Society for Science is proud to support the 2023 STEM Action Grantees. A total of $245,000 will be given to 53 dynamic community-centric STEM organizations spanning 24 states and Washington, D.C. Funding for this year’s STEM Action Grants program comes from Regeneron and Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation.
2023 STEM Action Grantees:
ANGARI Foundation (West Palm Beach, FL)
Through research initiatives and innovative film and technology projects, ANGARI Foundation is creating a global community invested in marine and environmental sciences. Their Coastal Ocean Explorers: Sharks program will this year receive $5,000 to immerse students and teachers at a new Title I Florida school in hands-on marine science. The program features expedition days aboard the R/V ANGARI, a 65-foot vessel that serves as an exceptional research and education platform for science at sea.
Art Technically (Cordova, TN)
Art Technically provides STEAM education for poor and rural K-12 students with offerings that include open-source curricula, resources for educators and themed toy and book donations. Awarded a STEM Action Grant in 2022 for their science journalism program, $3,000 will go to their Science Bears project, which aims to promote STEM careers through the design and creation of teddy bears in scientist costumes that are then distributed to youth at family shelters, children’s hospitals and child advocacy centers.
Austin Youth River Watch (Austin, TX)
Previously awarded a STEM Action Grant in 2022, Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires youth through environmental education, community engagement and adventure, enabling teenagers to become active caretakers of the planet. $5,000 will support after-school and summer programming, which is centered on the idea that engaging BIPOC youth in environmental stewardship and investing in education is a powerful solution to many issues surrounding environmental sustainability and representation in the outdoors.
Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Inc. (Baton Rouge, LA)
The Baton Rouge Youth Coalition helps underserved youth become economically mobile and interrupts generational poverty cycles rooted in race, class and region. Their Health Fellows program, a year-long health career readiness elective, helps demystify degree pathways and establish long-term professional networks, while scholarships ensure high-quality training remains in reach for low-income students. $5,000 will contribute to the program’s staffing needs to improve trust, outcomes and equity in healthcare.
Be Loud Studios (New Orleans, LA)
Be Loud Studios amplifies kid confidence through radio production, enabling them to speak up to create a more equitable world. Young DJs write, record and mix their own radio segments, venturing into the field to draw inspiration from their communities. A $10,000 capacity-building grant will support staffing and these community experiences as well as the organization’s new Junior Producers program, which will provide both meaningful, paid leadership experiences for high school-age DJs and positive role models for Be Loud’s younger participants.
Beta Builders (Pittsburgh, PA)
Beta Builders aims to break down barriers to technology education, bridging the digital divide and empowering inner-city kids to reach their full potential through the power of coding and tech. In addition to an after-school program, community events that promote inclusion within the tech industry and summer coding camps for kids, Beta Builders offers a Hackathon and an in-depth Boot Camp to give students additional platforms to learn and develop essential skills. Beta Builders will receive $4,000.
The Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (Seattle, WA)
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science engages with lifelong learners to promote cooperative exploration of space, examine life as a planetary process and enable a sustainable future on Earth. Building upon the work of previous grants, $5,000 will support the delivery of summer STEM experiences at rural Native American communities. Through rocketry, robotics and drone activities, Native youth will learn in a parallel pedagogy that encourages self-identification with STEM by complementing Western Knowledge with Native Traditional Knowledge.
Calculated Genius Inc. (Chicago, IL)
Calculated Genius connects students to the limitless possibilities within STEM that can lead not only to a career, but to a life-changing passion. A grant last year enabled Calculated Genius to host their first in-person program since 2020; $5,000 this year will compensate educators and provide curricular materials for the Summer Scholars initiative, which raises awareness of educational and vocational pathways through project-based programming featuring academics and industry professionals.
C.R.E.S.T. (Fargo-Valley City, ND)
The Center for Rural Education in Science and Technology (CREST) aims to enhance STEM accessibility in rural education. Due to shifts in state science standards, schools in northwestern Minnesota, where CREST is based, are in need of classroom supplements that focus on environmental and earth sciences. $5,000 will go toward the creation of a mobile lab, which can provide these experiences to students and educators who lack access to similar resources and hands-on learning opportunities in the field.
