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Forbes Announces Funding to Advance Math, Science, Technology Education for Minority Students
Washington, D.C., October 8, 2009
Contact: Jessica Mancari (202) 225-6365

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that Virginia State University (VSU) has been awarded a grant through the National Science Foundation in the amount of $989,747. The award will be used to fund a three year study through VSU and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) aimed at improving test scores for minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.    

“This study has the potential to create an education model that could be replicated in schools throughout the country that are looking to advance STEM in underrepresented areas. But the study is about more than just advancing test scores and equality in education; it is about economic advancement and ensuring that the United States retains its edge in the math, science and technology fields—a critically important requirement in today’s global economy,” said Forbes. 

The study will assess the impact of alternative learning methods on 240 underrepresented 6th and 9th graders residing in school districts in central Virginia. An interdisciplinary approach will be used that includes scientists, mathematicians, as well as advisors from various departments at VSU and the Department of Radiology at VCU.   

Congressman Forbes has been at the forefront in Congress in leading efforts to decrease the technological divide in underrepresented communities. He introduced H.R. 694, the Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2007, which established a new grant program within the Department of Commerce to provide up to $250 million to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges bridge the economic opportunity gap. The bill was included in the Higher Education Opportunity Act conference report that passed the House on July 31, 2008. It was signed into law by the President on August 16, 2008. 

For information on the study at VSU, contact Dr. Oliver Hill, principal investigator for the study, at (804) 524-5938. 

For more information on Congressman Forbes’ work on education issues, visit forbes.house.gov/issues/education.htm.

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