Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields
The Women and Minorities (WAMS) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fields program was authorized to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with priority given to eligible institutions that carry out continuing programs funded by the Secretary. The goal of the WAMS program is to develop and implement robust partnerships to increase the representation, participation, and entrepreneurism of women in STEM careers, thereby contributing to national economic prosperity. The purpose of the grant program is to support projects that: Provide STEM knowledge, skills and competency to Women and Minorities from Rural Areas with successful placement (a) in the workforce in STEM fields, or (b) as innovators and entrepreneurs adding value to the STEM fields in areas that have relevancy to the USDA Secretary?s priorities.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2016
In FY 2016 award cycle, $383,000 was available for project awards. Four (4) projects are in the process to be awarded. Awards will be finalized on or before September 30, 2016. In FY 2016 award cycle, $382,650 was available for project awards. Four (4) projects were awarded by September 30, 2016.Fiscal Year 2017
In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 award cycle, approximately $379,000 was funded through four (4) projects. 35 projects were accepted for review. The funding rate was 11%.Fiscal Year 2018
In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 award cycle, approximately $363,000 was recommended for funding four (4) projects. 56 projects were accepted for review. The funding rate is 7%.Fiscal Year 2019
In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 award cycle, approximately $384,000 was recommended for funding four (4) projects. 39 projects were accepted for review. The funding rate is 10%.Fiscal Year 2020
The FY 2020 funding levels have not yet been established by Congressional Appropriations. If this Program is funded in FY 2020, it is projected that the funding level will be comparable and the types of projects will be similar. Pertinent details will be provided by Program at a future date.
Section 7204 of the Food Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) (Public Law 110-246) amends section 1672 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (FACT) (7 U.S.C. 5925) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make competitive grants to support research and extension activities. The Secretary shall make these grants in consultation with the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education, and Economics Advisory Board.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of 2 or more of these entities.
State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of 2 or more of these entities.
The System for Award Management (SAM) combines eight federal procurement systems, including CCR, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR activities are conducted through SAM (the CCR website will redirect users to SAM). Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR SS 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR SS 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. Applicants must furnish the information required in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information." SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via Grants.gov in response to specific Requests for Applications (RFA). Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. For information about the pre-award phase of the grant lifecycle application processes see: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grants-101/pre-award-phase.html. Further, applicants must follow the instructions provided in the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, which can be assessed as follows: Adobe NIFA Applications. 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application. Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFA). 2 CFR 200 - Subpart C and Appendix I and 2 CFR part 400 apply to this Program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Contact the National Program Leader (NPL), as indicated per CFDA Section # 152 - Headquarters Office regarding dates for specific deadlines, start and end dates, and range of approval/disapproval time. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. NIFA's respective links regarding general information are provided below: http://nifa.usda.gov/ http://www.grants.gov. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA), which are generally published annually. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields
How are proposals selected?
2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved fundamental and applied research and extension grants to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with priority given to eligible institutions that carry out continuing programs funded by the Secretary.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
PERFORMANCE MONITORING: See above for pertinent and specific details.
Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, SS 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved. 2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is voluntary. 100%. Grant recipients are required to match the USDA funds awarded on dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and in-kind contributions. NIFA may waive the matching funds requirement for a grant if NIFA determines that: (a) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or (b) the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the grant recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
In accordance with statutory time limits, project periods, including no-cost extensions of time, are not to exceed five (5) years. Further details are provided in the Award document Form NIFA-2009 and the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016) at: https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Letter.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
NIFA is transitioning to a new location for Fiscal Year 2020. NIFA's New Mailing Address AFTER September 30, 2019 follows: National Institute of Food and Agriculture 6501 Beacon Drive Kansas City, MO 64133
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader,
Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Division of Community and Education, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2250
Washington , DC 20024-2250 US
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 18$378,150.00; FY 19 est $384,000.00; FY 20 est $0.00; FY 17$378,600.00; FY 16$382,650.00; - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive and/or capacity project grant, or cooperative agreement are established, these amounts will be announced in the annual Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/women-and-minorities-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-fields
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
As an administrator of U.S. government support, NIFA works in partnership with grantees to ensure responsible stewardship of federal funds. Our grantees and partners are required to comply with all relevant rules and regulations. The following resources are provided to NIFA's partners and award recipients to support their adherence to federal regulations governing program performance: NIFA's primary (main) website: https://nifa.usda.gov/regulations-and-guidelines The following represent specific documents and direct links: POLICY GUIDE NIFA's Federal Assistance Policy Guide describes agency policies and procedures. https://nifa.usda.gov/policy-guide CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Certifications and representations provided through the NIFA application process. https://nifa.usda.gov/certifications-and-representations ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF USDA SUPPORT BY NIFA When acknowledging USDA support in accordance with 2 CFR Part 415, grantees must use the following acknowledgement for all projects or initiatives supported by NIFA. https://nifa.usda.gov/acknowledgment-usda-support-nifa FEDERAL REGULATIONS The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists all regulations published in the Federal Register. https://nifa.usda.gov/federal-regulations FOIA The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal documents and information such as research data. https://nifa.usda.gov/foia NEPA POLICY AND GUIDANCE The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Guidance set the standard for identifying potential environmental impacts. https://nifa.usda.gov/nepa-policy-and-guidance OGFM ISSUED CORRESPONDENCE The Office of Grants and Financial Management occasionally issues correspondence to applicants, grantees, and/or the general public for informational or clarification purposes. https://nifa.usda.gov/ogfm-issued-correspondence RESEARCH MISCONDUCT NIFA requires that all its awardees adhere to the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. https://nifa.usda.gov/research-misconduct NIFA'S GENERAL AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS Award terms and conditions are determined by statutory, regulatory, and agency requirements, as well as each grant's circumstances. Terms and conditions dictate important items related to your grant, including method of payment, reporting frequency and content, and prior approval requirements. References to the terms and conditions of awards are located on the NIFA 2009 Award Fact Sheet. NIFA's general award terms and conditions (see link below) is applicable to this program, for awards with an award date on December 26, 2014 and thereafter. https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016
For FY 2016; The WAMS Grant Program provides funding that may be used for research and extension activities in the training, outreach and mentoring of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM fields relevant to USDA mission. It is an expectation that investment of public funds through the WAMS Grant Program will lead to: • Gains in STEM knowledge, skills and capabilities, as well as new participants in USDA science mission through outreach activities, new careers or entrepreneurial enterprise; • Increased documentation of outputs, significant activities, including dissemination activities, events, services or products that contribute toward achieving the goals and objectives of WAMS; • Increased change in knowledge, actions or conditions; and, • Increased capacity for carrying out the USDA mission by rural women and underrepresented minorities. Fiscal year 2016 grants through WAMS have been awarded for: • SUMMER MATH AND SCIENCE HONORS ACADEMY: This project will develop a free, five-week residential college preparatory program for high-potential, underrepresented high school students from rural areas. • ENHANCING STEM UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING FOR WOMEN AND UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES This project aims to attract women and underrepresented minorities sophomore students from rural areas that are interested in the STEM disciplines and promote their development towards completion of their studies. Therefore, promising sophomore students will be identified and provided with advise, mentoring, training and educational opportunities in preparation for STEM-related careers • RECRUITING UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY GRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH 1890 LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS; This project will develop a Pre-Graduate School Pathway Program that will enhance the academic success and graduate school readiness of upper-level undergraduate students from two (2) 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions. • INCREASING STUDENT DIVERSITY IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE-RELATED STEM DISCIPLINES THROUGH UNDERGRADUATE CLASSROOM-BASED RESEARCH EXPERIENCES: This project will develop and instruct a Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) course that engages students with authentic scientific research and communication. They will specifically target women and minorities from rural communities and recruit them for this course. Using actual research relevant to rural communities and agriculture, students will engage with hands-on research in the classroom.Fiscal Year 2017
For Fiscal Year )FY) 2017: CULTIVATING ACCESS: AGRICULTURE CAREER COMMUNITIES TO EMPOWER STUDENTS IN STEM The goal of this project is to increase participation by women and minorities from rural areas in STEM-related agricultural careers by fostering mentoring relationships between high-school students, college students, and industry professionals throughout the agricultural production-to processing pipeline. This program includes research guided mentor training of industry professionals and college student ambassadors, an online ACCESS Portal containing educational and career development resources for youth and parents, and the implementation of scaffolded mentoring curriculum designed to foster understanding of STEM careers in agriculture and enhance employability skills such as leadership, teamwork and communication. This project intends to impact 90 students (60 high school and 30 undergraduates) and 15 faculty during the grant period. PROMOTING STEM EDUCATIONAL EQUITY (STEM-EE) FOR RURAL MINORITY YOUTH THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AND MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES This 4-H extension and research project has objectives of promoting life skills, higher learning, STEM career exploration and commitment. This will be accomplished through volunteer-mentor delivered STEM-based experiential educational activities with recruited rural minority youth in non-formal community settings. The next level of intervention involves youth attending a state level Summit to work with faculty mentors on a capstone project to be presented in their communities and statewide. The research portion of the project compares STEM-EE recipients with matched rural, minority recipients of STEM educational activities restricted to local level (control comparison group). EMPOWERING WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE This project from Montana State propose the following activities: 1) Survey study on women in Montana’s agriculture; 2) Two-credit online summer course for students of 2-year tribal and community colleges focused on the contributions of women in agriculture in five different workforce pathways –research, Extension, marketing, farming, and administration— and conditions for career success; 3) Student internship program; 4) Annual summit on women in agriculture; and 5) Video-clip repository on the life-journey of women in Montana’s agriculture. The expected project outcomes include: 1) Findings about the needs, aspirations, and achievements of women in Montana’s agriculture; 2) Increase student understanding of the role of women in agriculture and paths for career success; 3) Student real-life work experiences; and 4) Increase public understanding of the roles, contributions, and life-journey of woman to the Northern Rockies agriculture. The project intends to directly impact 45 students and 13 faculty during the grant period. INCREASING AWARENESS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN AND MINORITY STUDENTS IN SUSTAINABLE BIOMATERIALS EDUCATION The purpose of this project is to increase awareness and preparation of women and minority students for careers in the field of renewable energy and biobased products. Objectives are to (1) create informative recruiting materials that attract women and minority students to biomaterials undergraduate programs and 2) develop and test SBIOCAMP, a model for a week long summer camp for women and minority high school students that highlights the new discipline of biomaterials science. Plans to accomplish these goals include creation of videos, brochures, and webpages that raise interest and describe the career prospects in the new bioeconomy sector and development of a new summer camp model that provides opportunities to practice critical thinking and leadership skills in a nonjudgmental setting, solve real world case studies using research and analysis, tour local biomaterials businesses and recycling center, and be immersed in Virginia Tech’s campus culture. Women and minority students will be recruited for the camp from rural areas of Virginia with particular emphasis on first generation students and students from the coal mining and underserved population regions. This project intends to directly impact 2 faulty, 20 undergraduate students and 20 high school students during the grant period. They aim to impact an additional 68 faculty and 400 high school students per year indirectly as the summer camp is replicated at universities throughout the country with natural resources programs.Fiscal Year 2018
