ELIZABETH CITY — Elizabeth City State University has been awarded a NASA grant of more than $320,000 to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education among K-12 students in the region.
The grant supports the university’s NASA Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) Aerospace Academy of Northeastern North Carolina. The academy selected seven minority-serving Institutions across the United States for cooperative agreement awards totaling nearly $2.3 million. The grants will be used to build the interest, skills and knowledge necessary for K-12 students to pursue STEM careers.
ECSU Technology Department Chairman Kuldeep Rawat said the funds will span two years and assist ECSU in reaching out to students across the university’s 21-county service area. Throughout the year ECSU will host a number of academy projects for students, including its summer programs and on-site programs using ECSU’s NASA Mobile STEM Lab.
“We have programs for students in all of the counties,” Rawat said. “This includes the summer programs, the aviation labs, and the mobile STEM lab.”
ECSU will adopt a grade-appropriate NASA curriculum to enhance authentic and experiential learning experiences through the integration of 3D printing technology, virtual reality simulation, unmanned aerial vehicle design, mobile robotics, computer programming, and sensor-based measurement systems.
The hands-on activities are designed to inspire and engage students in problem-based learning and scientific inquiry.
NASA provides financial assistance to minority serving institutions with MUREP’s competitive awards. These institutions recruit and retain underrepresented and underserved students, including women, girls, veterans and persons with disabilities, into STEM fields.