TPT in St. Paul, Minn., was awarded $1.2 million from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to inspire young women of color to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
The four-year grant supports NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow’s Youth, a new project focused on girls of Black, Latinx and Indigenous backgrounds. The program was designed as part of a partnership among TPT, the National Girls Collaborative, the Space Science Institute and the NASA Langley Research Center.
NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow’s Youth will pair 100 NASA STEM professionals with students ages 9–14 by working with TPT’s national SciGirls network of educators, the Space Science Institute’s STAR Library Network and the National Girls Collaborative’s STEM programs, according to a news release.
“Research shows that youth’s interest in STEM declines during and before middle school, especially for youth of color and for girls,” said Rita Karl, TPT’s senior managing director of STEM media and education, in the release. “Given the importance of diverse representation in the STEM pipeline and NASA careers, we must provide opportunities for youth STEM professionals to meet and engage with role models who look like them.”
TPT has previously attracted philanthropy related to STEM. Last year, the estate of longtime station supporter William Wells established a restricted endowment with a bequest of $9 million to increase STEM programming for children.