Connecticut Independent School Wins $250K Grant for STEM Initiative

A $250,000 grant that supports the advancement of women in STEM was recently awarded to an independent Connecticut college-preparatory girl’s school.

Greenwich Academy (GA), founded in 1827 and located about an hour from New York City, is the recipient of the Edward E. Ford Foundation Educational Leadership grant. Greenwich will match the grant, raising the total value to $500,000. The funds will support the expansion of the school’s Girls Advancing in STEM (GAINS) initiative, according to Greenwich Time, a local news outlet.

Greenwich’s Head of School, Molly King, who spearheaded the grant effort, said the school was “thrilled and honored” to be a recipient.

Over one-third of African American, Latinx, and Native American students enter college with an interest in studying STEM, yet only 16 percent actually go on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in those fields, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

A 2015 study found that women make up just 26 percent of the computing workforce and 12 percent of the engineering workforce.

GA founded the GAINS initiative in 2011 to promote STEM topics among girls in high school. The program is available for any independent school within the country at no charge. Requirements involve students organizing a group, choosing two student leaders, and having a teacher sponsor.

The initiative offers an online portal, a mentoring network, and virtual meetings, and a national annual conference. The new grant will create a foundation for other schools to start clubs, upgrade the digital platform, and continue to fund the national conference, Greenwich Time reports.

For more information about the grant, eeford.org.

Mariah Stewart is a staff writer for DiversityIS.