Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), the sixth largest public school system in the nation, is the recipient of a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a model for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and computer science in elementary schools.

“We’re excited about the incredible learning opportunities the National Science Foundation grant will provide for our students,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “Broward County Public Schools remains focused on expanding access to computer science in schools – and now, through this grant, we are also helping to pave the way for computer science education for new generations of students around the country.”

The project will create hands-on learning applications for students through a “STEM plus computing curriculum,”

allowing students to build models and prototypes to improve problem solving skills and develop their critical thinking abilities. The District will also work with teachers to develop STEM problem-based learning and teacher professional development materials, to address challenging new areas for young learners.

The pilot project will launch in 14 schools in the 2016/17 school year, and be implemented with Outlier Research & Evaluation at the University of Chicago and advisors from Florida Atlantic University, Stanford University and the University of Miami. The national organization,, is also partnering with this project. The results will be used to develop a national model for integrating computer science in the classroom.

BCPS staff members participated in a national conference with the National Science Foundation regarding this initiative earlier this week in National Harbor, Maryland.