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NGA Center awards grants for STEM education centers

Forwarded from Government Technoloy Today – 

NGA Awards $500,000 Grants to Six States to Improve STEM Education

Jul 2, 2007, News Report

Because the livelihood of today’s workforce, as well as state economies across the country, rests on the ability to compete in today’s global economy, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) today awarded Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia $500,000 grants to establish science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education centers in their states.

A new workforce of problem-solvers, innovators, and inventors who are self-reliant and able to think logically is one of the critical foundations that drive a state economy’s innovation capacity. The grants will allow states to create new STEM centers, support the development of a network of STEM centers or repurpose existing STEM Centers. The centers will serve as the foundation for an improved workforce through:

  • Aligning K-12 STEM education requirements with postsecondary and workplace expectations;
  • Improving the quantity and quality of STEM teachers;
  • Benchmarking state K-12 STEM standards, assessments and curricula to top performing nations in STEM education achievement and attainment;
  • Garnering public will for change to implement a better aligned system; and
  • Identifying best practices in STEM education and bringing them to scale.

“Governors recognize the links between a rigorous STEM education program and our leadership in the global economy,” said Raymond C. Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association. “These grants will strengthen the economic competitiveness of the United States by improving our capacity for innovation.”

STEM centers will help state K-12 education systems ensure all students graduate from high school with essential competencies in science, technology, engineering and math. These competencies are integral to improving overall high school graduation and college readiness rates and supporting a state economy’s innovation capacity related to the businesses that operate within their leading economic clusters.

The STEM center grants are being awarded as part of NGA Chair Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s Innovation America initiative. An independent national selection committee comprised of leading innovation and education experts selected the six states from submitted proposals. All states and U.S. territories were invited to apply for the grant and 24 applications were received.

The grants are made possible with the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Intel Foundation.