Kirkwood Awarded Nearly $800,000 for STEM Education

Kirkwood chemistry students

Funds from National Science Foundation to be used to support STEM programs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (November 14, 2016)-Kirkwood Community College has been awarded funds from five programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling $781,470. The money will be used to support programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

All of the awards represent collaborations between Kirkwood and other colleges and universities to increase the number of highly skilled and technically trained students who will meet Iowa’s current and future workforce demand. The different grants are as follows:

  • Scholarships for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) – $472,755 to fund scholarships for Kirkwood students preparing for careers in electrical, computer, and software engineering in collaboration with Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College.
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) – $179,813 to provide student support services such as intensive advising, tutoring, participation in workshops, conferences and research opportunity focusing on students from underrepresented groups as they complete degrees in STEM disciplines and prepare for graduate level study. Participants will be part of a network of students in an alliance formed by colleges in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska and led by Iowa State University.
  • Improving Undergraduate Science Education: Pathways into Geoscience – $55,369 to provide Kirkwood students in geology and environmental science courses with field trips and opportunities to explore careers in geosciences through interactions with students and faculty in the geoscience department at the University of Iowa.
  • Robert Noyce Scholarship Program – $73,533 to increase the number of STEM students who earn a teaching credential at the University of Iowa by providing practical teaching experiences in informal learning environments such as Kirkwood Interactive Camps for Kids.
  • NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) – Planning grant designed to expand and strengthen preparation programs for graduate students entering into teaching intensive colleges, focusing on faculty career preparation at community colleges and professional development for newly hired STEM instructors at community colleges.

Kirkwood President Mick Starcevich, former math teacher, knows the importance of promoting the STEM fields to students.

“We’re at a moment in time when students are shying away from these essential areas of study,” said Starcevich. “As time goes on, advancements in technology are going to make STEM fields even more important. We need to find new ways to entice students into these disciplines. These grants from the National Science Foundation will be key in promoting STEM as well as careers in these crucial areas.”

To learn more about STEM at Kirkwood, go to www.kirkwood.edu/stemadvisor.

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