Missouri State Gets $4 Million for Rural STEM Education

Missouri State University has received a $4 million grant from the Department of Education to improve and expand computer science education in rural schools.

The funding comes from the Education Innovation and Research Program. The program received over 1,000 applicants and only awarded 20 grants.

This is the largest collaborative grant ever received by MSU.

“Computer science is increasingly becoming a foundational part of a student’s education. Unfortunately, too few students, especially in rural areas, have access to high-quality computer science education,” U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), chair of the appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), said in a statement announcing the grant.

“This program will provide the tools, curriculum and technology to support 150 teachers and 13,500 students in rural areas. It will also build the evidence-base of what works to expand computer science education opportunities for rural students more broadly. This project will not only teach important STEM skills but inspire young minds.”

Blunt had been leading the effort to obtain STEM education funds with a focus on rural areas.

The program from MSU will have a summer 2021 launch and partner with Ava, Bradleyville, Crane, Logan-Rogersville, Mansfield, Marshfield, Nixa, Osceola, Skyline, Springfield/Delaware, Warsaw and West Plains schools.

“This grant will enable our faculty members to develop computer science expertise and resources with communities in southern Missouri that need them the most,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart. “We want to get young students excited about computer science through hands-on learning, so they can envision the possibilities of a STEM-related career.”

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