US space agency NASA has announced an investment of more than US$14m (£11m) in STEM research, with the funding being awarded to 19 US colleges and universities.
The project, the named MUREP (Minority University Research and Education Project) Curriculum Award, is intended to encourage further spaceflight research and prepare a new generation of STEM professionals.
“Current research shows that developing new curricular pathways or adding to an existing STEM curriculum can help these colleges and universities attract more diverse groups of students to the kinds of research that align with NASA’s needs,” added Torry Johnson, the project’s manager.
Five institutions received nearly US$6m (£4.7m) for curriculum-boosting initiatives: Passaic County Community College, New Jersey; Prince George’s Community College, Maryland; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas; and University of the District of Columbia, Washington.
The funding will also be used to support research and technology development for upcoming Artemis missions to the moon. Nine institutions were awarded more than US$8m (£6.3m) for this purpose: Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Pomona, California; California State University, Los Angeles; Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, North Dakota; Delaware State University, Dover; College of the Desert, Palm Desert, California; Morgan State University, Baltimore; University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne; University of North Texas, Denton; The University of Texas at Arlington
“These awards help NASA reach students and institutions that traditionally have had fewer opportunities in cutting-edge spaceflight research,” said Shahra Lambert, NASA’s senior advisor for engagement.
“We want the Artemis Generation to feel excited and prepared to join us in tackling the scientific and technological challenges of space exploration.”
NASA likewise selected five institutions to receive US$100,000 (£78,600) each for spaceflight research: University of Delaware, Newark; University of North Dakota, Grand Forks; Nevada System of Higher Education; University of Kentucky, Lexington; and Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.