Cooke Foundation Awards $1.6 Million in STEM Education Grants

LANSDOWNE, VA – In recognition of the many barriers facing high-performing, low-income students interested science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $1,632,598 in STEM-focused educational grants.

“We are squandering the talents of millions of students who would pursue successful and influential careers in STEM fields if only they had educational opportunities that prepared them early on,” said Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “The Cooke Foundation is tackling this monumental waste by supporting organizations and programs that will put low-income middle and high school students on the path to studying STEM in college and beyond.”

The 2015 STEM grants are as follows:

New York Academy of Sciences (New York, NY) — $500,000 to launch the Global STEM Alliance Junior Academy, a STEM-focused social learning network for students aged 13-19 which will feature mentoring from STEM professionals from around the world and challenging online courses. This new grant was announced by President Barack Obama at the White House Science Fair on March 23.

Duke University Talent Identification Program (Durham, NC) — $331,283 to provide a second year of Cooke Foundation support to 435 6th and 7th grade low-income students, including for their participation in Project Launch’s CRISIS one-week residential summer program. There students engage in creative investigations of a real-world problem, online courses specifically designed for upper elementary students, an online book club with peers across the country, and academic guidance via a series of email and text messages.

Art of Problem Solving (New York, NY) — $330,000 to support the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving, a three-week residential program for 80 low-income New York City middle school students with mathematical talent, and provide year-round academic mentoring for approximately 170 of the program’s alumni.

The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) — $250,000 for continued support of Camp Launch, a two-week summer residential camp, which immerses 80 high-ability, low-income middle school students in hands-on science investigation in nanotechnology, robotics, chemistry, and ecology, as well as scientific and creative writing and career planning.

Purdue University Gifted Education Research Institute (West Lafayette, IN) — $200,000 to support the participation of 65 6th through 12th grade Native American students in Project HOPE+, a two-week STEM-focused residential summer camp.

New York University (New York, NY) — $21,315 to the Courant Center for Mathematical Talent to support its high school mathematics team to compete in the New York State Mathematics League Competition in April 2015 and the American Regions Mathematics League Competition in May 2015.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the Foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the Foundation provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to almost 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants.