Delaware Delegation and Delaware Tech Announce Federal Grant for New STEM Program

On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined representatives from Delaware Technical Community College to announce a federal grant award for STEM UP Delaware!, a program that inspires high school minority students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the goal of providing a pipeline of diverse students pursuing and obtaining degrees focused on the healthcare field.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a five-year grant totaling $2.4 million to Delaware Tech and its partners – Nemours Health & Prevention Services and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

“The National Science Foundation estimates that eighty percent of all jobs that will be created over the next decade will require some form of science and math skills,” said Senator Carper. “It is my hope that through this program, we can inspire high school students to choose STEM careers for their future. They surely won’t regret it.”

“The STEM UP Delaware! program is designed to build upon the College’s successful track record in developing pre-college programming in STEM disciplines for minority and disadvantaged populations. This program represents what we do so well in our state … that is, to form strong partnerships among higher education, industry and government that make a real difference for Delawareans, for employers and for our economy,” said Dr. Mark Brainard, president of Delaware Tech.

Program interventions proposed to meet the demand for qualified health care professionals include academic STEM education, Saturday Health Care Academies, research projects, tutoring services, dual enrollment, career fairs and comprehensive summer programs that include both academic enrichment and experiential learning opportunities. The grant will target New Castle County students in grades 8-12.

“Recognizing students and then encouraging them to pursue the highly rewarding fields of science, engineering, technology and math is imperative to be able to compete with other countries on a global level,” said Senator Coons. “This grant will help continue to grow the students’ passion for the STEM fields and will hopefully help them to further their dreams to become the next generation of creators, builders and dreamers.”

“Higher education, particularly in science and technology, is key to our country’s economic competitiveness,” said Congressman Carney. “Across the state, I’ve heard from employers who struggle to find individuals trained in STEM fields who are qualified to fill open positions. Through this federal grant, Delaware Tech and its partners are working to address this need through training and education. This program gives students the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow. STEM UP, Delaware! improves our workforce, strengthens the state’s economy and will change students’ lives. I’m excited to have this opportunity in Delaware.”

Roy Proujansky, MD, Nemours’ Chief Executive of Nemours Delaware Valley Operations said, “Nemours is committed to equity and inclusion not only in the delivery of care to children, but also in the composition of our workforce. We are proud to support this collaborative effort and excited about the prospect of building a workforce diversity pipeline that unites us in our common goal to attract and educate a labor force that reflects the communities we serve.”

“In order to change the DNA of healthcare in America we need a group of passionate, creative and diverse next generation healthcare providers. STEM UP Delaware! and Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University are an unbeatable combination. As the medical college for the state of Delaware, we look forward to sharing our knowledge, expertise, and energy to help guide these students and give them the best experience possible in the medical fields. They in turn will help us reach our vision to reimagine healthcare to create unparalleled value,” stated Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

STEM UP Delaware! grant activities will begin this fall serving 40 students in eighth and ninth grades; the grant will serve 100 students by fiscal year 2019.