NEEF Announces Recipients of the 2018 Samsung Greening STEM Grant for Educators
May 09, 2018

NEEF believes that the natural world offers a compelling and universal context for investigations and applications of many STEM lessons, through an approach we call Greening STEM. Immersing students in the applications of Greening STEM locally, through place-based learning, provides a more familiar context for subject matter, grounding what students are learning in their immediate surroundings and helping them make connections between the environment and their own lives. Public lands and waterways provide an ideal outdoor classroom for place-based, Greening STEM education. 

NEEF, with major funding support from Samsung, has distributed nearly $30,000 in funding to programming that provides place-based, hands-on learning experiences on a public land or waterway. Grants ranging in size from $6,000 to $10,000 were awarded to the following grantees:

  • Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA (Philadelphia, PA) - The Watershed Education by Bike program (WEB) provides opportunities to Camden youth and their families to experience their local trails and watershed. The grant will help give 5th-8th grade students out-of-the classroom, hands-on STEM experiences that stress the importance of becoming environmental stewards of their local watershed. By the end of program, students will be able to: define terms related to watershed and STEM; apply what they've learned to their own community by taking actions that protect and preserve their local watershed; and build community by joining together to enjoy this shared natural resource.
  • Cabrillo National Monument (San Diego, CA) - In collaboration with San Diego City Libraries,  Cabrillo National Monument  will enhance their innovative summer program titled, “The EcoLogik Project: Connecting the Next Generation to Nature and Technology.The program will connect 60 underrepresented young girls (age 9-16) from San Diego Unified School District to their local national park: Cabrillo National Monument. The goal of the program is to make technology more accessible to students and to inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields through inquiry-based learning that merges nature and technology in imaginative ways.
  • Point Bonita YMCA (Sausalito, CA) - PB YMCA offers two summer day camps: Y Rangers and PBY Environmental Stewards (YES) Camp. Y Rangers is a joint endeavor by YUSA Department of Interior and National League of Cities which offers campers the opportunity to travel to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to participate in service projects and learn about the history of the site. PBY Environmental Stewards (YES) Camp uses arts and movement activities to teach about the relationship between science, history, art, outdoor skills, and nature. Grant funds will be used to transport Y Rangers campers to the land site, provide professional development for staff, and to purchase new scientific equipment for water quality testing.

Through these grants, NEEF will support educators who are leading the way in place-based, Greening STEM education on public lands or waterways and grant funding will help to subsidize continued development and innovation within these programs.