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

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

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.

COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel

The White House, the Department, and other federal agencies are continually releasing and updating information to support schools, educators, families, and students regarding COVID-19. In addition to the links below, please visit https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus for the latest education-related information and address questions for the Department to COVID-19@ed.gov.

Charting a Course for Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education

The STEM Education Strategic Plan, 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.

On behalf of the National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC's) Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) and in coordination with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF) requests input related to the implementation of the Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan released December 2018 (and mentioned above), Charting a Course For Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education. This request seeks public input on STEM education including digital resources, strategic partnerships, computational literacy, transdisciplinary learning, and more. Any questions regarding the RFI should be directed to Cindy Hasselbring, Assistant Director, STEM Education, OSTP, STEM@ostp.eop.gov. The STEM Request for Information (RFI) comment period will close at 11:59 pm on October 19, 2020.

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 Educational Technology (OET)
Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)
Institute of Educational Sciences (IES)
White House Initiatives
Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science

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."

U.S. Department of Education Advances Trump Administration's STEM Investment Priorities

In November 2019, the Department announced that it invested nearly $540 million to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including computer science, through discretionary and research grants in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, in accordance with President Trump's directive to foster expanded opportunities in these in-demand career fields. Of that total, there was almost $100 million in funds to support projects with a focus on Computer Science.  In FY 2018, the Department invested $200 million in STEM education. Figures for FY 2020 will be released later this fall.

Open Funding Opportunities

Out of School Time Career Pathway Grant Opportunity
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Out-of-School Time Career Pathway (OSTCP) program is open to state educational agencies that have developed a partnership to provide students expanded options to participate in a career pathway program, outside regular school hours, that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential, such as an industry‑recognized certification or a certification of completion of an apprenticeship in an in‑demand industry sector or occupation. There are two competitive preference priorities: 1) for programs that promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and, 2) for programs that include students attending schools in rural areas. The 21st CCLC OSTCP program webpage, includes the Notice Inviting Applications, informational webinar, and other relevant information. Questions can be sent to: 21stCCLCcompetition@ed.gov. Applications are due September 21, 2020.

New Rural Tech Challenge to Advance Technology Education
The Department recently announced a $600,000 challenge for rural high schools and local educational agencies to propose technology education programs that use competency-based distance learning. The Rural Tech Project will select up to five finalists, each will receive an equal share of the $500,000 cash prize pool, on-the-ground assistance, and access to virtual resources. One grand prize winner will receive an additional $100,000. Proposals are due October 8, 2020.

Space Mission Challenge for High School Students
Building on the Administration-wide commitment to expand student interest in the booming science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, the U.S. Department of Education launched the CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge to inspire students to build technical skills for careers in space and beyond. High school students from across the country are invited to design and build CubeSat (cube satellite) prototypes, or satellites that aid in space research, bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom.

Schools interested in entering CTE Mission: CubeSat should form a team and submit a mission proposal by 5:59 p.m. ET, on Oct. 16, 2020 — no in-person collaboration or prior experience with CubeSats is required. The online submission form asks for school information, a team profile, a project proposal, and anticipated learning outcomes. Curated educational resources are available to students and teachers online in the CTE Mission: CubeSat resource hub. More information can be found by going here.

New Grants to Promote Institutional Resiliency and Expand Educational Opportunity for Students
The Secretary announced a new grant program to help institutions of higher education emerge from the coronavirus pandemic more resilient and better able to expand educational opportunities for students. The grants can be used to resume operations, support students, reduce disease transmission, and develop more agile instructional delivery models. This grant offers a priority for applicants that incorporate dual enrollment for high school students and a priority to applicants who plan to expand those opportunities to students in an Opportunity Zone or rural community. Applications are due October 20, 2020.

Examples of the Department's competitive, discretionary grant that can support STEM:

Alaska Native Education Equity Program
Braille Training Program (Rehabilitation Services Demonstrations and Training)
College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
Comprehensive Centers Program
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (State Grants) (GEAR-UP)
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program
Hispanic Serving Institutions - STEM
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Research Grants
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program
Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP)
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)
Perkins Innovation & Modernization Grant Program
Ready to Learn (RTL) Programming
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
STEM Education Research Grants Program
STEM Special Education Research Grants Program
Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program
Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program
Upward Bound Math-Science

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 2020.

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 2020 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.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Honors Two Educators with Inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award

The Secretary announced on May 11, 2020 that Donna Woods and Kara Four Bear have been selected as the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award awardees. This award recognizes Ms. Woods, of Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California, and Ms. Four Bear, of New Town Middle School in New Town, North Dakota, for instilling in their students the skills, knowledge, and passion for cybersecurity. They were selected based on their demonstration of superior educator accomplishment, academic achievement indicators, and leadership contributing to educational excellence in cybersecurity education.

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 2021 nomination and selection season will be announced in November 2020.

Resources

ESEA, IDEA, and Perkins Resources
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
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

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
Early Learning: STEM – Math Video
Keep Calm and Connect All Student OET Blog Series

STEM Education Briefings

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

Archived

July 31, 2019 – What Do We Know about Computer Science Education?
Sept 12, 2019 – Recruiting and Retaining 100K STEM Teachers in 10 Years
Oct 17, 2019 – Early Engineering Education and State Efforts
Nov 14, 2019 – The STEM Opportunity Index
Dec 5, 2019 – Family Engagement in STEM
Jan 22, 2020 – STEAM: Arts Supporting STEM
Feb 4, 2020 – STEM After School
June 23, 2020 – Distance Learning
July 8, 2020 – Early Math
Aug 25, 2020 – Cybersecurity Education
Sept 15, 2020 – STEM Teacher Preparation

Upcoming

Oct 27, 2020 – Invention Education
Nov 17, 2020 – TBD

Other Federal Agency STEM websites

Department STEM Contacts

  • Department: 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.