Department of Defense Awards Nearly $3 Million to Hillsborough County Public Schools for STEM Educat



October 28, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Tanya Arja or Erin Maloney Office of Communications 813-272-4060

HCPS is the only school district in the nation to receive part of $31 million award Tampa, Fl. (October 28, 2020) – The Department of Defense has announced Hillsborough County Public Schools as one of 12 awardees across the nation for the National Defense Education Program STEM grant. The district will receive nearly $3 million over three years to support K-8 STEM programs to prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The funding will go toward several initiatives relating to our district’s thriving STEM offerings, including:

  • Professional development for K-8 STEM teachers, establishing a corps of STEM Ambassadors to sustain a robust program for years to come

  • Leverage community partners to create relevant, stimulating lessons for STEM classes across the district

  • After school and summer camps in areas such as rocketry and computer science

“I am excited to accept funds from the Department of Defense as the money will be utilized to further support STEM initiatives within Hillsborough County Public Schools. In an effort to prepare students for the 21st century, we must provide opportunities for students to develop skills linked to problem-solving, creativity, communication and critical analysis. STEM is a pathway that we must offer, and these funds will allow us to expose our students to endless possibilities,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by the Department of Defense for this prestigious award. Hillsborough County Public Schools has been a national leader in STEM education and these funds will provide thousands of students additional opportunities to enjoy learning in STEM. We thank our core partners, such as MOSI, The Florida Aquarium, University of South Florida and Space Trek for their support,” said Larry Plank, Executive Director for K-12 Science Education.

The STEM grant will be utilized to fund programs such as Mission: Tampa Bay, an underwater robotics camps for girls, as well as the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, which affords students the opportunity to send a science project to the International Space Station on a SpaceX rocket.

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