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NASA announced recently that the Minority University Research and Education (MUREP) project has selected ten historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly Black institutions (PBIs) to receive over $640,000 to strengthen their support for students in those communities in pre-college summer programs. The Minority University Research and Education Project is administered through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement.

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“These proposals are designed to reach students at that critical transition point between high school and college when their future plans are really coming into focus,” said Kelly Martin-Rivers, acting MUREP project manager. “We’re excited to be able to support the next generation of the STEM workforce.”

The selected institutions include Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Prairie View A & M University, Tuskegee University, and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

According to NASA, Alabama A&M University proposed to work with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to offer underrepresented, underserved rising 11th and 12th-grade students college readiness, STEM engagement, and STEM career awareness opportunities. Precollege Summer Institute (PSI) for Recruiting and Inclusion for STEM for MSIs (PRISM) will be a three-week residential program that offers students learning activities designed to increase their STEM efficacy and identity, improve college readiness skills, and expose them to STEM careers through authentic learning experiences in NASA Marshall laboratories. Alabama A&M was awarded $65,000 for its proposal.

Prairie View A&M proposed to continue the tradition of attracting more students to STEM careers. A residential summer camp focused on robotics in space will utilize NASA missions to attract underrepresented and underserved high school students and equip them with the tools necessary for success in college degree programs leading to STEM careers. Prairie View A&M was awarded $59,304 for its proposal.

The focus of Tuskegee’s Summer Institute is to increase diversity among incoming STEM majors. In particular, the project will recruit talented high school seniors, focusing on underrepresented minorities, first-time, full-time majors in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics including women and girls, and persons with disabilities. The students will participate in NASA learning activities and build foundational skills in arithmetic, calculus, algebra, the scientific method, unit conversions, and develop good study habits. Tuskegee was awarded $65,000 for its proposal.

A team of scientists and engineers at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore proposed to establish the HAWKS MUREP Precollege Summer Institute, a two-week residential program designed to increase the participation and retention of historically underserved and underrepresented high school students in STEM. Learning activities are aligned to NASA’s themes of space exploration, aeronautics, and Earth science. Students will have the opportunity to work in a Nano Research Laboratory making nanofibers and will visit NASA Wallops for mentoring job shadowing, and involvement in real-life STEM projects, research, and activities. The university was awarded $64,999 for its proposal.

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