U of A Gets $1.25M for STEAM Education Program

U of A Gets $1.25M for STEAM Education Program
(University of Arkansas)

The University of Arkansas has received a $1.25 million federal grant for a summer program that encourages underrepresented students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The five-year grant will be used to recruit and support 400 students and 15 teachers to a summer program at the university. The program targets rising sixth graders from Reed Elementary in Dumas, which is largely rural, low-resource and Black. 

The program has three primary goals:

  • To improve STEAM awareness, academic performance, graduation rates, and college enrollment for participating students
  • To improve STEAM teaching performance and efficacy for STEAM teachers in Dumas
  • To build college savings for student participants and their families through $50 seed deposits a gift fund

“As an underrepresented minority within the STEM disciplines, it’s very important to me that we change the demographic — the representation that’s within those disciplines,” Tameka Bailey, an assistant professor of biological sciences and the grant’s project director, said in a news release. “I want to connect the two communities — my home in Fayetteville and my native home of Gould and Dumas.

"For me, growing up, opportunity was everything. Had I not been exposed to STEM very early on I would not have become a research scientist.”

The funds are provided through the National Institutes of Health's Science Education Partnership.