Apr 22

Learning from Our 2020 Challenge Grantees

Last October, we announced $30,000 in funding for new programs to expand high-quality STEM education . Through the 2020 STEMx Challenge Grants, leading organizations in three states invested in growing new, promising practices.

Today, they share what they learned. Brief summaries of all three grantees and their reports are included below.

2020 STEMx Challenge Grant Reports

Project plan: Idaho STEM Action Center will collaborate with Idaho STEM lending library network to expand the regional STEM lending libraries throughout the state. These lending libraries will house critical hands-on learning resources like such as Ozobots, 3D printers, and drones. The STEMx funding leverages previous grants by other organizations that expanded library inventory and created standards-aligned, instructional videos/curriculum for Idaho educators. Under the STEMx Challenge Grant, the Idaho STEM Action Center will launch a new online cataloging system and awareness campaign. These efforts will dramatically expand access to high-quality STEM experiences for local learners.

Project plan: Under a previous award, the Indiana STEM Ecosystem developed a series digital tools to advance STEM learning. These include a statewide digital asset mapping tool and an Indiana STEM needs assessment.

This year, the organization will refine and test these tools and provide five virtual convenings/training sessions. In total, these efforts will grow the capacity and effectiveness of Indiana STEM educators, laying the groundwork for student success. 

Project plan: With support from the  North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center , the regional  STEM East Network  will launch a museums@home program. Students in the program will connect with regional museums having specific areas of expertise such as the  Aurora Fossil Museum  and  Sylvan Heights Bird Park . Each museums@home implementation includes: 1) a pre-activity live museum/classroom chat, 2) a student-managed STEM classroom activity, 3) a post-activity museum/classroom follow-up and 4) a virtual Family STEM Night session to celebrate and share the student activities.