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NSF Grant Allows Harrisburg University to Motivate Next Generation of STEM Students

The funding allows Harrisburg University to impact higher education at the national level, while also helping to expand, attract and create economic opportunities nationwide.

 
PRLog - Oct. 17, 2011 - HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District announced that The Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) project at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has received a $399,488 grant from the National Science Foundation.  

“Harrisburg University continues to be a leader in the education and motivation of the next generation of science, technology, engineering and math students,” said Holden during a press conference on Oct. 17 at the University.  “This grant from the National Science Foundation to The Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) project is a smart investment in education and a smart investment in our local and national economy."

The Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) project promotes greater engagement of undergraduates with the sciences in institutions of higher education in the US and selected other countries. SENCER is the signature program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.  NCSCE develops, implements, and evaluates activities and projects that encourage and strengthen the efforts of colleges and universities to reform undergraduate education, especially in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“We’re grateful for the continued support we received from Congressman Holden and the National Science Foundation.  I am particularly proud of the SENCER approach to science education. It is an approach that motivates today’s students, appeals to their interests, counts on their contributions, and makes science real and relevant to their lives,” said Dr. Eric Darr, Provost and Executive Vice President at the University.  “This is another example of how Harrisburg University is not only leading the way when it comes to inspiring and educating science and technology students, it is mapping the route for colleges and universities throughout the United States.”

This website http://hulive.harrisburgu.edu/ will take you to a live stream site to view the recorded Press Conference at Harrisburg University.

A part of Harrisburg University since 2004, SENCER has established and supported an ever-growing community of faculty, students, academic leaders, and others to improve undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education by connecting learning to critical civic questions.  The funding, Darr says, allows Harrisburg University to impact higher education at the national level, while also helping to expand, attract and create economic opportunities nationwide.

“We deeply appreciate NSF’s support for and confidence in our work,” said David Burns, executive director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and co-founder of the SENCER project.  “Now more than ever, we need to connect science education to our needs as a society and to the challenges we face as a democracy.  Learning that is real, relevant, responsible and rigorous is what SENCER promotes and we are delighted to be able to extend the benefits of our approach to an growing community of colleges faculty members, academic leaders, representatives of community based organizations and, above all, students.”

Burns notes that SENCER’s goals are to: (1) get more students interested and engaged in learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, (2) help students connect STEM learning to their other studies, and (3) strengthen students' understanding of science and their capacity for responsible work and citizenship.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2011, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution that produces graduates who provide increased competence and capacity in science and technology disciplines to Pennsylvania and the nation. Harrisburg University ensures institutional access for underrepresented students and links learning and research to practical outcomes. As a private University serving the public good, Harrisburg University remains the only STEM-focused comprehensive university located between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  

For more information on the University's demand-driven undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in applied science and technology fields, call 717.901.5146 or email Connect@HarrisburgU.edu.

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Established in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution.

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