Society for Science awards $10,000 to three Baltimore-area organizations

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A member of the Owings Mills-based Black Girls Dive Foundation examines sea life underwater. The foundation was one of three groups in the Baltimore area, and one of 38 groups across the United States, to receive grant money from the Society for Science to support programs for demographics who are underrepresented in STEM fields. Photo courtesy of Society for Science/Black Girls Dive Foundation.

The Society for Science, a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting science, awarded a total of $10,000 to three community organizations in the Baltimore area to support their programs for demographics that are underrepresented in STEM fields.

The nonprofit on Wednesday announced that they awarded $5,000 to Baltimore Underground Science Space (BUGSS), $2,500 to Black Girls Dive Foundation, and $2,500 to Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Inc. (SAFE).

The Society for Science said this year they are granting a total of $165,000 in microgrants to 38 organizations as part of the STEM Action Grant program to support groups that have been underrepresented in STEM education and careers, including Black and Latinx people, women and gender-expansive individuals, disabled people, and low-income students.

The 38 grant recipients represent the largest class in the history of the program, and they span 21 states — although each group also serves people outside of their home state. This year, the program also received a record number of applications, Society for Science officials said.

The grantees have demonstrated “a strong record and commitment to inclusive STEM education,” said Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science and publisher of Science News.

“If the United States is going to stand as a world leader in science and technology and keep pace in innovation with the rest of the world, we must prioritize investing in grassroots organizations that are doing the hard work on the ground, to engage and educate science learners of all backgrounds,” Ajmera said in a statement. “What’s most inspiring to me about these organizations is that they are identifying growth areas in their local communities and enacting real change.”

BUGSS will use its $5,000 grant award in partnership with the Latino Education Advancement Fund to provide STEM materials, “authentic research experiences” and workshops to Latinx students and families.

The $2,500 grant to the Black Girls Dive Foundation will support opportunities for underrepresented girls and women to participate in the exploration and conservation of marine ecosystems. This is the fourth grant that the group has received through the STEM Action Grant program.

SAFE will use their $2,500 grant to support “innovative STEM experiences” in its after-school program and summer camp.

The Society for Science was founded in 1921, then called Science Service. The nonprofit in 2008 changed its name to the Society for Science & the Public, which it shortened to its current name in 2021.

Since 2016, the Society for Science has awarded a total of $410,000 to 64 organizations through the program.

“At the Society for Science, we live by the principle that talent is everywhere,” Ajmera said. “This is why we are unremittingly steadfast – through all of our outreach and equity programs – in nurturing, attracting and promoting talent across diverse populations in our country and beyond.”

Marcus Dieterle

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