Grant to college promotes STEM careers

A National Science Foundation grant of nearly $300,000 will help low-income students enrolled at Doña Ana Community College to earn an associate’s degree in STEM-related fields — science, technology, engineering and math.

The Experiential Learning STEM Opportunity Grant for $291,000 provides the funding for students at the college to construct a radio telescope as part of a new NASA Radio Astronomy Lab at its Las Cruces campus. The lab will allow students to detect sounds from the sun.

DACC professor German Moreno said the grant is crucial in giving underrepresented groups an opportunity to have careers in STEM fields, which are in great demand in New Mexico. “It is important that community colleges work to ensure students are successful by giving them science workforce skills,” he said.

In addition to helping students develop stronger skills in science, the grant sets them up to transfer to four-year universities to earn higher degrees.

The grant will also be used to provide 10 instructors with equity training through the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity.

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