Representative Esty and Skills21 at EdAdvance
Announce NSF Grant Funding in STEM,
Advanced Manufacturing Technologies,
and Entrepreneurship Programs
This week (Sept. 21, 2016), Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) joined Matt Mervis, Director of Skills21 at EdAdvance, Dr. Richard W. Kisiel, Senior Staff Associate of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), and a cadre of Connecticut high school presenters to announce the award of two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that support leading-edge digital learning programs in STEM, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, and Entrepreneurship across the state.
In her remarks, Congresswoman Esty highlighted the vital role these programs and funding sources play in delivering critical learning opportunities to K-12 students across the state as well as the exemplary achievement of Skills21 and project partners in obtaining two of these highly competitive NSF grants. “I have tremendous confidence in the potential to build up the American people, but we're not going to get there unless we support these innovative educational programs. We have the opportunity and the obligation to be an incubator for the country with these groundbreaking programs.”
The two NSF awards, CT Pathways to Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies & Entrepreneurship (CPI-AMTE) and Skills21 STEM-Starter: An Incubator and Launch Pad to STEM Entrepreneurship and Careers, provide a combined $2.1 million in funding over three years to help address critical secondary education and workforce development needs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies. In the next decade, the local and national economies will rely heavily on building workforce capacity in these fields by preparing individuals with the requisite training and skills to accelerate the innovation cycle for products, services, and solutions to emerging challenges.
CPI-AMTE features a partnership with the state’s Career and Technical High School System (CTHSS) to develop and implement new cutting edge coursework in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies with integrated challenge project development. The STEMStarter project focuses on the development of students’ entrepreneurial skills through STEM-focused senior Capstone projects. Upon project completion, educational resources developed under these two grants will be available high schools in CT and beyond.
Project collaborators include: the CT State Department of Education, the CT Community Colleges’ College of Technology, NSF-funded ATE Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, Southern CT State University, the CT Pre-Engineering Program, the CT Business and Industry Association (CBIA), the CT Office of Workforce Competitiveness (OWC), CT Innovations, and a dedicated consortium of school districts and industry partners, including IBM. Over 35 schools representing a range of urban, suburban and rural demographics will participate in the two projects over the next three years.
CPI-AMTE and STEMStarter will leverage Skills21’s Launchpad Platform. This web-based tool is designed to help students, teachers and mentors engage in authentic hands-on challenges and demonstrate the best of student learning and innovation. Jonathan Costa, the Assistant Executive Director for EdAdvance and the Principal Investigator for both projects, indicated “to be awarded two simultaneous grants from the National Science Foundation is a validation of the inventive work of the Skills21 team and a well-deserved recognition of their and our collaborators’ efforts to prepare students for the real world in 21st century high schools.” For more information on the projects, contact Jonathan Costa or the Skills21 Team at 860.567.0863.
About Skills21 at EdAdvance
For 15 years, Skills21 has worked with schools and organizations to promote inspired learning, creative designs and student solutions. Skills21 delivers flexible, affordable, and field-tested teaching and learning models for enhancing student success. Specializing in leveraging digital tools to scale innovative instructional models, current Skills21 programs include:
- School Fuel - building learning dialogs for young children and their families with mobile tools
- Skills21 STEM Quest - delivering powerful experiential learning that connects the real world with augmented and virtual reality
- Skills21 Trackpad - providing real-time software to support academic events and competitions
- Skills21 Launchpad - ensuring success for challenge-based learning in and outside of the classroom
- Skills21 Expo Fest - the ultimate showcase of inspired learning, creative design, & student solutions
About the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..." With an annual budget of $7.5 billion (FY 2016), NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities.