The MLSC seeks to further advance and expand life sciences education at Massachusetts public high schools and middle schools through implementation of project and inquiry-based curriculum. Through this program, the MLSC awards grant funding to schools and curriculum providers for the purpose of teacher professional development and the purchase of equipment, materials, supplies, and technology needed to support new or expanded curriculum. Funding will enable schools to educate students in real-world scenarios that will prepare them for career opportunities in the life sciences. Funding for teacher professional development will ensure that educators receive the technical training needed to effectively use newly acquired equipment and technology.
Applicants can request grant funding of up to $200,000 (up to $100,000 per high school and up to $50,000 per middle school) for capital expenses (including equipment, materials, supplies, and technology), and up to $40,000 (up to $20,000 per school) for professional development.
Investments made through this program seek to expand access to STEM equipment, curriculum, and professional development, increase educational equity and help the achievement and opportunity gaps, train a diverse STEM workforce pipeline, support the implementation of Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards, increase student achievement and interest in STEM, increase awareness of life sciences careers, improve college & career readiness, and leverage partnerships.
Eligibility & Evaluation
Applicants must be at least one of the following:
- Vocational technical high school as determined by Chapter 74 of the General Laws of Massachusetts or a comprehensive public high school with a life sciences Chapter 74 program.
- Public middle schools or high schools (including charter schools) located in one of the following “Gateway Cities” as determined by Section 3A of Chapter 23A of the General Laws of Massachusetts: Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, and Westfield, and Worcester.
- Public high schools or middle schools (including charter schools) with a student population of at least 25 percent classified as “low income” by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
- Non-profit curriculum provider, with a presence in Massachusetts, delivering STEM curriculum and teacher professional development to schools that meet any of the above-stated criteria. Any equipment requested on behalf of partner schools must be delivered to and remain housed at the schools.
For schools belonging to a district, the district must be the applicant and only one application can be submitted per school district. Districts must submit applications that reflect district-wide resource needs and promote curriculum alignment.
Applications will be evaluated based on the ability of the proposed curriculum to support a trained workforce suitable for employment in the life sciences. Successful proposals will explain how the requested equipment and supplies will create learning opportunities that are aligned with the needs of the life sciences industry. Proposals should explain how the requested equipment and professional development will enable schools to provide curriculum, instruction and student learning experiences that align with Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Learning Standards relevant to the life sciences. The MLSC will consider the qualifications of the team, the ability to meet an educational need within selected school districts, and the budget.
The application for FY24 grants will be available the first week of Jan. 3, 2023. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2023 at 5 p.m.
Impact on the Ecosystem
The MLSC has invested more than $23.6 million in equipment and professional development funding in 260-plus high schools and middle schools throughout Massachusetts. Funding has served schools in all 14 Massachusetts counties and all 26 Gateway Cities, as well as all vocational-technical high schools with a life sciences program. Moreover, more than half of students attending eligible schools have gained access to new equipment and nearly 30 percent of all Massachusetts public school students attend a school that has received an MLSC grant.
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