PRE-FRESHMAN ENGINEERING PROGRAM (PREP), A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP BUILD STEM PROFICIENCY, AMONG UNDERREPRESENTED POPULATIONS AND WILL ADDRESS APPLIED MATH PROFICIENCY. In Utah several barriers prevent students from obtaining post-secondary STEM degrees. This project seeks to remedy this through implementation the PREP program. The project directors will identify southern Utah students, entering seventh grade, who have already expressed an interest in and aptitude for STEM fields, but who come from underrepresented groups, including: girls, children of color, students of low socioeconomic status, students from an agricultural heritage, and first generation college students. PREP will involve these students in a three-year intensive academic summer program integrating STEM disciplines with a focus on mathematics. PREP will incorporate best practices that have been demonstrated to support success for underrepresented students in STEM pathways, as well as a tested curriculum developed over several decades. The goal is to increase the number of students, from underrepresented groups, pursuing post-secondary STEM education. Short-term objectives include: improved attitude toward STEM, increased mathematics aptitude, increased critical thinking aptitude, and increased aptitude in all PREP courses. Impact: 90 students, 1 faculty, 30 curricular products developed. ENGAGING WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN AGRICULTURE-RELATED STEM DISCIPLINES THROUGH MENTORING, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING This project will engage and equip female and minority high school students in agriculture-related research and leadership training under the guidance and mentoring of successful women and minority faculty working in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences STEM disciplines. Technical knowledge gained through problem-based, learning experiences will be coupled with development of professional “soft” skills (e.g., problem solving, team work, and communication). Career awareness, professional development, and leadership skills will be enhanced through participation in professional development training, networking opportunities, hands-on research experiences, and research symposia. Agriculture is the top industry in this rural state. Developing the professional capacity of women and minorities in agricultural-related STEM disciplines will promote sustainable agriculture systems and resilient rural communities as well as support a workforce representative of the region’s constituency. This proposal addresses USDA Strategic Goals to assist rural communities (Goal #1), conserve natural resources (Goal #2), and promote agricultural production (Goal 3). Direct impact: 170 students, 20 faculty, 32 curricular products developed. PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: SUPPORTING RURAL WOMEN FROM COLLEGE TO CAREER This institution has successfully instituted a STEM-based Sustainable Materials and Technology undergraduate program. With this project program faculty will extend this success to K-14 students to prepare future workforce in the holistic discipline of sustainability. The grant will focus on minority women attending community colleges since historically they have been under-represented in the forest biomaterials field. The goal is to expand their opportunities for professional careers and educational equity in sustainable materials science and engineering. This will be accomplished by providing a multi-tiered support system at every phase of the student’s postsecondary academic career --- specifically through community support, academic mentorship, experiential learning, community research projects, professional development, and university scholarship/admission guidance. The project will enhance participants’ scientific and professional competencies, leadership and communication skills, professionalism, critical and problem-solving skills, and team-building ability. The project is based on accountability; project-component outcomes will be assessed using proven methodologies. Impact: 46 students, 1 faculty, 20 curricular products developed. ALASKA NATIVE YOUTH INVESTIGATE FOOD SYSTEMS AND EXPLORE CAREER PATHS IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE This project seeks to bridge gaps in STEM educational opportunities for Alaska Native students in remote villages, while edging them towards health, food security, and food policy engagement. The project director’s develop an intensive, two week module for Alaska Native students who will delve into agriculture, food and nutrition science through active learning and student-driven research. The long-term goal of this project is that Interior Alaska Native high school students are inspired and empowered to pursue a STEM career, whether in agriculture, nutrition, or another science; they have a deep understanding and curiosity about food in Alaska—how our food is produced, why we eat what we eat, and the health implications for what we eat; and they gain the power and knowledge to affect food policy that influences their lives and that of their families and communities. Impact: ~10 students, 100 community members, 1 circular product developed.Fiscal Year 2019