CodeArt, Inc. (Miami, FL)
Code/Art, which seeks to provide pathways in STEM for girls and non-binary youth, will receive $3,000 in support of five week-long summer camps. These camps offer a fun and creative introduction to computer programming while giving participants the opportunity to create a portfolio of projects and build a network of like-minded peers. Funding will allow Code/Art to offer the camp for free to additional girls in the Miami-Dade area.
Culturally Relevant Science, Inc. (Lawrenceville, GA)
Culturally Relevant Science creates innovative, affordable and inclusive STEM education for all students via three major services: field trip sponsorships, educator training, and traditional and digital curriculum development, with resources that include students, teachers and historical figures from underrepresented groups. A second-year grantee, Culturally Relevant Science will receive $3,000 to put toward all three of its initiatives.
The Detroit Educational Takeover (Detroit, MI)
Detroit Educational Takeover (DET) addresses the academic and career needs of Detroit students and their families, with a focus on developing critical lifelong skills that are essential for success. Their STEM Exposure program provides hands-on learning experiences to inspire interest in science and connect students with professionals in STEM fields. $3,000 will assist DET in providing access to quality STEM education and resources for those who may not have had these opportunities otherwise.
Design Connect Create (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX)
Through a unique combination of STEM skills and career exposure with a focus on emotional intelligence, Design Connect Create (DCC) prepares girls to thrive in STEM. $4,000 will go toward the DCC’s summer camps, which offer innovative hands-on learning experiences with real-life applications. The camps also include discussions on gender equity, gender imbalance and implicit bias.
Develop for Good (San Francisco, CA)
Develop for Good connects underrepresented students and recent graduates to nonprofit projects where, under the supervision of industry professionals, the tech leaders of tomorrow engage in structured learning experiences with real-world impacts. Biannually, the program has connected over 1,700 students to over 130 nonprofit teams. A $5,000 grant will cover operating costs incurred for the Summer 2023 project cohort.
ECHO, Leahy Center Lake Champlain (Burlington, VT)
ECHO has inspired and engaged families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain since 1995. $5,000 will benefit ECHO’s Early Education STEM Outreach Program, which aims to collaborate with teachers in rural classrooms to integrate museum resources into inquiry-based STEM learning experiences. One of the museum’s resources is Science & Stories, a series of interactive STEM videos aired daily through PBS in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Education.
EmpowHERto (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
EmpowerHERto provides underserved young women with the tools they need to connect with the world around them and explore their potential. Aiming to bridge the gender gap in tech, their Tech 4 Her program will receive a $2,500 grant in support of the Data Gyrl Challenge. These sessions combine data skills and pop culture references, equipping teen girls with the knowledge they need to succeed in a data-driven world.
Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (Chicago, IL)
Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America (FORA) ensures access to an education that prepares refugee families for economic self-sufficiency and robust engagement in American civic life. The organization’s VEX Robotics program, which allows students to collaborate on engineering projects while building soft and problem-solving skills, was so successful last year that two FORA teams made it to the semifinals of a regional tournament! With $5,000, FORA will build upon several previous grants to increase the participation of girls in their robotics workshops.
Full STEAM Forward, Inc. (Boston, MA)
Full STEAM Forward (FSF) promotes equity in science education by engaging girls from under-resourced minority populations in STEAM-based programs designed to develop a sustained passion for the sciences. With two previous STEM Action Grants, FSF will put $5,000 toward their continued growth, with programs that offer after-school and weekend STEAM enrichment and provide opportunities for students to engage with professional scientists and educational venues in the community.
Girls Dream Code (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)
Girls Dream Code provides free tech workshops, events and resources in the name of empowering girls to pursue an interest in technology and excel in all they do. Code Your Path, a STEM educational program for girls of color, teaches hands-on coding and software development through collaborative work on web and mobile app projects. Last awarded a STEM Action Grant in 2022, the program will this year receive $5,000.
Girls Link Up (Atlanta, GA)
The recipient of a $10,000 capacity-building grant, school-based mentoring program Girls Link Up plans to use funds to address the mental health crisis among adolescent girls of color, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their innovative digital platform will help build resiliency through a cross-curricular focus on both STEAM and social and emotional wellness (SEL) and will contribute to the organization’s larger mission of empowering girls to be advocates for themselves and their families.
Hawaii Science and Technology Museum (Honolulu, HI)
The Hawaii Science & Technology Museum (HSTM) oversees several programs that reach thousands of children across Hawaii. $3,000 will support the Na’alehu Community Robotics and Technology Center, also known as HONUWORKS. Based in a small rural community, HONUWORKS will use these funds to help inspire local students and community members to develop solutions to local challenges, bridging the technological divide and promoting social equity for the people of Na’alehu.
