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 ("Coronavirus") Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel

Health officials are currently taking steps to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") into communities across the United States. Coronavirus.gov offers the most up to date information about this rapidly evolving situation.

Through collaboration and coordination with State and local health departments, State and local educational agencies, other education officials, and elected officials, schools can disseminate critical information about the disease and its potential transmission to students, families, staff, and community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided guidance for school settings.

For more information, including additional resources for K-12 and higher education schools and possible at-home activities, go to ed.gov/coronavirus.

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

This Plan was published in December 2018 and 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. Read more about this strategy and what the U.S. Department of Education (Department) plans to do to support by going here.

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 Progress 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 Progress 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. To read more, go here.

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." Read more here.

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 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. Read more by going here.

To learn about how the Department supported STEM in Fiscal Year 2018, click here.

Funding Opportunities

ED Announces New Grant Competition to Spark Student-Centered, Agile Learning Opportunities
More than $300 million in discretionary grant funds, authorized by the CARES Act,  will be available for states to use to create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Department will divide the funds between two competitions: $180 million for the Rethink K-12 School Models Grant and $127.5 million for the Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant. Applicants will then have 60 days to apply.

Competitive/discretionary grant Department programs that are currently open that can support STEM follows:

Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) – applications due June 12, 2020 (contains a STEM competitive preference priority)
Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program – Mid-Phase – applications due June 15, 2020 (contains a STEM absolute priority)
Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Courses Demonstration Grantsapplications due June 26, 2020
Competitive Grants for State Assessmentsapplications due by June 30, 2020
Migrant Education Program (MEP) Consortium Incentive Grant (CIG) Programapplications due 5/27/20 (contains a STEM competitive preference priority)
Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) – applications due 5/26/20 (this may be extended) (can support STEM and the Federal STEM Strategic Plan)
Ready to Learn (RTL) Programmingapplications due 5/15/20 (contains an invitational priority that exposes children to future career and workforce options, including the education, skills, and age-appropriate tools needed for those career or workforce options that are now or will likely be in demand when these children enter the workforce)

A snap-shot of other competitive/discretionary grant Department programs 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
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Research Grants
Education Research Grants Program
National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) Program
Special Education Research Grants Program
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)
Perkins Innovation & Modernization Grant Program
Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Program
TRIO Program

More information about open discretionary grant opportunities can be found here or reach out to the Department's STEM contact below. For the Forecast of Funding Opportunities under the Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, go here.

For examples of current STEM grantees, go here and here.

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). You can read our Federal Register notice which 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). To learn how to be considered as a reviewer, with some next steps, go here.

New Applicant Resources

The Department recently published new applicant information resources. These resources were developed to (1) provide an overview of the discretionary (or competitive) grants application process at the Department and (2) are intended to be used by prospective applicants, including new potential grantees, for the Department's discretionary grant programs that have never received a grant from the Department and those that are interested in learning more about the process. Additionally, they support one of the Secretary's new administrative priorities on New Potential Grantees that was published in March 2020.

The resources can be found by going to the links below. They can also be found on the ED's Grants webpage under the "Other Grant Information" section. One version provides basic information while the other provides a bit more detail for those who need it.
https://www2.ed.gov/documents/funding-101/funding-101-basics.pdf
https://www2.ed.gov/documents/funding-101/funding-101.pdf

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

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos 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 the area of cybersecurity. 

This award was established on May 2, 2019, by President Trump's Executive Order on America's Cybersecurity Workforce. The U.S. Department of Education was charged to create this award within one year and in consultation with the Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at the National Security Council and the National Science Foundation.

For information on the nomination and selection process, please visit here. Information on the Executive Order is available here. The 2021 nomination season will be announced later this year.

Resources

The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy announced in March 2020 a website of online learning resources, developed in collaboration with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) found here: https://www.techforlearners.org.

ESEA, IDEA, and Perkins Resources (PDF), 335K
College Scorecard
Exploring Career Options – FSA
Work-Based Learning
Stackable Credentials that lead to careers
Cross-agency teacher resources (PDF), 371K – 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
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
STEMIE and here is where you can sign up for OSEP's Early Learning Newsletter
CTE Research Center
Civil Rights Data Collection
Federal Partnerships
STEM Education Advisory Panel

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.

Homeroom Blog
Press Releases
Twitter
Newsletter Subscriptions
Early Learning: STEM – Math Video

STEM Education Briefings

The STEM Education Briefings are live-streamed and archived for your convenience. To attend future briefings, please RSVP to Patti.Curtis@ed.gov. Briefings are postponed temporarily until further notice.

2019 (archived links)

July 31 – What Do We Know about Computer Science Education?
Sept 12 – The Grand Challenges in STEM Education: Recruiting and Retaining 100K STEM Teachers in 10 Years
Oct 17 – Early Engineering Education and State Efforts
Nov 14 – The STEM Opportunity Index
Dec 5 – Family Engagement in STEM

2020

Jan 22 – STEAM: Arts Supporting STEM
Feb 4 – STEM After School

Other Federal Agency STEM websites

Department Contact

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.