‘Investing in Innovation’ Creates STEM Awards

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) competition provides funding to school districts and non-profit organizations around the country to develop new approaches to longstanding challenges in education.  Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 23 applicants who will receive grants from the 2011 i3 competition. For the first time, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education was a priority of the competition.  Five of the 23 awards will address that critical area and include programs devoted to:

Other areas that i3 grants will address include teacher and principal effectiveness; high-quality standards and assessments; turning around low-performing schools; and improving rural achievement. Some of the projects in these areas will:

In addition to the $148 million in funding provided by the Department of Education, the applicants raised $18 million in private-sector commitments from a wide range of philanthropic organizations, local businesses, and individuals.

More information about all of the 2011 grantees is available on the i3 website. Information about all applicants is available at data.ed.gov.

Jefferson Pestronk is Special Assistant in the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Department of Education


  1. Are there any program areas to i3 that target upper elementary/middle school students? This group is vastly underserved, yet are moving through perhaps the most critical point in identity development with regard to decision-making that will determine their levels of success and ablity to be a contributing member of our society. Most funding for this group targets remediation but not exposure/cultivation. Please direct me in the right direction if I am missing something. Thank you!


  2. I have developed a process for mathematical proficiency to enable low performing urban students to achieve the 2010 Core Curriculum State Standards for Mathematics. How can I submit for i3 funding?

    • @Jerry and @Sheryl – thank you for your interest in the Investing in Innovation (i3) Program. The Office of Innovation and Improvement is currently formulating its spending plans, which will be announced when finalized. The Department will provide updates on the status of i3 Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations, and you can find more information about submitting proposals on the i3 Web site (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/index.html).

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