Impact NW’s AKA Science program (Portland, OR)
Impact NW provides comprehensive support services to ensure the stability and success of vulnerable people and families. Their AKA Science initiative is a culturally responsive, trauma-informed afterschool program that supports hundreds of low-income BIPOC students. With $4,000, Impact NW will continue to provide a safe environment for children to thrive while laying essential groundwork for future interest and success in science.
International Network of STEM for the Blind and Low-Vision (Columbus, OH)
The International Network of STEM for the Blind and Low-Vision will use $4,000 to develop blind and low vision-friendly STEM curricula. Such curricula will provide more effective resources to teachers while increasing accessibility and exposure to science for this population and will be made available online to meet the organization’s mission of supporting a global community of blind and low vision individuals in STEM.
March for Science NYC (New York City, NY)
The March for Science NYC plans to use $4,000 in funding to host a science education and outreach symposium, which will bring together students, STEM professionals and members of community-based organizations committed to advancing the quality and accessibility of STEM in New York City. A former grantee, the group strives to provide high-quality educational programming that inspires participants to use science as a tool for social justice.
Mississippi Delta Nature and Learning Center (Greenwood-Greenville, MS)
The mission of the Mississippi Delta Nature and Learning Center is to care for the Earth and the people who live there. They offer creative educational outdoor spaces focused on science, literacy, job training for youth and adults, food access and community recreation for locals and visitors. Wages and supplies for field trips and weekly STEAM activities will be a major focus of the $5,000 grant.
National Youth Science Academy (Charleston, WV)
The National Youth Science Academy aims to inspire lifelong engagement with and ethical leadership in STEM, with programs that complement and enhance traditional school curriculum. The NYSAcademy’s STEAM Adventure Day Camps provide an answer to the lack of quality STEAM programming for Appalachian students and last received STEM Action Grant funding in 2022. $4,000 will support the engineering-themed Builder’s Lab! day camp.
Nehemiah Community Empowerment Center (Greensboro, NC)
Core programming of the Nehemiah Community Empowerment Center includes the STEM and Career Exploration Summer Camp and Teen Apprenticeship Afterschool program, which allow underserved students to explore potential careers and prepare for the workforce. The organization seeks to tap into the hidden talent within every student and believes that early and consistent exposure to various fields is key. They will receive $4,000 to upgrade the delivery of their STEM curriculum.
Norfolk Botanical Garden, Inc. (Norfolk, VA)
The largest botanical garden in Virginia, Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG) allows visitors to experience educational programs while exploring the natural environment. Recognizing the need for equitable access within their award-winning children’s adventure garden, World of Wonders, NBG will use $4,000 to install raised garden beds that will better meet the needs of visitors with disabilities. Maintained by teen volunteers, these spaces will also play a key role in allowing young people to explore careers in the green industry.
NW Ecological Research Institute (Portland, OR)
NW Ecological Research Institute (NERI) furthers knowledge of the Pacific Northwest’s natural history through research, training and the dissemination of information. A recipient of STEM Action Grants in 2021 and 2022, NERI’s $5,000 will go toward paid internships that provide BIPOC students with mentorship, a diversity of field biology experiences and skills, and the encouragement they need to pursue a career in biological sciences.
‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū (Honolulu, HI)
‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū is a Native Hawaiian organization that increases opportunities for the study of astronomy and space science in the State of Hawaiʻi and beyond. $3,000 will support the Ohana Stargazing program, which shares stargazing and star stories with rural communities and empowers them with the knowledge and tools to host their own stargazing events. This is ‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū’s third consecutive STEM Action Grant.
An Open Book Foundation (Washington, D.C.)
An Open Book Foundation connects students to authors, illustrators and their books to support educational justice and nurture a lifelong love of reading. $4,000 will contribute to the organization’s STEM Residence Program, which received a STEM Action Grant in 2022. Funding this year will allow a guest scientist-author to visit a Title 1 school in the D.C. metropolitan area, where they will lead students in the scientific exploration of a topic or concept featured in their work.
Pink Space Theory (Washington, D.C.)