TRAVELING LABORATORIES: INSPIRING FEMALE AND MINORITY RURAL STUDENTS TO EXCEL IN STEM This program will serve rural kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) teachers and students. This program is designed to attract and inspire underrepresented minorities, defined here as female and/or from racial/ethnic minorities in rural areas, to pursue careers in the agricultural sciences (agrisciences). Vetted and portable lessons with all implementation supplies contained in Traveling Lab Kits (TLKs) will be developed for elementary, middle school, and high school students through a collaborative effort of faculty and K-12 teachers, and transported to local, rural areas. Participating teachers will acquire professional development and the necessary materials to teach agriscience content. The objectives of this proposal are as follows: 1) Create agriscience-focused TLKs for distribution at the high school, middle school, and elementary level; 2) Develop cognitive STEM knowledge and non-cognitive 21st Century skills in K-12 students through use of agriscience focused TLKs; 3) Develop rural student awareness of science-based agricultural careers upon use of agriscience focused TLKs; and 4) Encourage underrepresented student engagement in the agrisciences. Impact: 72 teachers; Indirect impact: 6,150 students annually receiving instruction from trained teachers. FOOD SCIENCE IS OUR JAM: USING FOOD SCIENCE PROGRAMMING TO EXPOSE GIRLS AND UNDER-REPRESENTED MINORITIES TO STEM CAREERS The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a food science program customized to underrepresented school girls (8th grade +) that will increase their knowledge and interest in STEM-related fields within sustainable food systems. This hands-on outreach program will encompass four (4) modules that will progressively guide the attendees into concepts on food quality and food manufacturing and their use to improve food sustainability, extend shelf-life, and reduce food waste. To evaluate and monitor the impact of the food science curriculum developed, we will pilot the instructional material using the Girls Inc. UMass Eureka! Summer program. Program evaluations will inform curriculum modifications, expansions, and revisions. In addition to the on-campus training program and to overcome the geographical isolation of rural areas or the inability of rural populations to travel to a local university for STEM activities, this program will also develop a STEM kit to be delivered in-field and offered through local community partners (such as: rural libraries and 4-H organizations). The Food Science kit will be portable and self-contained, i.e., it will comprise all the required reagents, equipment, and supporting information to perform the activities. This kit will be shared in rural communities by means of learning programs deployed, for example, in local libraries through non-traditional collections. The availability of these resources at libraries located in rural areas will allow to reach a broader constituency at infield locations and provide them with non-traditional resources to spark in young girls the interest in STEM disciplines. Impact: 132 students, 2 teachers LA MESA FROM THE TOWN TO THE TABLE-RECRUITMENT OF UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS This project initiates a long-term development of workforce availability and rural prosperity in northwest Minnesota through a 3-year, progressive recruitment and retention program of women and minorities in STEM & food, agricultural, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences related majors. The goal of this project is to increase participation by women and minorities from rural areas in FANH/STEM-related agricultural careers by fostering mentoring relationships between high-school students, college students, and researchers. UMN Crookston will achieve this goal by meeting the following objectives: 1. Encourage relationship building between potential students, their families, and current UMN Crookston students, faculty, and administration. 2. Foster mentoring relationships between area high school students, UMN Crookston Student Ambassadors, and mentors. 3. Bridge the gap of “gown and town” with greater understanding that higher education, and particularly STEM and FANH fields, are open to all. 4. Assist current minority and underrepresented students at UMN Crookston in developing soft skills that will serve them in their FANH/STEM careers. 5. Walk rising 12th graders through college applications, FAFSA, and scholarship searches. 6. Work toward retention by setting up best practices for minority and underrepresented students (including cultural affirmation through bilingual tours and enrollment materials, events on campus, and a Multicultural Advisor, whom they could potentially meet as early as their 10th grade of high school, thus forming a long-term relationship). Impact: 250 students, parents, and administrators. PROJECT-BASED RESEARCH CLASSES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: AGRICULTURAL AND FORESTRY WASTES TO PRODUCTS The goal of the project is to encourage women and minority (WAM) high school students to envision themselves in STEM fields that relate to food, agriculture, or forestry by enrolling them in a project-based course where they can perform actual research, disseminate it to their home high schools, and develop kits for biomass education to be field tested in K-12 schools. These WAM high school students would be recruited from rural northern Louisiana school districts to enroll in a project-based college class, “Agricultural Wastes to Products.” The class would be offered in the PI’s lab for college credit both as a spring and a summer course. The course would allow students in teams to research converting agricultural wastes or waste forestry materials to Bioproducts. Leadership of the teams would be rotated to provide each student with leadership experience, with the PI providing individual mentoring and leadership training to each student. In addition, students would design kits for use in explaining biomass microstructure, and the importance of converting waste biomass to products, to either K-5, middle school, or high school students. These kits would be field tested in northern Louisiana schools. Since Louisiana is the state with the second highest African-American minority population and is one of the lowest ranked states educationally, there is great potential for advancing the quality of education in Louisiana. Impact: 20 faculty; 474 studentsFiscal Year 2020
Project data is not yet available Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.