Important Announcements

2015 White House Science Fair

Three CCA award winning teams honored. New team record established. Read more...

Purpose and Mission

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is a federal agency established by Congress and committed to fostering community service through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by middle and high school students. Today our mission reflects the urgent need to cultivate a passion and expertise in our nation’s youth for science to meet national priorities.


Dear Friends of the Foundation:

As so many of you know, our commitment has been to “refocus, renew and rebuild” through a unique approach to STEM education in awards and competitions. We look to further target and enhance the record of national service and scientific education begun when the Foundation was established by Congress in 1992.

With your help and guidance, we are continuing to drive full implementation of the sharpened mission: “Community service through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by middle school and high school students nationwide.”

Your commitment and outreach to Congress, the White House, and the media has been particularly powerful in advancing the unique value offered by the CCA. The exceptional honors received by our teams at last year’s White House Science Fair were compelling. The successes of middle and high school students, CCA alumni now in STEM programs, and the many graduates working across the national STEM marketplace have been remarkable. We plan to build upon their successes and great ideas.

To be very clear; both 2015 and 2016, have been challenging years for the Foundation and the Christopher Columbus Awards (CCA) competitions. Congress has not provided ongoing Appropriations which had, since 2007, replaced much of our earlier endowed, private sector partnership and individual contribution funding. Therefore, as of March 31, 2015, the Foundation was forced to conclude all of its federally financed operations. As directed by the Congress, we are working within the private and public sectors to “explore other options” enabling the Foundation’s work.

We look to emulate the Foundation’s long standing resource base of integrated endowment funds, non-profit and for-profit partnerships, agency programming and personal contributions. However, at this moment no new awards programs are underway. We are conserving our limited resources, working to fulfill multi-year team commitments to individual communities and acting to advance overall STEM education through policy work and support for other organizations programs. Depending on resources gathered, we plan to quickly rebuild and resume our CCA competitions and awards.

It cannot be overstated that your continued enthusiasm, program leadership and financial contributions are welcomed and needed. We are working to establish a 501(c) (3) organization, “iGEN” (Innovation Generation) which can accept tax exempt contributions and resources. Once iGEN is fully operational, we will welcome any future non-profit contributions you or your organization can make in support of the Foundation’s work.

If you wish to support the Foundation today, our current tax-exempt status permits tax deductible corporate and personal donations directly to the U.S. Treasury through It is accessed at:

Both contribution methods are fully tax deductible by for-profit and non-profit corporations and individual citizens. We have ensured that use of the contributions reflects the highest standards in applicable laws and government protocol, by working with the Department of Treasury, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) and other agencies to process and utilize funds.

The greatest inspiration in CCAs work remains the impact on our youth. Our greatest source of support has come from the teachers, Foundation alumni, volunteers, and numerous supporters who continue to contact us with words of encouragement and reminders as to the “power” our programs have had. Our students’ impact on community problems is brought home by articles, communications and community recognition received years later. Our greatest hope is that continuing private sector individual and company resources can sustain the integrated effort.

Thank you for buoying us with your support. We deeply appreciate it and, as always, welcome your ideas and guidance.