STEM Funding

Catalyst Grants To Provide $1 Million for STEM Initiatives

HP will provide $1 million in cash, technology, and professional services to educational institutions and other organizations to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and faculty development.

The grants are part of HP's Catalyst Initiative, an international and interdispliplinary effort focused on developing a "cohesive, student-centered approach" to STEM education through what it referred to as "sandboxes of innovation," where each "sandbox" is a consortium of secondary schools, colleges, universities, and education-focused nonprofits and NGOs tackling one particular STEM education theme.

HP has delineated five individual sandboxes, or consortia, and assigned leaders to them. It's now looking for participants to populate those sandboxes.

The individual consortia include:

  • Global Collaboratory, which will use what HP termed "collaborative grid computing" to let students tackle a variety of social challenges. This group will be led by South Africa's CSIR Meraka Institute, a research and policy group focused on using information and communications technology to promote economic and social development.
  • Measuring Learning, which will focus on developing methods for assessing STEM competencies. It will be led by Carnegie Mellon University.
  • The Multi-Versity, which will focus on online education, investigating and identifying best practices both for student learning and for faculty development. This group will be led by the Sloan Consortium.
  • The New Learner, which will build networks of educational organizations to develop "new models of student-driven STEM+ learning that are engaging, lead to higher school completion rates, and promote 'learning how to learn.'" The group will be led by India's Agastya International Foundation, a group that promotes STEM education and works to support teacher training and disseminate science learning tools.
  • Pedagogy 3.0, which will focus on teacher preparation and professional development, with an emphasis on developing "new models of teacher preparation that will better equip teachers to facilitate 21st century learning experiences for students." Led by Futurlab in the UK, this group will tackle all stages of teacher preparation and training, starting with pre-service and induction, with the goal of boosting the recruitment and retention of STEM teachers.

According to HP, "What's needed is fresh thinking about STEM education that addresses important new disciplines in an interdisciplinary way, emphasizes creative and global collaboration skills, and puts student empowerment at its core. At HP, we call this STEM+ education, and it's the focus of the HP Catalyst Initiative." The initiative is also backed by a number of K-12 and higher ed associations, advocacy groups, and other organizations, including the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), Exploratorium, Futurelab, Hewlett Foundation, the Innosight Institute, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the New Media Consortium, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO Directorate for Higher Education).

The program is open to applicants now. Those who wish to participate must register with the program by June 30. (Applications are being handled by ISTE and can be found here.) Proposals are not due until Aug. 9. Grant recipients will be announced in September.

The program is open t all accredited secondary and post-secondary institutions in the United States, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Kenya, India, Russia, South Africa, and the UK.

Complete details can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .