The Middle School Portal 2: Math and Science Pathways, National Science Digital Library 2011
The Challenges of Sustaining a Project as the End of a Grant Approaches
The original case study, “The Middle School Portal 2 (MSP2): Math and Science Pathways, National Science Digital Library: Early Sustainability Planning for a Grant-Funded Digital Library,” profiled a new grant-supported initiative: a portal devoted to collecting high-quality teaching resources for use by middle school educators. The resource was part of the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library (NSDL) program, a collection of online resources for educators in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In the first year of their three-year grant, the MSP2 project team focused on developing and launching the new social media–enabled site, and tied the ultimate success and sustainability of the resource to their ability to create a robust community of users. In August 2011 the initial grant was drawing to a close, leaving MSP2 with the challenge of finding new sources of funding. One possible avenue would have been to apply for another grant from the same funder, but in early 2011 the National Science Foundation announced the close of the NSDL program, removing one source of future funding and setting up a series of difficult questions about the next steps for the initiative.
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