Princeton University’s  Prison Teaching Initiative (PTI) along with four other organizations have received a more than $5 million grant to promote STEM careers among inmates or those who were previously incarcerated.

The grant from National Science Foundation will fund the STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings (STEM-OPS), an alliance of five organizations including PTI, Education Development Center (EDC), From Prison Cells to Ph.D., Operation Restoration, and the Initiative for Race Research and Justice at Vanderbilt University.

The alliance will make educational programming for STEM careers accessible and rigorous in U.S. prisons and reentry programs.

For formerly incarcerated people, STEM-OPS will work on providing internships and hands-on research opportunities at top-tier research universities.

“We are particularly excited to be part of a large-scale education equity project with leaders who were previously incarcerated,” said Jill Stockwell, administrative director of PTI, “and to propagate our model of summer research internships for formerly incarcerated undergraduates on campuses throughout the nation.

The alliance will focus on career and educational readiness workshops for STEM careers and the development of STEM mentorship and professional networks for returning citizens.

It will also work on advancing knowledge on providing incarcerated youth with pathways to STEM education and careers.

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