Dear UF College of Education faculty, NSF STEM Education truly had a year to remember! To start, in collaboration with the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, EDU announced the first cohort of ExLENT awardees. Through this new program, the agency expanded practical learning opportunities to unleash and grow STEM talent nationwide.

The directorate increased its outreach engagement efforts in 2023 to reach communities who have minimum access to meaningful STEM pathways. As a result, EDU conducted outreach across Hawaii, Alabama, and West Virginia K-12 schools and higher education institutions throughout the U.S.

EDU recognizes the success of current and past grantees, including Dr. Natalie S. King of Georgia State University, who received the prestigious Alan T. Waterman Award for her exceptional research that has made a remarkable impact on the advancement of Black girls in science. To watch the recording of Dr. King’s lecture, click here.

Many of EDU’s supported educators and researchers also made advancements in key areas of STEM education. Through a gateway course to STEM careers, education researchers at Florida International University demonstrated how effective active learning is to helping students understand calculus.

Investigators at Morgan State University are providing hands-on training to graduate students who are researching AI and machine learning solutions to climate change and environmental sustainability. To spark STEM interest through informal education, PBS’s “Cyberchase” used text messages and media to engage Latinx families in math and environmental learning.

The directorate invested in other areas of national importance, including $25M in advanced manufacturing, $60M in AI, nearly $9M in biotechnology, $11M in microelectronics and semiconductors, and $10M in quantum. EDU is expecting to build upon its investments in education research and workforce development. Lastly, during the fall of 2023, EDU had the opportunity to host a fireside chat with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and NSF’s INCLUDES National Network Convening. This fireside chat recognized her life’s work and devotion to STEM education and research.