Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science

Table of Contents

Background
America's Strategy for STEM Education
Department Offices that Support STEM
Secretary's STEM Priority
ED Delivers Historic Investment in STEM
Open ED Funding 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
Resources
Communications
Archived STEM Newsletters
Other communications tools
STEM Education Briefings
Archived Briefings
Upcoming STEM Briefings
Other Federal Agency STEM websites
Department STEM Contacts


Background

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 have the ability to 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.

America's Strategy for STEM Education

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.

Department Offices that Support STEM

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)

Secretary's STEM Priority

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."

ED Delivers Historic Investment in STEM

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.

Open ED Funding Opportunities

Career & Educational Pathways Exploration Grants
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.

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.

Examples of the Department's discretionary grants that can support STEM

Below are investments made in FY 2020.

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.

Call for Peer Reviewers

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.

New Grant Applicant Resources

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.

Second Annual Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award

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.

The The nomination period is now open and will close on January 31, 2021.  Nominations and any questions should be submitted to CyberAwards@ed.gov .

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.

Resources

ESEA, IDEA, and Perkins Resources
Back-to-School Success Stories
College Scorecard
Exploring Career Options – FSA
Work-Based Learning
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
STEM Spotlights
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

Communications

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.

Archived STEM Newsletters

November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020

Other communications tools

Homeroom Blog
Press Releases
Twitter
Newsletter Subscriptions

STEM Education Briefings

The STEM Education Briefings are live-streamed, close-captioned and archived for your convenience.

Archived Briefings

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)
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.

Upcoming STEM Briefings

December 2020 – New Frontiers in K-12 Computer Science (more details forthcoming)

Other Federal Agency STEM websites

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.

Department STEM Contacts

  • 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 — Patti Curtis at Patti.Curtis@ed.gov

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