Summary: S.444 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.444. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (02/10/2015)

Supporting Afterschool STEM Act

Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an afterschool STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grant program awarding competitive grants to afterschool or STEM networks to:

  • develop quality standards for STEM programming in afterschool programs and provide those programs with technical assistance in implementing such standards,
  • work with state education stakeholders to define and promote appropriate measurable outcomes for afterschool programs that include STEM content,
  • provide technical assistance to afterschool programs to start or grow their afterschool STEM efforts and define appropriate learning outcomes for such efforts,
  • coordinate professional development for afterschool program educators,
  • help afterschool program providers form strategic partnerships to advance STEM learning in afterschool programs,
  • create and disseminate tool kits to afterschool programs wanting to form partnerships and incorporate STEM professionals as mentors and role models, and
  • provide technical assistance to federally funded STEM researchers and professionals who wish to engage with afterschool programs.

Requires the Director to reserve 20% of the funds appropriated for such grant program to develop and support new afterschool or STEM networks in states or areas where they do not exist.

Defines: (1) an "afterschool program" as a structured program offered for elementary, middle, or secondary school students when school is not in session, such as before or after school, on the weekend, or during the summer; and (2) an "afterschool or STEM network" as a coalition that fosters partnerships and provides support to afterschool program providers and STEM education providers.

Includes as goals of the grant program: (1) to support the development and delivery of high-quality STEM education to populations underrepresented in STEM fields, and (2) to provide hands-on learning and exposure to STEM research facilities and businesses through in-person or virtual distance-learning experiences.

Requires the Director to provide each recipient of a STEM research grant who is under the Director's authority with information on opportunities to engage with students in out-of-school-time programs, such as through mentorships.