Thursday, January 7, 2010

NIH Awards $18.3 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education

To remain competitive in our 21st century global economy, the nation must foster new opportunities, approaches, and technologies in math and science education. This begins with a coordinated effort to bolster science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) education nationwide, starting at the earliest stages in education. Developing a more diverse and academically prepared workforce of individuals in S.T.E.M. disciplines will benefit all aspects of scientific and medical research and care.

As part of this national effort, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it is awarding approximately $18.3 million to researchers over two years to strengthen and enhance efforts to attract young people to biomedical and behavioral science careers and to improve science literacy in adults and children. These grants are part of the $5 billion in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that President Obama announced on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 on the NIH campus. The Recovery Act funds provide an opportunity to fuel the growing interest in mathematics and science and apply rigorous scientific methods to educational research to develop practical interventions for tomorrow's classrooms.

"Attracting the best and brightest students in science and medical careers is critical to developing a workforce capable of addressing the emerging and complex challenges in biomedical research," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "S.T.E.M. education has the added value of advancing scientific literacy, a high priority for our nation."

The bulk of these grants are being funded through the NIH Common Fund. This essential research will support S.T.E.M. education in areas of greatest national need and address issues of equity in S.T.E.M. competencies across racial, cultural and economic barriers. The Common Fund, enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act, supports cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs with a particular emphasis on innovation and risk taking.

The NIH is making 22 S.T.E.M. education grants to support research in the following areas:

  • Efficacy of educational approaches toward promoting S.T.E.M. competencies
  • Teacher preparation development programs to support effective S.T.E.M. teaching
  • Informal science education
  • Innovative approaches to S.T.E.M. education
  • Identification of practices that overcome equity issues in S.T.E.M. learning.
  • The S.T.E.M. Education Grant recipients' names and institutions are listed below.

More information on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (S.T.E.M.) Education grants is at and

The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs known collectively as the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. The NIH Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Education Grants are funded through the Common Fund, the NIH Office of the Director, the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Additional information about the NIH Common Fund can be found at

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

The activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). More information about NIH's ARRA grant funding opportunities can be found at To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the ARRA, visit To track all federal funds provided through the ARRA, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Education Grant Recipients

  • Lei Bao, Ph.D., Ohio State University, Columbus – Science Learning and Scientific Reasoning
  • Laura Jones Bottomley, Ph.D. and Jerome Lavelle, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, Raleigh – Do Engineering Curricula Improve Science and Mathematics Learning in Elementary School?
  • Kwan H. Cheng, Ph.D. and Beth Thacker, Ph.D., Texas Tech University, Lubbock – An Assessment of Multimodal Physics Lab Intervention Efficacy in S.T.E.M. Education
  • Mary O. Dereski, Ph.D., Wayne State University, Detroit – Integrating Environmental Health-Based Biotechnology into S.T.E.M. Teaching for High
  • Laurie Donnelly, M.A., WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, Mass. – Designing Life Stories from the Bioethical Frontier
  • Robin S. Fuchs-Young, Ph.D., University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston – MENTORS Project: Models of Educational Networking To Optimize Rural Science
  • Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., University of Delaware, Newark – Shape Up Preschoolers Geometric Sense Predicts Future Mathematics Achievement
  • David W. Grissmer, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville – Improving Fine Motor Skill Development to Promote Mathematical Ability
  • Tracy S. Hoover, Ph.D. and James Endres Howell, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, University Park – Recruiting the Next Generation of Environmental Toxicologists
  • Sylvia Hurtado, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles – Introductory S.T.E.M. Courses: Sorting, Harvesting, or Nurturing Student Talent
  • Philip J. Kellman, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles – Using Perceptual and Adaptive Learning to Advance Chemistry Education
  • Eric Klopfer, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. – Ubiquitous Games for Biology? Developing Understanding of Biology and Biologic
  • Amy Lobben, Ph.D., University of Oregon, Eugene – Exploiting the Power of GIS to Enhance Spatial Thinking in S.T.E.M. Areas
  • Polly Olsen, University of Washington, Seattle – Native Youth Enrichment Program
  • Shayne B. Piasta, Ph.D., Ohio State University, Columbus – Efficacy of the Core Knowledge Approach to Math and Science Preschool Instruction
  • Dawn M. Pickard, Ph.D. and Douglas L. Wendell, Ph.D., Oakland University, Rochester, Mich. – DNA Markers for Fast Plants to Teach Scientific Thinking
  • David E. Pritchard, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. – Integrating and Evaluating the Modeling Applied to Problem Solving Pedagogy
  • Philip M. Sadler, Ed.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. – ALSISE: Assessment of Life Science Intermediate School Educators
  • Jenessa Shapiro, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles – Reducing Barriers to Gender Equity in S.T.E.M. Fields by Reducing Stereotype Threats
  • Virginia L. Shepherd, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. – Evaluation of the Impact of a Sustained Scientist-in-the-Classroom Program
  • Theodore Sicker, M.S., WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, Mass. – Teachers' Domain: Environmental Health
  • Leta Meole Tribble, Ph.D., Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, S.C. – Promoting Genetic Literacy in Students and Teachers