Below is a roundup of some of the great work our grantees and Foundation staff accomplished in January 2019.

STEM Learning Ecosystems

STEM Learning Ecosystems were featured in Scientific American as an example of a way communities can promote more STEM experiences for young people.

Delran’s participation in the STEM Ecosystem Alliance was also highlighted as a key step in enhancing STEM education. The New Jersey district will spend about $1.8 million on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fabrication lab, which includes a $20,000 grant from Overdeck Family Foundation. 


The National Museum of Mathematics was featured in NY Metro Parents for its youth math outreach program, MoMath 2 Go: the Family Math Initiative, with a partnership with the Long Island Explorium in Port Jefferson. The program is designed to help families learn how to comfortably discuss math with preschool through second-grade children and to involve parents who may not have access to the latest in math education.

The cast of the Broadway musical Mean Girls hosted 100 middle school girls for brainteasers at the museum. The performers participated in a discussion about the role of math in Mean Girls and explored many themes of the musical, including students’ at times adversarial relationship with math and the importance of students showcasing their intelligence without fear of being judged. 

Urban Institute

A U.S. News article discusses the increasingly difficult task of accurately determining the number of low-income children and families in schools and districts. Matt Chingos, the head of the Center on Education Data and Policy at Urban Institute, is quoted throughout.  


J-PAL launched the second education technology innovation competition (an Overdeck Family Foundation-led initiative) calling for non-profits, school networks, and educational agencies to partner with and evaluate tech-based solutions and instructional models that are aimed at improving learning outcomes. The partnership was announced in MIT News.

Afterschool Alliance

Afterschool Alliance outlined the effects of the federal government partial shutdown on afterschool programming. While the Department of Education funding streams were not affected, the Department of Agriculture funding for school lunch was quickly depleting, possibly forcing schools to cut from enrichment budgets to ensure kids are adequately fed.

An analysis of the 274,000 posted projects on in 2018 showed STEM products and projects were in high demand. Thirteen percent of all requests on the site were labeled under “applied sciences,” compared to 10 percent in 2016, and projects in computer science and coding grew two-and-a-half times faster than projects in other fields during the last four years.

Nurse-Family Partnership

The Telegraph ran a profile of a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) visit in Macon, GA, focusing on the impact that one-on-one attention can have on a new mother. NFP has provided at-home prenatal and parenting support to nearly 500 Houston County families. Its goals are to improve pregnancy outcomes, boost child health and development, and help low-income parents achieve economic self-sufficiency.


The Overdeck Family Foundation-funded parentese study led by I-LABS was profiled in Brit+Co, a popular website for young moms and millennials. The article explored how parents can adopt the parentese style of speaking to better support their children’s language development.

Engineering is Elementary

The Hechinger Report highlighted the Engineering is Elementary curriculum and its ability to attract potential engineers before they get distracted by whether or not they fit the stereotype.  Since 2003, more than 15 million 6- to 11- year-olds at thousands of schools across the country have been taught how to think like engineers using the curriculum.