Libraries and museums are making great strides in improving learning in science, technology, engineering and math. IMLS supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education through discretionary grant programs, the Grants to States program, and special initiatives.
Through interactive programming, hands-on tools, and trusted subject matter experts, libraries and museums provide vital STEM learning opportunities for their communities. They introduce learners of all ages and backgrounds, especially populations traditionally underrepresented in the STEM workforce, to STEM subjects and career pathways. Museums and libraries spark curiosity and build interest in STEM by engaging communities in authentic scientific practices using state-of-the-art technologies and equipment.
IMLS, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the New York Hall of Science, helped introduce more than 450 underserved youth to STEM-rich making activities at 21st Century Community Learning Centers during the summer of 2017. NYSCI developed a six-week STEM/Making curriculum and trained educators from museums and science centers to present the programs alongside CCLC staff at 30 sites in Arkansas, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
In 2016, IMLS offered a one-time special funding opportunity to support research on educational approaches that make use of the knowledge and skills of community STEM experts. A key goal of the STEMeX program was to create a foundation for reaching children and families from diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds.