Increasing awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) among Southern Colorado middle- and high-school students will be the focus of a $143,000 federal grant to Colorado State University-Pueblo from the United States Department of Education.
Research shows that one of the underlying causes of student underachievement in these academic areas is the lack of relevance of STEM disciplines to their everyday lives and a belief that these subjects are not important for their future careers, according to Dr. Hector Carrasco, dean of the College of Engineering, Education, and Professional Studies and the project director responsible for budgeting and reporting to the grant agency, the grant will allow development of materials that demonstrate the relevance of STEM in students’ everyday lives, provide information on future opportunities for graduates in STEM disciplines, and identify the pathways to STEM careers.
The materials will be disseminated in the Southern Colorado region utilizing existing programs and University events such as career fairs, design contests, and student clubs. Carrasco believes the results of these awareness efforts will include an increase in the percentage of middle-school students taking Algebra I in eighth grade, an increase in the percentage of students taking four years of mathematics and science in high school, and an increase in the number of students taking advanced mathematics courses such as calculus.
Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.