BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski along with Representatives Elijah E. Cummings, John Sarbanes and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today announced that the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has been awarded a $7,414,585 federal grant over five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES). Team Maryland was joined by Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Baltimore City Schools Chief of Staff Tisha Edwards to make the announcement. 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. Following their announcement at Arlington Elementary School in Baltimore, Team Maryland toured a STEM classroom to see first-hand the work being done to support advanced learning.
“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,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee which funds NSF. “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.”
“Our nation’s children are among the brightest in the world. For them, and for our country, it is essential that they also be the best educated,” said Cummings. “I commend all of the partners in SABES for their efforts to learn and then teach us how best to engage our young people in the pursuit of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
“We must provide our children with a top-notch education that prepares them for academic and professional success,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This grant will help elementary students build a strong foundation in science and math and prepare them for the future.”
“To start Baltimore growing again, we need to work in partnership to improve educational opportunities for all of our kids,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Support for STEM education will prepare our students for tomorrow’s economy. By forging new partnerships like this, we can give every child the education – and opportunity – they deserve.”
Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) learning is targeted to the local community through the STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) program, which integrates 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.