The Department of Defense has awarded Trident Technical College $1.9 million to implement the Building Outreach Opportunities to Motivate and Inspire the Next Generation in STEM (BOOMING in STEM) initiative to help address acute STEM workforce needs in the Charleston region.
Working with partners Joint Base Charleston and the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, Trident Tech will use the funding to provide camps and coursework to engage youth in STEM activities and connect them to educational offerings and work experiences. The project will create STEM career pathways for military-connected, rural and disadvantaged K-12 students, primarily focusing on students age 7-18.
“Creating clear pathways for students to explore STEM options and train for STEM careers will strengthen and expand the regional talent pipeline,” said TTC’s Vice President for Education Cathy Almquist. “This project will help our region address the need for well-trained, diverse employees in fields such as advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity, which are critical Department of Defense priorities.”
The college is one of only 12 institutions in the country to receive a National Defense Education Program Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) award from the Department of Defense this year. The department will provide more than $31 million to the 12 educational and industry partners over a three-year period to establish or expand STEM education, outreach and workforce initiatives for students and educators from early childhood through college.
“The Department of Defense is proud to support the STEM workforce our nation needs to maintain our technological superiority far into the future,” said Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Kratsios. “We are particularly pleased with the range of initiatives pursued by this year’s awardees, with programs for early childhood education, postsecondary study and outreach to student veterans. This investment will be critical to expanding STEM opportunities to students, educators and veterans in underserved, underrepresented and military-connected communities.”
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