On Tuesday, Hopkins was awarded a $7.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enhance science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in Baltimore City schools. The program, named STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES), aims to improve STEM education for 1,600 Baltimore students in nine area schools through a partnership with Hopkins engineering faculty and undergraduates.
This page believes that the SABES program is an extremely important step towards rejuvenating the city and maintaining strong ties between Hopkins and the surrounding community.
One of the major problems in Baltimore is the poor quality of the city’s public education system, due mainly to lack of local and state funding. SABES, by sidestepping these funding mechanisms and using an NSF grant, will allow Baltimore City elementary schools to progress far beyond what would otherwise be possible.
STEM education is also critical to reducing unemployment and poverty in Baltimore. Through effective educational techniques developed by Hopkins, the children in these schools will learn to enjoy math, science and engineering.
Over the long term, the increased level of technological proficiency that this program engenders will open up opportunities for these children that they otherwise would not have had.
If maintained, the expansion of this type of funding across all of Baltimore could potentially lead to a sizeable increase in human capital, attracting many new, and much needed, businesses and jobs to the city.
This page believes that this is a step in the right direction, and that more partnerships with increased funding should be pursued. Giving nine urban elementary schools $165,000 a year will help, but Baltimore City Public Schools need more than this. We hope that SABES will act as a model for the city and will show that working with institutions such as the NSF and Hopkins can lead to tremendous gains that are most definitely worth the cost.