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This Agency is Awarding $382,650 in Grants to Increase Women in STEM Fields

Women and minorities are underrepresented in the STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS) is one organization that is working to change this through grants. The organization recently awarded $382,650 in grants to create more diversity in STEM fields.

WAMS is an organization created through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The grants will support research and projects that foster more participation of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The focus will be to create more interest among women and minorities in agriculture-related STEM fields.

How the grants will create diversity

The government grants were awarded to four educational institutes who are, in turn, using the grant money to create programs that encourage more participation in STEM fields by women and minorities. The Level Playing Field Institute in Oakland, California, for example, is using the grant funds to support a free, five-week residential college preparatory program at UC Davis for underrepresented high school students who have high potential.

Previous WAMS grants have been successful in reaching out to young women still in high school. A grant to the University of Tennessee enabled them to teach STEM topics to high school girls from rural eastern Tennessee and encourage interest in careers in agricultural. Another previous grant to Maui Economic Development Board helped them reach more than 40,000 students in Hawaii with STEM education programs.

The government-sponsored grant program continues to support efforts to grow more future agriculture scientists among women and minorities for our nation.