Society for Science & the Public Grants $20,000 to STEM Teachers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Society for Science & the Public is helping six STEM teachers purchase much-needed equipment and services through $20,000 in grants. In total, the Society has provided $120,000 in grants to STEM teachers during 2017. Earlier this year, the Society gave $100,000 to 23 teachers.

Through the STEM Research Grant Program, funded by Regeneron, the Society supports teachers who are leading students in authentic STEM research projects, enriching multiple students and supporting low income or underrepresented students. 

“I’m in awe of teachers and what they are doing in the classroom today, but they need more resources,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I am thrilled to help these six innovative teachers and provide them with the resources to purchase the tools they need to engage the next generation of STEM leaders.”

STEM Research Grants
The STEM Research Grants provide one-time grants to educators to help fund equipment or other experimental materials needed to complete research projects, or travel necessary to bring students to locations where they can complete their research.

The following teachers received STEM Research Grants to fund equipment, such as starter kits for computer science, equipment for science fair clubs and classrooms, a zebrafish breeding system for science experiments, general laboratory supplies and laptops for science research and learning.

  • Mary Fish, Spanish River High School (Boca Raton, FL) – $5,000 – Fish will use the STEM Research grant to purchase a zebrafish breeding system, which will ultimately help give all her students the opportunity to conduct original research projects.
  • Brian Monson, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts (Hot Springs, AR) – $3,500 – Monson plans to expand his school’s capstone research project for seniors to juniors so that they can also participate in performing research. The equipment purchased will allow students to perform physics nanoscience experiments. 
  • Jennifer Roden, Von Steuben Metro Science Center (Chicago, IL) – $5,000 – This STEM grant will be used towards a growing science fair club, whose members are mostly female and diverse in ethnicity. Examples of equipment to be purchased for student research projects include Arduino and Raspberry Pi Starter Kits for computer science, gas sensors for chemistry experiments and grow lights for biology experiments.
  • Dean Saghafi, Lincoln High School (Yonkers, NY) – $3,000 – About 90 percent of the students at Saghafi’s school are of underrepresented ethnicity and low income and many do not have computers at home.  Saghafi wants his students to come up with project ideas and find peer-reviewed journal articles to support their work, so computers are essential.  Dean will be purchasing five laptop computers for his classes.  Currently his four laptops are used in all eight class periods and after school every day. 
  • Jeffery Wehr, Odessa High School (Odessa, WA) – $1,500 – Wehr teaches at a rural school, where access to research labs is extremely limited. Over 1/3 of the students in his program are low income.  He has been awarded a grant to purchase a shaker table for their lab, which will assist with chemistry and biology experiments. 
  • Michele Zielinski, Sleepy Hollow High School (Tarrytown, NY) – $2,000 – This grant will be used to create a new research space in her school to support student-led projects. Fifty percent of the students at her school are of low income and 65% are of underrepresented ethnicity.  Zielinski hopes to continue to grow her program to reach even more of these students.  

​Preference was given to schools or teachers supporting multiple students in research, schools or teachers supporting low-income students or students of underrepresented ethnicity, and/or programs proving sustainability beyond the current school year.

About Society for Science & the Public
Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazines, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).