National Science Foundation Awards $1.25 Million Grant to Maker Partnership

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National Science Foundation Awards $1.25 Grant to Maker Partnership

It was announced this week that the Research Alliance for New York City Schools was awarded $1.25 million to support the Maker Partnership, a collaboration between Schools That Can and MakerState. Part of the National Science Foundation’s STEM + Computer Science (STEM+C) initiative, the Maker Partnership is an Exploratory Integration project that addresses critical needs for models of professional development and support that help elementary-level teachers include computer science and computational thinking into science instruction. The “maker approach” is based on the engineering design process, allowing students access to real-world learning as they brainstorm and develop solutions, use technology to create prototypes, and collaborate to test and refine those prototypes.

Launching in fall 2018, the Maker Partnership will provide curriculum, training, and professional development to third- through fifth-grade teachers in eight elementary schools throughout New York City. Rooted in a collaborative research-practice partnership, a mixed method strategy, and a culturally responsive approach that seeks to understand how the program can serve students underrepresented in STEM, the Maker Partnership is a step forward in Schools That Can’s mission to close the opportunity and skills gap via real-world learning.

The Maker Partnership is led by Cheri Fancsali, research director of the Research Alliance; Casey Lamb, chief operations and development officer of Schools That Can; Noel Parish, executive director of Schools That Can NYC; and Stephen Gilman, founder and executive director of MakerState. “Since 2014, STC has been working with MakerState to help teachers across NYC bring maker education into their schools. We are thrilled to collaborate with the Research Alliance to expand this program’s impact on students by helping bring real-world learning into elementary classrooms,” said Lamb.

Schools That Can creates a safe space where teachers and school leaders from urban schools, education innovators, and industry leaders work together to advance school improvement and ensure all students have the skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. The organization currently works with more than 180 high-potential schools serving over 70,000 students nationwide. For more information about Schools That Can, visit