KSU receives $147K grant to partner with high schools on STEM skills

Have partnered with 7 high schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 27, 2017) — Kentucky State University has received a three-year $147,469 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to partner with high schools on improving STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills, particularly agriculture and aquaculture.

next-logo-300x149KSU will provide participating high school students with short lectures and hands-on demonstrations in and out of the classroom that enable students to study multiple levels of complexity and to deepen their understanding of STEM fields.

“We want students to be actively engaged in learning by doing and seeing and to be involved in authentic project-based aquaculture tasks that help increase their understanding in STEM disciplines,” said Ken Thompson, research and extension associate at KSU’s College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems.

KSU has already committed to working with seven high schools: Western Hills High School (Frankfort), Boyd County High School (Ashland), Trinity High School (Louisville), Mason County High School (Maysville), Clay County High School (Manchester), Harrison County High School (Cynthiana) and Carroll County High School (Carrollton).

KSU also will collaborate with Alltech and the Newport Aquarium’s WAVE Foundation to host a multidisciplinary Open House Ag-STEM Day event at Kentucky State’s Aquaculture Research Center in Frankfort. Students in the program will be given the opportunity to see and touch animals, including penguins and sharks, to encourage students to naturally begin the scientific method through exploration, observation and generating questions.

The partnership with Alltech and the WAVE Foundation will also serve to provide students with a firsthand knowledge of the broader educational and career opportunities in agricultural sciences. It also will help to increase the interest, academic success, and enrollment of diverse high school student populations in the STEM circuit to strengthen the country’s scientific and professional workforce.

“Programs like these are important because they teach students how science and technology mesh in aquatic systems,” Thompson said. “Our job is to give students the opportunity to make connections to their real-world experiences throughout the learning process. They will be exposed to phenomena that they may not have ever encountered before and will be presented with ways to engage in understanding.”

School administrators who are interested in participating in this program are encouraged to contact Ken Thompson at [email protected] or (502) 597-8107.

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