Family-Oriented STEM Learning

Posted by National Science Foundation on February 6, 2017

How the National Science Foundation Supports Family-Oriented STEM Learning

Most people erroneously think of the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an “unassailable fortress,” but in reality NSF offers a variety of funding streams that can support families’ engagement in children’s STEM learning. Our mission at NSF, as it relates to education, is to advance the field of evidence-based learning and teaching practices in STEM. We prioritize STEM learning to build capacity in preparing the next generation of STEM professionals and to attract more Americans to STEM careers.

Broadening the View on NSF

We would like the family engagement and informal STEM learning communities to know that their work is a priority for the foundation and that we have a range of programs and funding opportunities that can advance the field. We are looking for projects that prioritize and authentically treat families as equal partners, wherein families are treated as legitimate stakeholders with knowledge and values that contribute to practical solutions to their children’s learning needs. Additionally, in response to increased cultural and ethnic diversity in the United States, we are committed to broadening participation in STEM learning by expanding efforts to fund programs serving underrepresented groups and diverse institutions throughout the country. We also believe that even projects at the earliest stages of development, such as exploratory projects, contribute great value, and can serve as a foundation for more research. Therefore, our programs deliberately support projects at different stages of development. Ultimately, our message to educators and researchers is that there is opportunity here to be accessed, and our goal is to distribute federal dollars equitably!

Funding Opportunities

At NSF, we offer several funding streams that support the creation of pathways for families and students to engage in anywhere, anytime STEM learning. Below are our main funding programs.

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.