Manchester Schools Receives STEM Acceleration Grant

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) on Friday awarded 48 school districts and charter schools across the state with more than $2.6 million in STEM Acceleration Grant funding, which schools will deploy during the upcoming school year to accelerate students’ learning across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

“As our students explore, engage and gain experiences in STEM, they’re learning to solve real-world problems while building skills such as critical thinking, creativity, innovation and teamwork,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana secretary of education. “Schools that receive this grant are leaning-in to increase intentional STEM learning and opportunities. This important work is the first step that may further lead to additional strategic community partnerships, state STEM certifications and students earning additional exploration and engagement in STEM careers.”

Among the school districts and charter schools receiving the grant to implement in the 2022-23 school year is Manchester Community Schools, which will receive $24,869, according to the news release from the IDOE.

First launched in the 2018-19 school year, the STEM Acceleration Grant is a competitive grant that helps schools increase students’ access to STEM courses, programs and resources. The grant focuses on helping schools implement research-based, high-quality teaching practices and professional development for educators that helps build a culture of STEM leadership in schools.

This year, more than 70% of school districts awarded a STEM Acceleration Grant have one or more schools that are currently working to become STEM Certified Schools, which recognizes schools for their focus on inquiry, project-based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student-centered classrooms and out-of-school time STEM activities, the news release states.

While students continue to recover from COVID-19-related learning disruptions, schools were encouraged to focus their grant proposals on learning recovery for students most impacted academically by these disruptions.

This grant is funded by state appropriations to IDOE for STEM program alignment. More than 150 schools have been awarded STEM Acceleration Grants since 2018, with grants totaling more than $9.2 million. The awardees for the 2022-2023 school year include 18 first-time recipients.

The STEM Acceleration Grant is one of several IDOE-led initiatives focused on STEM education. These include the STEM Certified School program, as well as the state’s recently-developed priorities for STEM education. To implement these priorities, IDOE is working with educators and schools across the state to provide high-quality, integrated STEM learning opportunities to all students, the release states. Schools can currently opt in to the voluntary coalition with IDOE to integrate high-quality STEM instruction through a locally-managed coaching model.