U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), Anthony Brown (D-Md., 4th) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md., 8th) announced Aug. 7 $296,041 in funding for a collaborative project between the University of Maryland College Park, Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College from the National Science Foundation to encourage students to consider a career as a STEM teacher, increase awareness of STEM teaching as an option and create pathways from community college coursework into university teaching programs.

“Passionate, well-prepared teachers are crucial to our students’ success. We need educators who can champion STEM learning and engage our students on these important subjects,” the elected leaders said in a joint press release. “This funding will foster an essential partnership between three of Maryland’s great institutions of higher education and will bolster our state’s efforts to recruit and train STEM teachers. In Congress, we will continue working to expand resources for STEM education and to ensure our students and teachers have the tools they need to succeed.”

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare and to secure the national defense.”

The NSF is the funding source for approximately 24% of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing. This grant was awarded through the foundation's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources program.