Even if you start small, launching a STEM program in your school requires serious financial support. Teacher training, classroom equipment and curriculum development are all expensive. But if you make a quick online search for STEM grants, you will find a lot of money is available — if you know where it is and how to ask for it.
Money Is Available
When developing a program in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, there must be buy-in by all stakeholders. From the community to the district, from teachers to students, everyone must agree that the program is important to all students. Even if everyone agrees, however, effective STEM education is possible only if funding is available.
The U.S. Department of Education invested $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funds in fiscal year 2018. The National Science Foundation awarded $50 million in STEM education grants in November 2018. In addition, many other national foundations, state departments of education, community foundations, national corporations, and even local businesses recognize the value of STEM education and have made millions of dollars available. All you have to do is identify the appropriate grant and submit your application.
Sounds simple, right?
Learning How to Write STEM Grants
The serious educator who is committed to implementing STEM has a clear grasp of the volume of preparation and research involved in writing an effective grant. You must clearly identify the need, your goals and what you will do with the grant. You must also explain how you will measure success. School administrators will need to be on board with your request, and you will probably be required to have a budget detailing your expected costs. Once you have that all together, you can do your research to find the funders who might support your project.
Louisiana State University Shreveport offers a fully online program which specializes in preparing educators for leadership roles in STEM education. The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Online program from LSUS recognizes how important it is to secure funding for STEM education, and they have included a course titled "Grant Writing for STEM Programs."
To prepare their graduates to submit grant proposals, LSUS offers this specialized course. "Educators will research STEM funding prospects, interact with those funders, and plan, write, and submit grant proposals." In the real world, being able to research and write STEM grants, as well as track and manage grant proposals and funded grants, are essential skills. Preparing reports, complying with fiscal requirements and using advanced critical thinking skills are all covered in this course.
The LSU Shreveport faculty are practitioners in the STEM field, ensuring that their students come away with a thorough understanding of current trends and best practices. This online MEDCI-STEM program consists of 30 semester hours and can be completed in as few as 10 months. Students may qualify for a federal TEACH Grant since this is a high-need program.
Sources:EiE Blog: Top 7 Tips for Getting a STEM Grant
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