In a significant boost for STEM education and research, the CPP INVESTS program has been awarded a grant of $581,511 in supplemental funding.
The CPP INVESTS (Innovative Ventures and Emerging Sciences Through Students) program has been making strides in promoting innovation, research and learning within the field of STEM. This five-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will enhance the program’s ability to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students while also supporting faculty to incorporate practical experiences into their curricula.
The project, which recently launched in Spring 2023, emerged as a collaborative endeavor involving Professor Olukemi Sawyerr, assistant vice president of Academic Innovation, and Professor Winny Dong, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
“The objective of the supplement is to provide stipends for students to participate in signature polytechnic experiences, PolyX, such as undergraduate research and micro-internships,” Sawyerr said. “The goal of the NSF CPP INVESTS grant is to support our students to successfully transition into the workplace by providing them multiple opportunities to develop the career and professional competencies sought by employers in graduates.”
A major focus of the grant will be to support STEM student stipends for micro-internships and undergraduate research. Micro-internships, which can range from 5 to 40 hours, provide students real-world experience in their chosen STEM fields, fostering a deeper understanding of theoretical concepts and their practical applications. Micro-internships can also help alleviate financial barriers that might prevent students from participating in these enriching experiences.
Additionally, the grant will offer stipends for STEM faculty members to integrate micro-internships and badging into their courses, bridging the gap between academia and industry by ensuring that classroom teachings align with the job market.
The CPP INVESTS program is committed to fostering collaboration and innovation within the STEM community. By providing financial support to both students and faculty members, the program aims to create a holistic learning environment that not only imparts theoretical knowledge but also cultivates practical skills that are essential in today’s rapidly evolving STEM landscape.