STEM - science, technology, engineering and math

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Some Reading-area students and their teachers will soon have greater access to computer science and STEM education.

Pennsylvania has awarded a $499,711 PASmart advancing grant to Albright College.

The money will be used to fund a collaboration with the nonprofit Science Research Institute (SRI) to implement a STEM program that will provide summer and afterschool STEM research at Albright's labs for fifth through 12th grade students and educators.

"I couldn't be happier to see Albright College and SRI joining forces to provide extraordinary STEM opportunities for students who may otherwise never have had access to such quality experiences," said state Sen. Judy Schwank. "I have long supported the initiatives of both the college and SRI and have observed firsthand students working on projects far more advanced than they'd have access to in school."

The program will also provide students will access to legal counsel for any IP they develop in the college's labs.

"This grant will go a long way to help address Pennsylvania's shortage of skilled labor, training today's students for 21st century jobs," said state Rep. Mark Rozzi. "Grants devoted to expanding computer science and STEM education help fill the tremendous need we have for skilled workers."

SRI got its start at Conrad Weiser High School in 2015. It expanded to Albright College last year to offer a more-centralized location for students and educators in the Reading area.

"I'm excited that Albright College has been named as one of 26 recipients of a PASmart advancing grant, paving the way for Pennsylvania's students to prepare to successfully enter the workforce and help grow our state's economy," said state Rep. Manny Guzman.

In addition to Albright, the Lebanon School District received a $499,399 grant to partner with Elizabethtown College and Harrisburg University on the STEM Pathways Initiative, which will provide the district's students with opportunities to engage with STEM and computer science concepts and courses, earn college credit and entry-level industry certificates, and build skills and interests relevant to the 21st-century workforce.

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