Tag Archives: STEM

STEM@DRAKE: An example of inclusivity and financial stewardship

As thousands of Bulldogs return to campus or join the Drake community for the first time, they will have two new buildings to become acquainted with––the Science Connector Building and Collier-Scripps Hall.

The two buildings are part of the STEM@DRAKE project, which began in 2016 with the renovation of several labs and classrooms in Harvey Ingham Hall and will conclude with the construction of the Ray Promenade, scheduled to be complete later this year.

Not only will these buildings enhance collaboration and meet high environmental standards, the Science Connector Building and Collier-Scripps Hall will  further Drake’s goal of creating and sustaining an inclusive campus community. Here’s how:

  • Both the Science Connector Building and Collier-Scripps Hall have gender inclusive restrooms and dedicated space for nursing mothers.
  • The new buildings connect students and faculty of multiple disciplines, creating a welcoming environment for all––not just those of one particular discipline.

The new STEM@DRAKE buildings are also an example of Drake’s financial stewardship. Construction of the buildings began in early 2016 and were completed this month, on time and on budget, which not only helps the University’s financial performance, but demonstrates responsibility and commitment to the donors who generously gave to the project.

The entire STEM@DRAKE project, a $52 million investment, involved students, faculty, and staff working together in both the design and management of the project. Through input from many different parties, the new space is designed to remain current and in touch with the needs and wants of students and faculty today and in the future.

STEM@DRAKE enhances collaboration, meets top sustainability standards

The benefits of the STEM@DRAKE complex extend far beyond a clean, shiny new space. The buildings provide a collaborative and green learning environment for faculty, staff, and students.

Multiple heads are better than one

The new STEM@DRAKE buildings (Collier-Scripps Hall and the Science Connector Building) are intended to increase both the sharing of equipment and ideas. The facilities will bring science, technology, education, and math programs together to form one STEM hub on campus—boosting cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Some areas, such as the School of Education, have been housed off campus for years. By physically bringing Drake’s STEM departments together, in the heart of campus, faculty from different disciplines will easily be able to interact, problem solve, and form research partnerships. The STEM@DRAKE complex is designed to encourage this type of collaboration with an open classroom and lab structure.

Students will also benefit from engaging with their peers with other majors and skill sets who may think differently than themselves but provide a unique perspective into solving the same problem.

By forming a more cohesive environment, the STEM@DRAKE complex will be a catalyst for transforming the way we educate tomorrow’s scientists, doctors, researchers, innovators, and teachers.

Blue is green

The new spaces will receive Green Globe certification, demonstrating the University’s strong commitment to sustainable practices. This means the buildings were designed to meet high standards in energy efficiency and reduce environmental waste. The buildings are only the second project in Iowa to receive Green Globe certification.

Moving into new quarters

Faculty and staff are in the midst of moving into the new buildings; the School of Education will move into Collier-Scripps Hall this week. After the academic year has begun and once move-in is complete, faculty and staff from across campus are welcome to stop into Collier-Scripps Hall or the Science Connector Building to view the new facilities.

Tune in to the next issue of OnCampus for more features of the STEM@DRAKE facilities

Sponsored Programs: Grant opportunities

Full information on listed grants can be found here: Grant Opportunities 8.17.15.


NSF Discovery Research Pre-K–12 (DRK-12)
Agency: National Science Foundation
Deadline: Dec. 7
Purpose: This program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by pre-K–12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models, and tools.

Minority STEM Professionals
Agency: National Science Foundation
Funding: $45.6 million for 38 awards
Deadline: Nov. 20
Purpose: Grantees use these funds to improve the number of minorities graduating with (STEM) degrees.

Early Career Researchers
Agency: Office of Science (Energy Dept.)
Funding: $18 million for 30 awards
Deadline: Nov. 19
Purpose: The program supports research programs led by outstanding scientists early in their careers. Research areas of interest include advanced scientific computing and biological and environmental research.

STEM Learning
Agency: National Science Foundation
Funding: $38 million for 71 awards ranging from $150,000 to $6 million each
Deadline: Nov. 4
Purpose: The program focuses on improving STEM learning in informal environments.

Advanced Technological Education (ATE)
Agency: National Science Foundation
Deadline: Oct. 8
Award Amount: $25,000–$4 million (depending on project type)
Funding: $64 million for 40–55 awards
Summary: The ATE program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation’s economy.

Advancing Informal STEM Learning
Agency: National Science Foundation
Deadline: Nov. 4
Award Amount: Varies
Total Program Funding: $28 million–$38 million
Summary: The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; and advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments.


Competitions to Strengthen Regional Economies
Agency: Economic Development Administration (Commerce Dept.)
Funding: $10 million for multiple awards up to $500,000 each
Deadline: Oct. 5
Purpose: The program fosters the development of regional centers to improve commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Educating Young Women
Foundation: Lalor Foundation
Funding Focus: Women, health
Funding: Multiple awards up to $50,000 each
Deadline: Nov. 1
Purpose: The foundation educates young women about human reproduction in order to broaden and enhance their options in life.

Footwear Company to Support Outdoor Projects
Opportunity: 2016 KEEN Effect Grant Program
Funding Focus: Environment, community development
Funding: $100,000 for 10 awards of $10,000 each
2016 Nomination Deadlines: March 1 and Aug. 1
Purpose: The program supports organizations inspiring responsible outdoor participation as a way to build strong communities, promote creative and sustainable thinking, and introduce new audiences to the outdoors.

Best Buy Launches National Partnership Competition
Private Funder: Best Buy Foundation
Funding Focus: Education and youth
Funding: Multiple awards, up to $200,000 each
Deadline: Nov. 1
Summary: The Best Buy Foundation offers an array of support. The community grants promote programs that give teenagers access to opportunities through technology to help them excel in school and develop 21st century skills.

NEH, Enduring Questions
Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities
Deadline: Sept. 10
Award Amount: Up to $38,000 for 18–36 months, 21 awards
Summary: The NEH Enduring Questions program supports grant faculty members in the preparation of a new course on a fundamental concern of human life as addressed by the humanities.

Children’s Obesity
Private Funder: Children’s Obesity Fund
Funding Focus: Childhood nutrition
Funding: Varies
Deadline: Rolling
Summary: To win funding, projects must educate parents, teachers, and other caregivers about the rising obesity rates in America.

Promoting Economic Literacy
Agency: Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation
Deadline: Sept. 15
Summary: As part of the effort to broaden the understanding of modern day economic systems, the Foundation offers grants to help improve financial literacy, especially for disadvantaged children and youth.

Programs for Literacy, Social Services
Foundation: Women Helping Others (WHO) Foundation
Funding Focus: Social services, women and children (education–literacy programs get priority)
Funding: Awards vary
Deadline: Sept. 8
Summary: The foundation supports nonprofits serving the overlooked needs of women and children.

—Submitted by Jayne Smith, director of sponsored programs and grants management