Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to announce the offering of a new grant program aimed at promoting STEM-based education for county students. The STEM Scholars Grant, which was developed by Freeholder Christopher Hudak, is part of Chairman Sergio Granados’ “Moving Union County Forward-Plant A Seed” initiative.

“The Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to offer county schools the opportunity to apply for STEM Scholars Grant for the first time,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “This program aims to foster understanding, deepen students’ knowledge, and provide educational opportunities to expand awareness of STEM programming at all levels.”

Funding for the STEM Scholars Grant is intended to assist in developing in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Only applications submitted by educators within Union County schools at the Pre-K through 12th grade levels will be considered. The STEM Scholarship Grant requires no match.

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“We encourage participation from all school districts in the county,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak. “The STEM Scholars Grant was created to promote more grassroots approaches to learning in our county schools.”

The inspiration for the grant program comes from the Freeholder Hudak’s mother, Susan L. Hudak. Ms. Hudak was a dedicated member of the educational community of Union County. For 19 years she was a member of the Linden Board of Education. She also volunteered regularly and was president of several PTA associations.

Ms. Hudak’s dedicated work involved the establishment of a Monthly Friday Family Science Night. This program ran for 25 years at School No. 6 in Linden and exposed students and their families to STEM topics through a series of visiting guest speakers in STEM-related fields and hands-on experiments.

The Freeholder Board requests that grant applications focus on STEM education in the following areas of concentration:

1.         Project Based Learning:  Creative, STEM-integrated, educational programming;

2.         Afterschool STEM:  Projects and programming that focus on extra-curricular learning, including science fairs, STEM clubs, monthly labs and workshop;

3.         Out-of-School STEM:  Creative STEM experiences out of the classroom, to better prepare students for STEM work in the classroom, and in the workforce.

Application deadline is October 15, 2018. For more information or to obtain an application, please contact Victoria Durbin Drake, Open Space Trust Fund Administrator, via email at vdurbin@ucnj.org or call 908-558-2277.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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