Interagency Initiatives: Education, Climate Science, And Nanotech All Grow | February 28, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 9 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 9 | p. 25
Issue Date: February 28, 2011

Cover Stories: More Support For Science

Interagency Initiatives: Education, Climate Science, And Nanotech All Grow

Department: Education, Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: Federal Budget, Nanotechnology, Climate Science, Education

Following through on his State of the Union challenge to prepare 100,000 STEM teachers over the next decade, the President requests $100 million for programs at the Department of Education and NSF. This includes $80 million to expand STEM teacher preparation models in the Education Department’s Teacher & Leader Pathways program. At NSF, $20 million would go to the Teacher Learning for the Future program, which studies teacher preparation.

The 2012 budget request also provides $90 million to create an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Education at the Education Department. The mission of ARPA-Ed is to drive transformative improvement in education technology by stimulating the development and deployment of new tools and technology to improve student learning.

Meanwhile, President Obama wants to pump up federal research on climate change. The multiagency U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) would get $2.6 billion in 2012, up 20.4% from 2010’s level of $2.2 billion. The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), which oversees this program, did not supply estimates for 2011 funding.

One notable funding increase proposed for the global change program is at the Department of Energy. Its portion of this program would get a 31.0% boost to $224 million in 2012. The funding would support DOE development of a prototype to directly measure greenhouse gas emissions.

Nanotechnology research would also benefit in 2012 under the President’s proposed budget. The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which coordinates nanotech R&D among 25 federal agencies, would receive $2.1 billion, an increase of 10.4% compared with 2010. Values for 2011 were not reported.

Agencies that participate in NNI plan to invest in three key areas: nanoelectronics, sustainable manufacturing, and solar energy collection and conversion. They would also continue to focus on responsible development, including assessing the potential environmental, health, and safety risks of nanotechnology.—SRM, CH, BEE

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