The University of San Diego has announced a $12 million gift from the Noyce Foundation in support of a national initiative to inspire and prepare young people for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The largest gift ever to USD's School of Leadership and Education Sciences will fund STEM Next, a multifaceted initiative to expand STEM learning opportunities for students — especially girls and those from underserved communities — by providing the supports and systems needed to develop and improve quality STEM programs. To that end, the initiative will work to improve teacher training; develop Web-based tools used in STEM learning; support investments in quality curriculum in before- and afterschool programs; encourage private- and public-sector stakeholders to share best practices, pursue STEM funding, and influence how that funding is used; and foster cross-sector collaboration.
The grant was among the last awarded by the Noyce Foundation, which was established by the family of Robert Noyce, the inventor of the integrated circuit and a co-founder (with Gordon Moore) of Intel, and closed its doors for good in December.
"If we can inspire and prepare students to succeed in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, we can unlock their access to the fastest-growing jobs in our global economy," said executive director Ron Ottinger, who will continue the foundation's informal science work at the Center for Education Policy and Law at USD. "As a result, we will not only build graduates' capacity to address our country's most pressing challenges, but we will spark students' engagement in a STEM-centric world where we face STEM-related issues from environmental challenges to new technological advances....Our nation's students, particularly low-income, minority students and girls, deserve access to a strong STEM education. And, I'm confident that STEM Next will play a leading role in expanding these opportunities for years to come."