Conway Public Schools as well as Crossett High School is currently in search of a Computer Science Teacher. If you or someone you know has the 528 certification, is enthusiastic about Computer Science, and has an interest in or willingness to learn Programming and Networking/Hardware, we encourage you to apply. Please help build the Computer Science Program for the continuation of computer science education for students!

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science announced in December the continuation of the Computer Science Innovation Grant opportunity for Arkansas public K-12 schools. This opportunity includes up to $250,000.00 in total reimbursement funding that has been allocated for the purchase of curriculum, software licenses, non-fundamental equipment, professional development, student incentives, and other approved expenses that directly support the instruction of the ADE K-12 Computer Science and Computing Standards.

This is a multi-stage competitive grant process; each proposal will be judged by a committee. Chosen proposals will be invited and required to complete and submit an ADE required grant application, based on the proposal, for full approval before funding is awarded and released. ADE expects to award approximately three $25,000.00 grants, five $20,000.00 grants, and ten $7,500.00 grants; however, ADE may elect not to award all grants or full grant amounts if the quality of the proposals do not warrant award. ADE maintains the discretion to award, not award, and/or modify award amounts of any or all grants under this program. Prior receipt of funding under previous Computer Science Innovation Grant programs does not disqualify proposals.

The proposal submission system can be accessed at:

Proposals will be evaluated on the level of innovation and potential effectiveness in regards to:

  • Broadening student participation in computer science courses with an additional emphasis placed on programs that broaden participation within underserved populations
  • Increasing computer science teacher capacity within the school and understanding of computer science for involved educators
  • Increasing community understanding and local industry support of local computer science initiatives/programs
  • Number of, and the impact on, students, teachers, and/or community members reached by the proposal
    Follow up components and/or outreach/marketing components

The proposal process is open and will close at 11:45 p.m. CST on 04/30/2021; award decisions will be released by 05/28/2021.

Grant proposals must include a proposed budget that includes a summary of all costs, and lists any outside funding expected. Spending of awarded grant funds may deviate up to 10% within each category without additional approval; however, no additional funds will be granted for programs that exceed awarded amounts. Programs will be forward funded up to 50% of the projected grant award amount; the remaining 50% will be funded once the first half is fully and appropriately expensed. Organizations may contract with curriculum / professional development providers to provide training to educators as needed.

Selected schools will be required to submit an official ADE grant application, budget and budget narrative, and other documentation and reports throughout the grant process.

The grant performance period will be July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022; initial funding will not be distributed until after July 15, 2021.

The funding for these one-time grants is being provided by the ADE Office of Computer Science, and is subject to the availability of funds appropriated by legislative act.

“As a former STRIVE participant and mentor, I can honestly say I have become a better educator because of this program. By working with local businesses in the community, I have been able to identify and implement the critical skills students need after graduation. What is the one question all students ask when doing their work? …WHY? Well, I can tell you that the why has been answered in my classroom! I am able to relate the essential skills and learning targets to real-world concepts and ideas with each lesson unit. The STRIVE program has not only given me the experience of a lifetime, it has given my students the experience of a lifetime as well.”

-Whitney Major, STRIVE participant and mentor, Science Teacher at Lake Hamilton Jr. High.

The STRIVE program is looking for qualified, motivated, STEM educators to participate in a 5-week program through UALR and local businesses in the community. The applicant will be placed with a business during the summer to work with the employers during a 5-week period where they will be compensated $750 a week!

The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between what is being taught in the classroom and the skills in which employers look for in a new employee. During the placement, the educator will learn about different job skills, qualifications, and expectations (educational, job duties, etc.) within the business. They will then use the information learned during the placement to create a meaningful lesson centered around the implementation of STEM skills. Applicants will be required to gather pre and post data (assessments, surveys, etc.) in order to show how their student has grown in a specific skill set or content area using STEM skills.

They have potential placement opportunities in the following towns: El Dorado, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, McGhee, Mountain View/Fifty Six, Norfork, and North Little Rock.

See the handouts below for more information OR contact Dr. Mark Baillie through email: [email protected].

The deadline has been extended to April 11, 2021!

Application Link:

We have some great news in Arkansas STEM! The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) plans to support middle school and high school STEM education in Arkansas by means of the Pathways Academy community engagement program.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is launching a new community engagement program to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in public middle schools and high schools in Arkansas.

UAMS’ Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has received a $800,000 grant to establish the Pathways Academy. The grant comes from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Temporary Assistance for Needed Families program and is renewable for up to five years, representing a potential $4 million investment.

This STEM education program will utilize online tools to aid students whose families qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. These Pathway Scholars will receive assistance and preparation for careers in the STEM and health care fields.

Some of the resources the Pathways Academy will provide including mentoring, tutoring, opportunities to attend conference and seminars, internships, summer programming and technical training. The program will also work with the students’ parents to help them support their children’s academic careers.

“The Pathways Academy is meant to not only give students the opportunity to explore and pursue careers in science and health care fields, but to build bridges of community engagement and education in communities with underrepresented minority populations, opening doors for clinical and translation research as well,” Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA, UAMS vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, said in a statement.

According to Gittens, the program’s first priority is developing a staff to create curriculum, program development and administration. The team will then begin recruiting students, parents and teachers.

The long-term goals for the program is to grow to approximately 1,200 students in Arkansas, Gittens said.

Courtesy of Arkansas Money & Politics, March 11, 2021