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$8.2 Million Grant to Transform Computer Science Education in Maine

A group of educators mingle in a conference workshop setting.

MMSA’s STEM Workforce Ready 2030 (WFR) project has been awarded a transformative $8.2 million grant by the Harold Alfond Foundation to increase access to computer science education in Maine.

With this groundbreaking investment, WFR will build on the work it has been doing over the past two years. Greg Powell, CEO and chairman of the board of trustees for the Harold Alfond Foundation emphasized the support the foundation initially gave to WFR in 2021 that this grant will build upon. “That three-year grant trained over 40 CS Integration Teacher Leaders and brought CS learning to over 100 classroom educators and 2,000 students from across the state.”

In this new phase, WFR will be able to equip teachers and students with real-world computer science educational resources on a much larger scale statewide. “The Foundation is excited to reinvest in the work of MMSA to further advance computer science education in Maine. We hope that this project will help ensure that emerging opportunities in computer science, at Maine’s higher education institutions and throughout the state’s workforce, will be accessible to all Maine students and graduates,” Powell said.

MMSA’s Executive Director, Ruth Kermish-Allen, had this to say in the Bangor Daily News’ reporting on the expected impacts of this initiative: “We’re trying to open up an understanding of what the future STEM workforce in rural Maine is going to look like and the kinds of skills needed for those roles.”

This funding will be pivotal to advancing computer science education in Maine. With a goal of reaching 20,000 students, training 1,000 teachers, and 30 districts over the next five years, MMSA and its partners are set to impact education and the economy in Maine for years to come.

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