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October 5, 2016

CONTACT: Barry Toiv, 202-408-7500,

The Association of American Universities (AAU) has received a five-year, $1 million grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation to support the AAU STEM Education Network, a group of faculty members and administrators at AAU universities dedicated to improving undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teaching and learning at research universities.

The network is an outgrowth of the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, a major project begun in 2011 to encourage STEM departments at AAU universities to use teaching practices proven to be effective in engaging students in STEM education and in helping students learn. AAU is an association of leading research universities, 60 in the U.S. and two in Canada.

With the funds from the Northrop Grumman Foundation, AAU will provide two cohorts of 12 AAU member institutions, a total of 24 universities, with mini-grants to further existing efforts to improve undergraduate STEM education. These grants will support activities such as coordinating multiple efforts across university departments or colleges, initial conversations within or between STEM departments about future projects and collaborations, or hosting an expert or leader in an aspect of STEM reform on campus.

While all 62 AAU universities have participated in some manner in the AAU STEM Initiative, it has centered on project sites at eight AAU campuses. Most of the funds until now have been provided by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the National Science Foundation. Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund have also provided support.

“AAU is encouraged by the progress made by the original eight project sites in improving undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM,” said AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. “We are aware of many excellent efforts occurring at other AAU universities, too. With this grant, we will be able to support the efforts of many additional campuses to implement large-scale reforms to improve introductory STEM courses.”

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The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian public and private research universities . It focuses on issues such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education. AAU member universities are on the leading edge of innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to the nation's economy, security, and wellbeing. AAU’s 60 U.S. universities award nearly one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in STEM fields.

Providing unique education experiences related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students and teachers is the Northrop Grumman Foundation’s top priority. The Foundation supports diverse and sustainable national-level programs that enhance the education experience for students and provide teachers with the training and tools they need to be successful in the classroom.


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