A 2021 and 2022 grantee, Pink Space Theory prepares underserved youth for future career paths and passions through STEAM learning experiences. Their STEMtastic Engineering with a Purpose program will put $5,000 toward the curriculum adjustments needed to increase the number of girls who participate in the program and discover an interest in STEM careers. Planned enhancements include highlighting non-traditional careers such as cosmetic chemistry, packaging engineering and biomedical engineering.
Project Invent (San Francisco, CA)
Previously awarded funding in 2020, Project Invent seeks to equip students to succeed individually and impact globally through 21st-century skills and the power of invention. $4,000 will sponsor the program at Lower Brule Tribal School. Located on the rural, remote Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation in Central South Dakota, the school will receive teacher training, classroom materials, and personalized support throughout the year as students work to meet community problems with technology solutions.
Rainbow Dance Theatre / WOU Foundation (Portland, OR)
Rainbow Dance Theatre offers educational workshops that integrate dance and scientific principles, as well as performances that combine innovative choreography and cutting-edge technology with STEM concepts, cultural themes and contemporary issues. A $4,000 grant will support the company’s Code Can Dance program, which addresses the lack of representation and access to opportunities in the tech field for BIPOC youth by teaching coding skills and celebrating diverse cultural expressions through dance.
Ridge Area Arc (Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL)
Ridge Area Arc provides vocational and life skills training for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Seeking to expand their services to include training in agricultural sciences, soil science, and food and nutrition through hands-on projects in the organization’s community growing garden, Ridge Area Arc will put $3,000 toward soil science curriculum and equipment as part of their AG-STEM training.
Rosie Riveters (Washington, D.C.)
With programs designed to empower girls to believe in themselves and their abilities from an early age, Rosie Riveters aims to help close the gender gap in the STEM workforce. $5,000 will support the organization’s successful STEM role model sessions, which profile real women in STEM and provide young girls with clear examples of accomplishments and careers that are both tangible and exciting. Rosie Riveters previously received funding in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay (Boston, MA)
Through a combination of programs, education, advocacy and environmental science, Save the Harbor combats inequity and injustice in and around Boston Harbor. $5,000 will build on their 2022 STEM Action Grant and existing partnerships with the National Parks of Boston and MIT Sea Grant to expand Bivalve Quest and Marine Invaders Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC), two units that use citizen science to inform ecologists of the abundance of both native and invasive marine species in and around the Boston Harbor.
SciAccess, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)
SciAccess is dedicated to breaking down barriers to STEM education and careers for individuals with disabilities. Programs include a STEM mentorship for blind students, a research initiative advancing disability inclusion in space travel, and a professional networking group that shares best practices in making STEM accessible to all. $5,000 will cover the ASL interpreting and CART captioning needs for SciAccess events, including their 2024 Conference, which plays a critical role in the organization’s legacy and to their growing, global community.
Scientiae (Tallahassee, FL)
Scientiae immerses students in artificial intelligence, machine learning and design thinking. Encouraged to explore vital themes in science through hands-on research and project-based STEM lessons, students in Scientiae’s Pathways Program receive exposure to cutting-edge technologies, preparing them to become the next generation of tech innovators and entrepreneurs. Scientiae will receive $4,000.
See3D, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)
See3D connects the blind and sighted through 3D printing, spreading awareness of the importance of accessible materials and independent living skills. Initially founded as a printing request service for blind individuals and their parents and teachers, the nonprofit now also focuses on helping others start their own 3D printing programs. A two-year grantee, they will use this $5,000 grant to develop a more skilled volunteer base and purchase supplies.
Shooting Stars Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
With programs that teach web development, game design and cybersecurity, the Shooting Stars Foundation offers a fun and engaging approach to coding. A $4,000 grant will go toward the Tech Immersion Program, a unique opportunity to experience and understand the entrepreneurial cycle firsthand. By enabling young individuals to embrace a STEM major in college, this initiative aims to empower them to attain lifelong economic self-sufficiency for not only for themselves but also their families and communities.
SoundBio Lab (Seattle, WA)
SoundBio Lab makes life science work accessible by providing a safe, well-equipped space for individuals to pursue their own scientific questions. With the support of expert volunteer mentors, they also deliver programs that offer experiential laboratory learning to youth from groups marginalized in STEM. $4,000 will contribute to SoundBio Lab’s goal of ensuring that anyone who would like to use the biomakerspace will be able to do so regardless of their financial situation.
