AFCEA Increases Scholarships for Future STEM Teachers

AFCEA International and the AFCEA Educational Foundation are expanding the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Teacher Scholarship Program for the second year in a row to help address the growing shortage of young Americans educated in STEM subjects.  AFCEA’s investment is a long-term solution to develop more skilled and motivated teachers of STEM subjects who will inspire and prepare students to desire and be successful in STEM fields.

For the current school year, AFCEA is offering 60 scholarships of $5,000 each, up from 50 scholarships awarded last year.  AFCEA also will provide grants of $1,000 each year for three years to these scholarship winners when they begin teaching.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 15 of the 20 fastest-growing professions will require high proficiency in science or mathematics. However, the outlook for meeting those requirements seems bleak. The National Center for Educational Statistics projects that only 6 in 100 of today’s ninth graders in the U.S. are currently expected to pursue a STEM degree in college.

“The latest studies show that America is continuing to fall behind – even while other nations multiply their investments in science, math and technical education,” said Fred Rainbow, Vice President for Education, AFCEA International. “Nothing less than the future of our country is at stake.  Our capabilities in math, science, engineering and other technical fields drive innovation, exports, jobs, quality of life, and ultimately our economic and national security.”

Kent Schneider, AFCEA’s President and CEO, amplifies: “As a long-time supporter of STEM education through teaching tool grants and other programs, AFCEA started its STEM Teacher Scholarship program in 2010. In just three years, the program has grown from 35 to 60 scholarships thanks to financial support from Booz Allen Hamilton, Terremark Worldwide, Inc., AFCEA International, along with funding from AFCEA’s chapters.”

Support for the AFCEA Educational Foundation also has enabled it to award $1,000 Teaching Tools grants to those graduates who benefited from the first year of STEM scholarships in 2010 and now are actively engaged in teaching.  These grants can be used for information technology hardware and software, other classroom tools, field trips, STEM-focused clubs and other activities.

Interested candidates, teachers and mentors can find more information and apply online for a scholarship at http://stem.afcea.org. The application deadline is April 1, 2012.  Regular updates on the program are available through Twitter (@afcea_ed) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/AFCEA.Scholarships).

About AFCEA International and the AFCEA Educational Foundation
AFCEA International, established in 1946, is a non-profit membership association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security. For more information, visit www.afcea.org.

The AFCEA Educational Foundation works closely with the chapters, raises funds, and provides leadership, guidance, and rewards to help motivate more students to become scientists and engineers. The Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing educational incentives, opportunities, and assistance for students and teachers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines (broadly known as STEM). In 2011 the AFCEA Educational Foundation and AFCEA chapters awarded more than $1.5M in scholarships and grants. The AFCEA Educational Foundation has been granting scholarships and grants to college students in STEM disciplines for 30 years.

Source: AFCEA International

Image Credit: STEM Conference

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