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NSF awards Binghamton University $4 million STEM grant

By Eric Reinhardt


VESTAL, N.Y. — Binghamton University will use a more than $4 million federal grant to partner with community colleges to attract students pursuing bachelor’s degree in STEM fields.

STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Nation Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the funding, the office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) announced in a news release.

Binghamton will use the NSF funding to promote “degree completion in STEM fields,” Schumer’s office said.

“This federal investment will allow Binghamton to connect directly with community colleges and support academically gifted students through the transition to four-year, STEM degree programs,” Schumer said.

Binghamton will use the federal grant to train students, moving from partner community colleges to Binghamton University in STEM fields, including “smart energy,” Schumer’s office said.

“We are excited to strengthen our ties with SUNY Broome and Queensborough Community College,” M. Stanley Whittingham, professor at Binghamton University, said in Schumer’s release. “This collaboration will let undergraduate students get involved in world-leading energy research at Binghamton University, and with local businesses such as Corning and BAE Systems. This effort, which provides student stipends, pairs well with the recent SUNY 2020 award [of $2.8 million] to Binghamton for equipment and resources to increase the number of graduating students in STEM in the area of smart energy.”

Participating students will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience in these fields and will work with new technologies and materials for energy storage and generation at cutting-edge research facilities at Binghamton.

Students will also get the chance to work with the education division of the Washington, D.C.–based American Chemical Society to work on self-assessment, career planning, goal setting, and skill strengthening.

The project will study interventions to improve retention, completion and academic success for community college transfer students, and will extend support to transfer students as soon as they begin at community college.

“The students selected for this new program will benefit from a hands-on research experience centered on one of the leading trends in science today: smart energy,” Harvey Stenger, president of Binghamton University, said. “This NSF award will enable us to help many talented-yet-underserved students earn a bachelor of science degree — critical to a career in the STEM fields — as well as further the University’s standing as a leader in STEM education.”

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