The National Science Foundation has awarded Guam and the University of Guam $299,976 in federal grant assistance in an effort to support the science, technology, engineering and math program participation in Native Pacific Islander communities. The program, which began under the Obama administration, is better known as 'STEM.'
The federal grant assistance will be used to fund UOG’s pilot project, GROWING STEM to increase Native Pacific Islander representation in STEM enterprise, especially environmental sciences. The GROWING STEM project will be led by the UOG Center for Island Sustainability, UOG Sea Grant Program and the Guam EPSCoR Program.
Dr. John Peterson, Dr. Austin Shelton, Else Demeulenaere and Dr. Cheryl Sangueza will serve as lead investigators. The program will include summer internships for high school students, undergraduate and graduate research opportunities through UOG's GROW Plant Nursery and the Humatak Community Foundation Heritage House. It will also include STEM professional development activities to be offered through conference participation and student research presentations in venues such as the Guam Island Wide Science Fair and UOG Island Sustainability Conference.
“This grant is a great example of the University of Guam's impact on our island and its important role in developing future local professionals and problem solvers,” said UOG President Robert Underwood.
“We have an exciting opportunity to put our local students on a pathway to attain doctoral degrees in science,” added Dr. Austin Shelton, Co-Principal Investigator. “Everything is centered around practical scientific research experiences aimed at improving the health of our land and ocean.”
“I applaud the University of Guam for pursuing these federal funds to help our people pursue careers in STEM and engage in culturally relevant research and science application,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I have always been a strong proponent of STEM, which is critical to ensuring that our students have the skills necessary for their future careers. These funds will help break down the barriers our island community faces with entering and participating in science fields. I look forward to following the work of the University of Guam’s as they continue to make strides for Guam and the region in STEM.”