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STEM opportunities are sweeping the nation and so are rapid job fulfillment needs. Critical educational needs for the next generation workforce and technology initiatives. With new technology comes new development, maintenance and other new programs, skills, materials, jobs and emerging markets not seen before.
BYLT™ has put together some information on how to get involved, learn more or get cracking on your idea or internship. We will go through a few resources to get you thinking and to learn more about grants, funding opportunities and or contests, incubators and more in the STEM fields.
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What is STEM? What is the difference between STEM and STEAM?
As the blend between the two can seem to be the same and sometimes needed – the debate goes on between the two. One letter seems to be the justification in the case for a difference between STEM and STEAM and that letter is “A”.
Art being the key difference and is the only thing separating the two. While it may be, or seem, to be more for obtaining funding or a definition for school budgets there is not much difference between the two these days. For this article we will focus more on STEM and take a dive into where you can start searching.
- National Science Foundation – The beta Funding Search is a great tool to find opportunities and needs no matter the market or industry, age group or stage of professional career there seems to be a great selection that focus on the needs up and down the boards from Graduate students, Post-Doctoral fellows, Undergraduate students to K-12 educators.
- America’s Seed Fund – Seed Capital for early product development. America’s Seed Fund provides finance for early stage R&D and gives you full control over your team, the direction of your work, and your intellectual property while taking no equity in your company. Attend one of their regularly scheduled webinars or meet NSF personnel and program directors at conferences, SBIR road tours, and other gatherings.
- USDA’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program – The goal of this program is to fund research, education/teaching, and extension projects that encourage women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas to pursue careers in STEM. This program is intended by NIFA to address educational needs in broadly defined areas of food and agricultural sciences. Applications for funding must emphasize the development of a competent and qualified workforce in the food and agricultural sciences. WAMS-funded projects improve the economic health and viability of rural communities by launching research and extension initiatives centered on new and emerging STEM job opportunities. Projects that help rural communities become more economically viable are also encouraged.
- USDA’s Funding & Grants – Search by eligibility and programs including competitive requests. A great tool with lots of filters. Here you can search the USDA’s large selection of technology requests for emerging markets to data and research needs. Not just limited to academia – here companies, individual alike can find competitive programs and needs to like sustainability and also food security.
STEM Training, Education & Workforce Development
- Department Of Energy STEM – The DOE STEM Search Opportunities Site offers numerous programs and search filters. The DOE provides opportunities for STEM workforce training, learning, and professional development for individuals and institutions. Look for internships, fellowships, apprenticeships, STEM-based competitions, and courses with accreditation for students and professionals of all levels. Organizations can look for funding opportunities that will provide resources for institutional capacity building for STEM training at various learner levels. Search by opportunity Type, STEM discipline, opportunity location, and more.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Explore NOAA Student opportunities and also learn about events including science oriented fairs, camps, and workshops. Earth Science, Geosciences, Weather, Marine Life, Coastal and Aquatics, and the atmosphere are just some topics and fields you can learn about. NOAA‘s site also has tons of interesting information and interactive tools and data.
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture – USDA’s NIFA offers and in depth program search and listings page with an extensive list of education programs spanning the complex challenges of the twenty-first century with the resources that are required to improve scientific and agricultural literacy, as well as to recruit and train a skilled workforce to implement the scientific practices and advance technologies required to compete in global markets. NIFA’s education grant portfolio aims to achieve three goals through workforce development, scholarships and fellowships. It aims at improving research, teaching, and the extension of capacity at Minority Serving Institutions through the encouragement of learning and engagement in the food and agricultural sciences.
Small & Medium Sized Business or Enterprise Opportunities
SBE’s can take advantage of numerous programs, tax rebates and credits and should check their individual State or ask their Representative. With the addition of $50 Million dollars to incentivize smart manufacturing for small to medium sized businesses from the Biden-Harris administration you should see a release of additional programs with specific focus.
The funds, part of President Biden’s Infrastructure Law, look to ensure States assist, evolve and grow small and medium sized businesses. To ensure smart manufacturing technologies and high-performance computing are more accessible by domestic manufacturing firms.
The State Manufacturing Leadership Program aims to remove existing barriers that prevent innovative, data-driven tools and technologies from being used by small- and medium-sized manufacturers. These critical tools will allow SMMs to increase production efficiency and play key roles in bolstering the domestic manufacturing base.
Additionally, the program gives states and territories the chance to link SMMs with a broad range of public and private technical assistance providers, including Manufacturing USA institutes, The National Laboratories, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, Industrial Assessment Centers, and higher education institutions.
NIST Grants, Funding, Research & Innovation Prize Challenges
NIST Guest Research Positions – Domestic / Foreign Guest Research Positions – Several guest researcher appointments ranging from 1 to 5 years with, with stipends from $3,600 to $4,500 per month (for those without support from their home organization) are available. Topic areas and desirable skills/interests are described below.
NIST Students & Research Graduates – Open to U.S. Citizens, paid (~$24K to ~$82K) internships for current undergraduate and graduate students and recent (2 years) graduates. Typical appointments are for 1 year and are expected to be full-time positions during the summer (June-August). In some cases, students can continue to work as interns during the school year as NIST resources and intern availability permit. Applications for internships are typically accepted in early fall and early spring.
NIST Full Time & Faculty Positions – ANTD anticipates is always looking for highly motivated candidates who can contribute to NIST’s research and development projects that the design, model, analyze, prototype, test, measure and standardize cutting-edge technologies for advanced networking and distributed information systems. New employees will contribute to NIST research through design and analysis, development of software, design, and execution of modeling and measurement experiments, data analysis and visualization, publishing research results and participating in consensus standards development processes.
NIST Funding Opportunities – The Office of Advanced Manufacturing (OAM) provides cost-shared funding to pursue innovative technology R&D and increase energy efficiency across the manufacturing sector. Solicitations may involve collaborative partnerships among manufacturers, universities, suppliers, national labs, and others. Funding is awarded through an open, competitive process. Project selections are based on merit-based criteria that emphasize potential energy, environmental, and economic benefits. A variety of funding opportunities are available to manufacturers from OAM and other organizations.
Examples of STEM at the early stages of education are growing and becoming more accessible. Connecticut for example has created in conjunction with NASA opportunities for K-12 communities. Some examples of what the NASA CTSGC funds are presentations at school from expert in fields of aeronautics/aerospace and/or STEM, district-wide design contests in a STEM field, supplies to begin a robotics team in a high school or Funds to begin an InventionX club. The site boasts past projects funded as well.
We hope you learned something today! While we can’t cover them all in this article good news travels fast and keep an eye out for a program near you!