TryEngineering STEM Grant Program Helps Build Equity for Under-Resourced Communities
IEEE TryEngineering Series:
Spotlight on Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Next Generation of Engineers
IEEE’s TryEngineering.org, a program that began in 2006, has expanded considerably to inclusively meet the needs of all budding engineers and technologists. There are a number of programs that fall under the TryEngineering.org umbrella, including the:
- TryEngineering Volunteer STEM Portal
- TryEngineering STEM Grant Program
- STEM Summit
- STEM Champion Program
- TryEngineering Summer Institute
- TryEngineering Together program
All of these programs target providing information and resources to a diverse and inclusive audience in an effort to build equity within the global engineering community.
The TryEngineering Volunteer STEM Portal is for IEEE volunteers and serves as a resource for all pre-university STEM programs and related initiatives and activities. Within the portal, educators the world over can share STEM best practices and programs with IEEE's international community of volunteers, find inspiration from peers, and utilize portal resources to develop or enhance their own local programs. Adaptable program offerings include camps, competitions, STEM fairs, programs focused on girls in STEM, mentoring, student workshops, teacher workshops, industry and/or company tours, career days, and parent programs.
In 2022, the documented reach of IEEE PreU STEM Outreach across the globe included:
STEM portal grants
In an effort to foster equity within future generations of engineers, TryEngineering STEM Portal grants are awarded to STEM Champions who provide outreach in more than 43 countries including Argentina, Canada, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and the United States. In each of these countries, STEM Portal Grants will often be found supporting efforts in communities where there is a distinct need for resources to support STEM education.
Read about a few of the past TryEngineering STEM Portal grant projects below.
One grant recipient, Vijayalaxmi Sandeep Kumbhar, IEEE member in the Bombay Section and Counselor at the Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering and Research in India, was awarded a grant for the IEEE Epoxy Solar Camp. The program was designed to leverage academic curriculum to assist students in India in achieving increased awareness of environmental challenges such as climate change, and to ‘think outside the box’ to envision STEM-related solutions that could address such environmental challenges. Combined with hands-on experience, lessons in sustainability and solar energy presented at an early age can promote a lifetime of considering new ways to address entrenched concerns. Kumbhar shared that, "[The most rewarding part of engaging in STEM outreach is] interaction with the young minds and helping them to get the solution for surrounding problems."
The IEEE Pre-University STEM Portal Grant program also offered the opportunity for the Library Embedded Programming Series, a 10-week program aimed at engaging pre-secondary-level students in tactile, hands-on projects that facilitate skill development in programming and basic electronics. The grant program, known as the Elkins Electronics and Robotics Program, aims to build students’ analysis techniques through mentoring, and help them develop skills beyond the traditional classroom through work on a real-world project. The program began in the IEEE Ozark Section in Region 5, and the STEM Grant program is providing the support to expand the Series as a mentoring program, offering more hands-on STEM opportunities for pre-university students.
Kithinji Muriungi, an IEEE Kenya Section and IEEE Photonics Society member, was awarded a STEM Portal grant for the Kenya STEM Camp. The 11-week program was attended by 128 students from 9 schools and their teachers. Students gained machine learning training as well as practical application, and obtained mentoring assistance from local engineers working in various fields of interest. Teachers were also able to gain new tools and resources for their STEM lessons. Muriungi shared that he "got to share [his] invaluable and priceless experience with someone who is in need of them the most…that is simply called changing lives!"
Apply for a STEM portal grant
Learn more about our 2022 STEM Grant recipients.
Applications are due by 28 February 2023.