The Federal Government has announced six universities will be sharing in $5.2 million in grant funding to inspire the next generation of professionals in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The funding will be delivered through round one of the Australian Maths and Sciences Partnerships Program (AMSPP).

Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Sharon Bird, also opened the second round of the AMSPP, which makes available more than $16 million for competitive grants.

"These grants will help develop new and innovative ways of teaching and learning maths and science. Activities vary from developing virtual classrooms and new online resources, to linking students to scientific mentors," Minister Bird said.

Other projects will raise national awareness of informatics, build teachers' skills through learning programs and internships, and provide teaching modules in line with the incoming Australian Curriculum.

"A strong grounding in maths and science is essential for many careers and very helpful in life in general. However we know that many children lose interest in these subjects early on in their schooling," Minister Bird said.

"By improving students' experience in the classroom we also improve their career opportunities in the future. The benefits of these programs will reach students across Australia."

Applications are currently open for the competitive grants round of AMSPP, with submissions due by 23 July 2013.