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Oklahoma State University awarded $6M DOD grant to expand STEM education programs

Oklahoma State University

A $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense has been awarded to Oklahoma State University's College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (CEAT).

The four-year grant announced Monday will help in the development of new STEM education programs at schools with economically disadvantaged or underrepresented students.

"The Department of Defense is not only developing emerging technologies but also investing in the STEM workforce pipeline, which is critical to the Department and our Nation’s security," said Ms. Heidi Shyu, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. "These recognized awardees are helping to widen the pipeline of STEM talent to ensure that the talent is diverse, providing opportunities for students of all ages and educators of all grade levels, including those in underserved and underrepresented communities, military-connected students, and veterans."

OSU will scale up summer and after school programs and teacher training at three public school districts near Tinker Air Force Base: Mid-Del, Millwood and Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Dr. Jovette Dew, CEAT's new director for K-12 programs, said the goal is to create career pathways in engineering and innovation.

"We want to make sure that our students can see themselves in STEM careers when they grow up, and we want them to know that good jobs are right here in Oklahoma and in our own backyard," said Dew.

Last year, CEAT had more than 900 students attend their STEM summer camps. With the grant, they hope that number balloons to 2,000 summer camp attendees.

OSU and Harvard were the only two universities to be funded at the highest level of the STEM education grant.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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