their contributions to cybersecurity education. These great educators were honored by Secretary DeVos during Teacher Appreciation Week in May 2020. They were also featured at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference and Expo with the Department's Jean Morrow discussing the Award in November 2020.
ESEA, IDEA, and Perkins Resources
Back-to-School Success Stories
College Scorecard ― updated again on 12-2-20 so that students can now compare average earnings two years after graduation based on field of study and how much federal student loan debt they can expect to incur, including new information on Parent PLUS loans, based on where they decide to attend school.
Exploring Career Options – FSA
Stackable Credentials that lead to careers
Cross-agency teacher resources – prepared for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Fall 2019 awardees
IES data and statistics, research and evaluation, and tools for educators
Out of School STEM Initiatives
The ED Games Expo "Goes Virtual" to Support Distance Learning
STEM Data Story — A Leak in the STEM Pipeline: Taking Algebra Early
CTE Data Story — Bridging the Skills Gap: Career and Technical Education in High School
Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide
Early Learning: STEM – Math Video
Keep Calm and Connect All Student OET Blog Series
K-12 Practitioners' Circle
STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education (STEMI2E2) Center and OSEP's Early Learning Newsletter
A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
CTE Research Center
Civil Rights Data Collection
In February 2020, the Department created the U.S. Department of Education STEM Newsletter. Please go to our newsletter subscription page to opt-in to this great resource.
The STEM Education Briefings are live-streamed, close-captioned and archived for your convenience.
July 2019 – What Do We Know about Computer Science Education?
September 2019 – Recruiting and Retaining 100K STEM Teachers in 10 Years
October 2019 – Early Engineering Education and State Efforts
November 2019 – The STEM Opportunity Index
December 2019 – Family Engagement in STEM
January 2020 – STEAM: Arts Supporting STEM
February 2020 – STEM After School
June 2020 – Distance Learning
July 2020 – Early Math (presentation slides [PDF, 2.37MB])
August 2020 – Cybersecurity Education (presentation slides [PDF, 10.5MB])
September 2020 – STEM Teacher Preparation (presentation slides [PDF, 3.5MB])
October 2020 – Invention Education (presentation slides [PDF, 13.13MB])
November 2020 – Federal STEM Strategic Plan: 2 Years Later (presentation slides [PDF, 15.49MB]). The Department experienced technical difficulties during the live presentation. Apologies for any inconvenience.
December 2020 – New Frontiers in K-12 Computer Science— This webinar will feature several Education Innovation and Research Computer Science grantees. Please join us as we learn more about K-12 CS education, which states are leading the way, as well as some innovative approaches to integrating CS into formal, informal, and virtual educational settings. Register by going here
The following are federal agencies that the Department collaborates with to support the aims of the STEM Education Strategic Plan (see above section for more details) and the Department's stakeholders.
- Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science and Technology Council
- STEM Education Advisory Panel
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- Department of Labor
- Department of Energy (DOE)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) and NSF INCLUDES
- The Department of Education is one of several federal agencies collaborating with the National Science Foundation and the NSF INCLUDES National Network to scale and sustain progress to broaden participation in STEM academic pathways and careers.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) (U.S. Department of Commerce)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Smithsonian Institute
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (U.S. Department of the Interior)
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (U.S. Department of Commerce)
- STEM Lead and Policy Advisor, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development — Jean Morrow at Jean.Morrow@ed.gov.
- Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education — Patti Curtis at Patti.Curtis@ed.gov