NASA has selected 10 education organizations to share approximately $7.7 million in grants with the hope of attracting more students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The money will go toward interactive exhibits, virtual worlds, professional development activities and community-based programs.
The institutions, which include six museums and four NASA visitor centers, competed for the funding through NASA's Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities. Selected projects will receive funding ranging from $500,000 to $1 million for performance periods ranging from one to five years. It's all part of NASA's education program, which aims to make interactive STEM experiences available to students and the public.
"Using compelling NASA content, [the organizations] create fun, hands-on learning activities that help us stimulate greater interest in STEM. Increasing STEM literacy in students today is crucial to having the talent NASA will require for future missions of science and discovery," Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education in Washington, explains.
NASA received 67 proposals from institutions in 31 states before selecting the winning projects.