The National Science Foundation, more commonly known as the NSF, is a United States federal government agency that’s essentially responsible for pursuing and financially supporting fundamental research and education in all of the non-medical fields of science and engineering.
The grants and initiatives of the NSF are all aimed towards the achievement of its overall agency mission which is “to promote the progression of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.”
In line with this mission, the National Science Foundation has recently established the Computing Education Grants Program for the 21st Century (CE21), whereby the agency primarily intends to make a robust computing research community, as well as a computationally competent 21st century workforce, and in the end a computationally empowered people.
The NSF believes that there are three reason why the community has not yet achieved computational competence, first being that there is an underproduction of degrees that are important to the computing and computing-associated work-force, second would be the ever pressing concern referring to the under-representation of various segments of the population, and finally, the sheer absence of a presence of computing in K-12 levels.
The modern-day era has brought information technology and computing to a whole new level in areas such as business expansion, scientific advances, and national security. Because of this, the country has seen a staggering growth in information technology-related jobs. Unfortunately, not that many Americans have managed to capitalize on this opportunity mainly because of their complete lack of skills and knowledge in the area of computing.
As the clamor for the computing workforce continues to swoop, the NSF wishes to address this concern by making certain that ladies, people with incapacities, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and indigenous races, and students in K-12 levels are well exposed to better computing-related opportunities.
As a response, the Computing Education Grants Program for the 21st Century will fund studies that will concentrate on methods and ideas that will provide students with rigorous educational curricula that essentially contains sufficient computational ideas and skills.
A funding amount of $13,000,000 is about to be provided for by the National Science Foundation to support this objective.
The affiliations and institutions who will be deemed eligible to submit an application under the Computing Education Grants Program for the 21st Century are the following:
a) Schools and Colleges – Universities and two and four-year colleges (including community colleges) which are licensed in, and having a campus that’s located in the United States, acting for their faculty members.
b) Non-profit, non-academic affiliations such as Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar associations in the United States which are connected with educational or research activities
c) State and Local Governments such as State educational offices or organizations and local school districts.