September 10, 2012

Cardin, Mikulski Announce More Than $7 Million Over Five Years For STEM Education In Baltimore Public Schools

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has been awarded a $7,414,585 grant over five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES). The project is a partnership between JHU and Baltimore City Public School (BCPS), and works within neighborhoods to build a Community Enterprise for science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) learning. As Chair of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Senator Mikulski puts funds in the federal checkbook for NFS every year.

“STEM education is the cornerstone of our nation’s future economic success and growth,” said Senator Cardin.  “This National Science Foundation grant to Johns Hopkins University is a significant investment in Baltimore City Public School students and will help prepare them for 21st Century jobs.”

“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation and early education is a critical rung in that ladder,” Senator Mikulski said. “Students with STEM backgrounds are in demand today, so they can fill the jobs of tomorrow. Every student deserves a chance to excel in those fields. This federal funding will help show Baltimore City students that STEM isn’t just fun – it’s the key to a good job and a promising future.”

“This grant provides a wonderful opportunity for The Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools. The partnership will enable us to improve STEM literacy beginning in elementary school, and involve the larger community in this effort as we work together to broaden STEM educational and career opportunities for Baltimore's students,” said Nicholas P. Jones, dean of the university’s Whiting School of Engineering. “Johns Hopkins is committed to using its strengths to have a positive impact on the Baltimore community.”

SABES builds expertise and excitement for STEM learning within target communities by integrating science into the learner’s world, as opposed to bringing students into the world of scientists. The program will engage forty BCPS teachers and 1,620 students in grades 3-5 at nine elementary schools in three high-minority, low income neighborhoods, as well as caregivers, community-based organizations, afterschool program providers, faculty and students from JHU, members of Baltimore’s high tech businesses and local museums. SABES will prepare afterschool STEM facilitators in each neighborhood.

SABES research findings are expected to allow for broader understanding about issues that schools grapple with nationwide: developing science literacy in all students, investigating community-based learning as a potential resource for educational support, and closing the STEM achievement gap between students of different ethnicities, English language proficiencies, and income levels. 

The Community Enterprise for STEM Learning program focuses on expanding partnerships beyond school districts and higher education to include community institutions that broaden math and science education, including museums, zoos, parks, aquariums, local businesses and industry along with laboratories and science centers. The program also seeks to address social situations of students by engaging families and parents, social services and after school providers to improve learning and retention.

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