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
Secretary's STEM Priority
Department Offices that Support STEM
ED Delivers Historic Investment in STEM
Open ED Funding and Other Opportunities
Examples of the Department's discretionary grants that can support STEM
Grant Applicant Resources
Call for Peer Reviewers
U.S. Department of Education STEM Newsletter
Archived STEM Newsletters
STEM Education Briefings
Archived Briefings
Upcoming STEM Briefings
Second Annual Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award
CTE CubeSat Finalists Announced
Rural Tech Project Finalists Announced
Resources
Other communications tools
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, including computer science—disciplines collectively known as STEM/CS. 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 literacy 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 literacy and educational options.

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 December 2020, the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House issued the Progress Report on the Implementation of The Federal Stem Education Strategic Plan. This progress report describes ongoing efforts and implementation practices across the Federal Government as it works to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Strategic Plan. This report also compiles budget information from all Federal agencies that have investments in STEM education during Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. Additionally, this document is meant to fulfill the requirements under the America COMPETES Reauthorization of 20102 that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) must transmit a report annually to Congress at the time of the President's budget request providing an update on the STEM Education Federal portfolio performance and an inventory of Federal STEM education investments.

Secretary's STEM Priority

STEM is a centerpiece of Secretary DeVos' comprehensive education agenda. The STEM priority has been 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."

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)

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 and Other Opportunities

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 funding season officially kicked-off on October 1, 2020. Currently open discretionary, research, and other opportunities that can support STEM are below.

New to the Department's grantmaking process? The Department offers introductory resources about its grantmaking. The Department is always seeking experts in STEM education and other fields to serve as peer reviewers of grant applications. See sections below for more details.

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.

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 29, 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.  Applications are due by February 25, 2021.

Talent Search Program
The Department's Office of Postsecondary Education issued an NIA for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the Talent Search Program. The purpose of the Talent Search Program is to identify qualified individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with potential for education at the postsecondary level and encourage them to complete secondary school and undertake postsecondary education. This competition contains a Competitive Preference Priority for STEM. Applications are due by February 26, 2021.

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need
The Department's Office of Postsecondary Education issued an NIA for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN). The GAANN Program provides grants to academic departments and programs of institutions of higher education (IHEs) to support graduate fellowships for students with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course of study at the institution. The areas of national need include computer and information sciences, engineering, and other areas. Applications are due by March 1, 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, Innovation and Modernization Career and Technical Education, Education Innovation and Research awards.

Grant Applicant Resources

The Department published in spring 2020 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.

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.

U.S. Department of Education STEM Newsletter

In February 2020, the Department created the U.S. Department of Education STEM Newsletter. Please go to our newsletter subscription page to sign-up for this great resource.

Archived STEM Newsletters

January 2021

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

STEM Education Briefings

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

Archived Briefings

December 2020 – New Frontiers in K-12 Computer Science (presentation slides [PDF, 12.7MB])
November 2020 – Federal STEM Strategic Plan: 2 Years Later (presentation slides [PDF, 15.49MB]).
October 2020 – Invention Education (presentation slides [PDF, 13.13MB])
September 2020 – STEM Teacher Preparation (presentation slides [PDF, 3.5MB])
August 2020 – Cybersecurity Education (presentation slides [PDF, 10.5MB])
July 2020 – Early Math (presentation slides [PDF, 2.37MB])
June 2020 – Distance Learning
February 2020 – STEM After School
January 2020 – STEAM: Arts Supporting STEM
December 2019 – Family Engagement in STEM
November 2019 – The STEM Opportunity Index
October  2019 – Early Engineering Education and State Efforts
September  2019 – Recruiting and Retaining 100K STEM Teachers in 10 Years
July  2019 – What Do We Know about Computer Science Education?

Upcoming STEM Briefings

There is no STEM webinar scheduled for January 2021.

February 2, 2021 – 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET – Inspiring STEM Interest. Research shows STEM interest can blossom in a variety of settings, sparked in a variety of ways. Learn what the latest research shows and how you can inspire STEM interest. Here is registration link.

March 25, 2021 – Differing Abilities in STEM featuring Dr. Temple Grandin. – More details to follow.

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 the 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 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.

Out of School Time Career Pathway Awardees

Under the national activities authority in the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program and during the week of January 11, 2021, the Department announced $2,133,357 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 awards to four state-based partnerships to develop out of school time career pathways (OSTCP) that will offer participating students an opportunity to earn a recognized postsecondary credential such as an industry-recognized certification or apprenticeship in an in-demand industry. The project period is up to five-years.

CTE CubeSat Finalists Announced

In summer 2020, the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) launched the CTE Mission: CubeSat national challenge to bring space missions and hands-on learning to students. High schools across the country designed prototypes and created mission proposals for CubeSat projects. OCTAE's Assistant Secretary Scott Stump recently announced the five finalists, who will each receive $5,000 and in-kind prizes that they may use to build CubeSat (cube satellite) prototypes in the second phase of the challenge. To receive Phase 2 updates and other challenge news, subscribe to the CTE Mission: CubeSat newsletter.

Rural Tech Project Finalists Announced

In December 2020, the Department announced the five finalist teams in the Rural Tech Project. The $600,000 challenge aims to advance technology education, support rural educators, and prepare students for the careers of today and tomorrow. The Rural Tech Project is designed to empower educators with resources for creating technology education programs customized for their students and local needs. From June to October 2020, the Department invited rural high schools and local educational agencies to propose technology education programs that use competency-based distance learning. Entrants proposed programs focusing on a range of technology skills — from computer science and cybersecurity to robotics and aviation.

Resources

Learning in a Pandemic Webinar: The Current State of Student Learning and Resources to Support Your Students Now
Fall 2020 Back-to-School Success Stories
COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
ESEA, IDEA, and Perkins Resources
College Scorecardupdated again on 1/15/21
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
Department’s Data Strategy

Other communications tools

Homeroom Blog
Press Releases
Twitter
Newsletter Subscriptions

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 support 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.
  • Acting STEM Lead, Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education – Albert Palacios at albert.palacios@ed.gov.
  • Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin STEM Education Fellow, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education — Patti Curtis at Patti.Curtis@ed.gov
  • For inquiries, please reach out to STEM@ed.gov.