HARRISBURG, PA — Building on the launch of the PAsmart initiative last year, Governor Tom Wolf announced up to $20 million in grants are available to prepare students for the fast-growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and computer science (CS).
“PAsmart is strategically investing in science and technology education so students get the skills they need for emerging jobs in high demand,” said Governor Wolf. “The grants encourage businesses and schools to develop partnerships that focus education on the knowledge students will need to succeed in growing industries.
“Through PAsmart, we are developing the most prepared and talented workforce in the country, which will help students excel, grow the middle class, and strengthen the economy for everyone,” he said.
The governor secured $30 million for PAsmart last year and $40 million this year. The Department of Education will award $20 million for STEM and computer science education through PAsmart Targeted PreK-12 grants and Advancing grants. The Department of Labor and Industry will soon announce applications for $10 million for apprenticeships and industry partnerships. Funding for career and technical education also increased by $10 million.
“Pennsylvania is a national leader for offering innovative computer science and STEM learning, which is critical to ensuring that students are college, career, and community ready when they graduate,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “PAsmart Targeted and Advancing grants help train educators to provide high-quality STEM and CS experiences in their classrooms. They also promote community partnerships to ensure all students of all ages, including those who are historically underserved and underrepresented, receive STEM and CS education.”
PAsmart Targeted PreK-12 grants, of up to $35,000 each, are structured to meet the needs of local education agencies (LEAs) and their schools that have limited to no computer science offerings and did not receive Targeted grants in 2018-19. These grants are used to help schools introduce and expand computer science programming and to provide educators from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with training and professional development to teach CS. The Targeted grants also provide greater opportunities for students of color, low-income students and girls to learn critical skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
PAsmart Advancing grants, of up to $500,000 each, support cross-sector partnerships that provide quality STEM and CS experiences to learners of all ages – early childhood, PreK-12, postsecondary, and adult learners – as part of high-level strategic approaches to workforce readiness. The grants enable regions to expand STEM ecosystems; grow partnerships between LEAs, postsecondary institutions and businesses; expand CS/STEM opportunities to historically underserved populations; and expand the pool of CS/STEM educators at all levels of education.
The deadline for submitting Targeted grant applications to PDE is Friday, December 20, 2019
Advancing grant applications must be submitted to PDE by Friday, January 10, 2020.
Grant applications and additional information is available on the PDE website.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education
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