STE(A)M Truck (Atlanta, GA)
Each STE(A)M Truck is a mobile innovation lab providing youth with experiences that spark creativity, curiosity, and joy. $4,000 will provide one day of Teacher Engagement programming at two metro Atlanta schools. There, educators will be empowered to incorporate new tools and technologies into their everyday instruction, enabling them to continue the work of STE(A)M Trucks long after these have driven away.
The Story Collider (New York City, NY)
The Story Collider uses the art of personal storytelling to reveal the vibrant role that science plays in all our lives. Through live events, a popular weekly podcast, and workshops that teach the art and science of storytelling to STEM professionals, the program hopes to create connection, increase the diversity of future generations of scientists, and elevate our collective understanding of science and its impact in our society. $5,000 will cover fees paid directly to storytellers for up to 10 different shows across the country.
TEACH (Staten Island, NY)
TEACH (Together Educating All Children in Hospitals) sends college-age and graduate students into hospitals to provide young patients with exciting, hands-on STEM activities. In conjunction with an online platform of video demonstrations, these visits provide hospital youth with needed interaction and intellectual stimulation. A multi-year grantee, TEACH will use a $5,000 grant to expand its services to additional hospitals in 2024.
Tech Kids Unlimited (Brooklyn, NY)
On a mission to change the lives of neurodiverse students through computer science and technology skills, Tech Kids Unlimited (TKU) inspires young people with disabilities to create, develop and share these tools in a supportive, individualized environment. This is their third consecutive $5,000 award, and funding will again support the TKU Digital Agency, a work-based learning program for teens and young adults that mimics a real work environment with client-based projects that include logos, websites, videos and more.
Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) (Austin, TX)
The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) focuses on sparking student curiosity and nurturing a strong sense of community that will support the long-term success of underrepresented students in engineering careers. $2,500 will go toward the development of the TAME Careers Pyramid Game that will give over 2,000 students a hands-on tool to help identify and align their collegiate and career pursuits.
Treasure Coast Girls Coalition Inc. (Vero Beach, FL)
Treasure Coast Girls Coalition (TCGC) offers after-school and summer programming that re-engineers the way STEM is taught, with an emphasis on increasing access, belonging and persistence for girls. A two-year grantee, TCGC believes that while STEAM skills ensure economic equity and security for students and their communities, it is important to frame these concepts in a way that inspires their natural curiosity and self-motivation. A $5,000 grant will allow the program to scale and serve additional students.
trubel&co (San Francisco, CA)
trubel&co delivers culturally responsive technical education curricula to underserved students with services that fall under three pillars: learn, build and connect. Their flagship virtual summer course, Mapping Justice, teaches high school youth how to design geospatial tools for social and environmental change. $4,000 will contribute to the organization’s mission of equipping diverse students with STEM tools and a commitment to reshaping society for the better.
Urban Scholar Academy (Los Angeles, CA)
Urban Scholar Academy aims to transform the lives of urban youth through academic enrichment and community service opportunities. Among other offerings, Urban Scholar Academy runs a Homework Club for after-school academic support and enrichment and an all-day Summer Academy. $5,000 will support the purchase of new kits for these programs, which include explorations of video game design, forensic science, engineering and more.
Venture Outdoors (Pittsburgh, PA)
Venture Outdoors removes barriers and creates access to outdoor experiences for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, with the understanding that the benefits to spending time outside are endless. Thanks in part to previous STEM Action Grant funding, the organization’s Outdoor Learning Lab youth programs have been elevated to include a greater number of environmental STEM lessons. $5,000 will connect an even greater number of youth to these opportunities.
Women’s Audio Mission (San Francisco, CA)
Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) is a nonprofit, recording studio complex with a mission to close the gender gap in the audio industry through training, mentoring and access to technology. Selected for a $10,000 capacity-building grant, WAM will reach additional low-income students at Title 1 schools through their Girls on the Mic programming, which uses music and media to introduce over 1,500 girls and gender-expansive youth each year to audio and creative technology skills and careers.
WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology (Indianapolis, IN)
With a physical museum location and numerous outreach programs, WonderLab delivers impactful out-of-school STEM education and lifelong learning experiences. WonderLab intends to use $4,000 to offer free outreach events at rural libraries, which often otherwise lack access to quality STEM resources. Through these enrichment activities, WonderLab will help address and reduce the achievement gap faced by under-resourced communities and build curious and creative problem solvers who are inspired by the wonder of science.