Dow Expands Partnership with FIRST® to Promote STEM Education

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) announced today a $1 million commitment with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to promote STEM education. FIRST, a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, has designated Dow as a FIRST Strategic Partner.

Obama announces $240M in new pledges for STEM education

President Obama is highlighting private-sector efforts to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math. At the White House Science Fair on Monday, Obama announced more than $240 million in pledges to boost the study of those fields, known as STEM. This year's fair is focused on diversity. Obama said the new commitments have brought total financial and material support for these programs to $1 billion.

What Kinds of Publicly Funded R&D Projects Fail?

SBIR projects are less likely to fail if research teams are smaller, have more experience and include women investigators, according to a new working paper by Albert N. Link and Mike Wright. The authors also found that larger SBIR awards lower the chances that a project will be discontinued before completion. While the study focuses on projects supported through federal SBIR programs, the findings could have implications for other kinds of public R&D support.

Esty sponsors engineering education grant program

Rep. Elizabeth Esty is the lead sponsor of a bill to link engineering education to high-tech manufacturing through specific grants to colleges and universities with engineering programs. The Manufacturing Universities Act would provide grants of up to $5 million annually over four years for college-level programs.

Student privacy, online exams cause concern for tech leaders

School technology leaders are concerned about whether districts are prepared to give online exams, the security of student data and having enough funding to meet the demands of district leaders. According to the 2015 survey released this week, less than 30 percent of those surveyed said they are fully prepared for online assessments, which are coming to districts around the country – including those in Georgia – this year. More than half reported they don’t have enough money to meet the expectations of school boards and district leaders, and more are increasingly concerned about the privacy of student data.

In a turnabout, key congressional critic backs NSF peer review

A political dispute involving the National Science Foundation (NSF) that has taken on near-biblical importance within the scientific community may be inching closer to resolution. A new statement from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the chair of the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives that oversees NSF, appears to be a significant softening of his long-standing criticism of NSF’s grantsmaking process.

Durbin: Boost research funding $100 billion by ending sequestration caps

A $100 billion boost in research funding would result from a bill backed by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Durbin announced Monday he plans to introduce the legislation to lift federal budget caps — known as sequestration — in order to increase funding for basic scientific research, citing China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade.

Invest in American science

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testified last week before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies. His request? Ensure that the United States remains the world’s pioneer in biomedical research and discovery.

5 helpful grant opportunities for STEM teachers

School funding is a challenge even in the post prosperous of times, especially when it comes to ed tech–technology is always changing, and maintaining or upgrading initiatives, tools, or resources is not always free. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.

Physical scientists offer outside-the-box idea for funding U.S. basic research

San Antonio, Texas - At the annual March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) here this week, a pair of physicists floated one new idea: Congress should create a $100 billion national endowment to help fund basic research. The endowment, which they’re calling the National Research Bank, isn’t an official proposal of APS. Rather, says Michael Lubell, a physicist at the City College of New York who is pushing the idea, “we’re trying to start a conversation.”

The U.S. Will Spend $5 Billion On Energy Research In 2015 – Where Is It Going?

Approximately 10 percent is designated for fossil fuels. Of that roughly $500 million allocation very little actually goes to oil and gas research – only 5 percent, or $25 million. Instead, more than 70 percent is appropriated to coal and carbon sequestration research. The DOE’s clean coal R&D is focused on increasing overall system efficiencies, developing carbon utilization and storage technologies for existing and new facilities, as well as reducing the capital cost of all of the above.

Congrats Young Scientists, You Face The Worst Research Funding In 50 Years

In an appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Dr. Francis Collins offered a familiar warning to lawmakers considering future appropriations for scientific research. Investments are falling relative to inflation, he said, forcing changes likely to snowball into the future.

NSF Awarded $6.8B for Research, STEM Education in FY14

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was appropriated $7.2 billion in FY14 (not including mandatory accounts) of which over $6.8 billion (nearly 95 percent of NSF’s total appropriations) was used to support research and education awards. Over 1,800 institutions of higher education and other organizations received funding from NSF including 11,000 competitively reviewed awards according to a report released by the NSF.

Universities fear the federal research funding pipeline is withering

University officials from around the country fear that a key engine of U.S. innovation and economic power is in danger of stalling: federal investment in basic research. The nation needs to spend more, they say, in pursuit of discoveries with unknown and long-term payoffs. Sometimes, they say, lawmakers focus too much on research with short-term goals. The time it takes for basic research to yield a payoff can be 10, 15, or 20 years. That translates to five or 10 congressional elections.

Obama's 2016 Budget Request For National Network For Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Reaches Beyond $600 Million

The Obama administration is seeking a substantial increase in funding for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which has suddenly become a very large government-wide manufacturing program. In adding up the budget requests for NNMI centers that have been or will be created in 2016, the total amount for NNMI comes to $608 million. The large-scale "Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation" will be funded by the Departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce and Agriculture.


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