Common Fund and ARRA Awards in S.T.E.M. Education
AMERICAN REINVESTMENT AND RECOVERY ACT (ARRA) FUNDS SUPPORT SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (S.T.E.M.) EDUCATION AT NIH
Students in the U.S. are behind other nations on international assessments of science, mathematics, and problem-solving ability. This learning gap is disproportionately observed in minority and disadvantaged populations, and the overall trend raises concerns that the nation could lose its edge in science and technological innovation. Effective science education not only prepares students for a career in the sciences but has the added benefit of fostering scientific literacy. Increasing scientific literacy can lead to more informed decisions about health and disease and overall improvements in the public's health.
The path to a career in science or medical research is a long and challenging one. The decision to pursue a career in biomedical research typically occurs early in education, even as early as elementary school, and long before college or graduate school. Being able to deliver more effective educational programs, at all stages of education, ensures that students are well prepared for careers in the biomedical sciences and helps our nation maintain its leading edge.
The NIH's S.T.E.M. Education Challenge grants, funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), make new investments in S.T.E.M. education research and will identify effective educational programs. The Recovery funds provide an opportunity for the NIH to fuel the growing interest in mathematics and science, address health disparities in S.T.E.M. competencies, and apply rigorous scientific methods to educational research to develop practical interventions for tomorrow's classrooms.
As part of the NIH-wide investment, the Common Fund is supporting S.T.E.M. education research in the following areas:
- Assessing the efficacy of educational approaches toward promoting S.T.E.M. competencies.
- Developing teacher preparation programs to support effective S.T.E.M. teaching.
- Identifying innovative approaches to S.T.E.M. education.
- Identifying practices that overcome equity issues in S.T.E.M. learning.