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NASA Awards $17 Million To Encourage STEM Ed at Community, Technical Colleges

NASA's Office of Education has selected 35 space grant consortia to share in more than $17.3 million in grants designed to improve student and instructor engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at community and technical colleges. The two-year grants are each capped at $500,000.

"Winning proposals outlined ways to attract and retain more students from community and technical colleges in STEM curricula, develop stronger collaborations to increase student access to NASA's STEM education content, and increase the number of students who advance from an associate to a bachelor's degree," according to a NASA news release.

Examples of winning projects include:

  • The California Space Grant Consortium's plan to improve STEM preparation at 12 community colleges through a distance learning course for students and faculty. The course will cover topics such as "programmable microcomputers, near-space ballooning, small satellites, autonomous ground robots and wearable sensor vests for sports and health monitoring," according to information released by NASA;
  • Colorado's Space Grant Consortium will take on four community college campuses as affiliates. Students and faculty at the schools will design, build and launch high-altitude balloon payloads and students will be eligible for scholarships, internships with NASA and to participate in the RockOn! workshop;
  • The North Carolina Space Grant Consortium will offer competitive, community college-level scholarships in an effort "attract and retain students through graduation and/or matriculation into four-year universities," according to a news release. The group will also create a team design challenge using NASA materials.

For a full list of winners and their abstracts, visit go.nasa.gov.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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