$2.5M grant given to CSU campuses to improve STEM education

Students in the College of Science and Mathematics are given the resources to prepare themselves for careers. The center has been available to students since 2010, and continues serving students with resumes and scholarships. Roe Borunda / The Collegian

Fresno State is one of three California State University campuses in the San Joaquin Valley that will be working together to develop innovative teaching practices to improve student academic performance and retention in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

Fresno State, along with CSU Bakersfield and Stanislaus State, received a combined $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to form a regional team of science and math experts, including lecturers and social-science researchers, to think outside the box when it comes to teaching STEM, according to a university news release.

The three colleges will take part in an intense creative-thinking “Ideas Labs” with nationally recognized math and science mentors to design a more interactive curriculum for lower-division chemistry and mathematics classes.

The team will be using its practices to do research on real-world problems starting with air pollution. 

“This is unique and transformative in that it’s beyond one campus, serving an entire region,” said Dr. Christopher Meyer, dean of Fresno State’s College of Science and Mathematics, in the release. “It’s great to work with our partners in Bakersfield and Stanislaus on collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to facilitate student success in STEM. We’re really excited about this, since it has the potential to benefit thousands of students in chemistry and math at the three CSU campuses.”

Each of the colleges will focus on a discipline that presents a great challenge for its students. 

Fresno State will be focused on chemistry and mathematics. 

The project aims to increase the pool of Hispanic, first-generation and low-income students with STEM degrees to better reflect the demographics of the region.

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