The NASA Summer of Innovation (SoI) program is designed to support student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by strengthening the capacity of organizations or schools that inspire and engage female, minority or high poverty middle school students in STEM content. The SoI focuses on organizations that provide student experiences during the summer and through extended learning efforts designed to keep students involved in NASA-themed STEM activities during the academic year.
The SoI Mini-Grant During the pilot of the SoI in 2010, the SoI Project identified numerous organizations that were interested in partnering with NASA in the Summer of Learning. Many of these organizations were community based, had extensive experience in delivering STEM content to middle school educators and students, but they did not have substantial experience in government partnerships. This lack of experience proved to be a significant deterrent for these organizations to participate in the SoI. Through the SoI Mini-Grant program, these organizations will be engaged in delivering NASA-themed STEM activities via existing summer or afterschool programs. By focusing on smaller organizations across the country the SoI Mini-Grant Program would enable the engagement of a wide range of new organizations in SoI content and themes in an efficient and cost effective manner.
Through the SoI Mini-Grant Program organizations will be able to apply for funding up to $2500 to integrate SoI themes and content into existing middle-school student or teacher centered summer or after school programs. Eligible programs would contain one or both of the following in their application:
The SoI Mini-Grant Program anticipates making approximately 200 awards during the 2011 cycle.
Due to the tight timeline a multi-round application, evaluation, award and implementation process will be utilized.