Daniels Fund Grant To Advance Innovative K-12 Stem Education Programs At CU-Boulder

April 12, 2007

The University of Colorado at Boulder has received a $99,376 grant from the Daniels Fund to enhance K-12 student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM.

The funds will be used to support three College of Engineering and Applied Science programs designed to move K-12 students in Colorado toward STEM success in higher education.

Students with backgrounds typically underrepresented in engineering -- including girls, minority students, low-income youth and first-generation college-bound youngsters -- will be targeted.

"We are passionate about cultivating well-prepared, STEM-savvy K-12 students in Colorado," said John Bennett, associate dean for education in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. "This grant addresses a critical need to bolster the science and math capabilities of our Colorado K-12 students by engaging them creatively in hands-on learning experiences taught through relevant engineering applications."

The goals of the K-12 outreach programs are to increase STEM proficiency and to increase the number of academically prepared students interested in engineering and technology degrees and careers.

In addition to a new Rural Engineering Education pilot program in western Colorado, the funding builds on the success achieved in two existing K-12 outreach programs previously supported by Daniels Fund grants.

The Lafayette TEAMS (Technology and Engineering to Advance Math and Science) program is a collaborative effort with the Boulder Valley School District focused on five high-need Lafayette schools.

Started in 2003, graduate student fellows teach hands-on engineering activities weekly to enhance science and math learning for about 1,400 students in grades three through 12. The partnership has dramatically increased the number of Lafayette students learning about engineering and demonstrating STEM achievement.

In partnership with the Denver School of Science and Technology, or DSST, the CU Success Institute also is on target to increase the number of women, minorities and economically disadvantaged students who attain college degrees and are academically prepared to do so in all STEM fields.

In 2006, CSAP test scores for DSST 10th graders were the highest of any in Denver Public Schools and twice the state average, with 65 percent of the students scoring advanced or proficient in math. The school's student body is 66 percent minority, 50 percent first-generation college bound and 45 percent female.

DSST students who are taking engineering classes will have the opportunity to participate in the CU Success Institute this summer.

Other educational programs receiving awards on the Colorado Springs, Denver and Health Sciences Center campuses brought the total Daniels Fund grant to CU to just under $800,000.

The Daniels Fund operates the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program and the Daniels Fund Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The fund was established in 1997 by Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to people in need.

Recognized as one of the top public universities in the United States, the flagship CU-Boulder campus has five colleges and four schools, four Nobel laureates and seven MacArthur fellows. Thirty-three faculty are members of the prestigious National Academies.