U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith Announce Funding to Increase Minnesota’s STEM Talent Pipeline, Foster Diversity in STEM Fields

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced two grants for Minnesota middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities to strengthen Minnesota’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent pipeline. One award sponsors the North Star STEM Alliance, a program that supports public, private, and Tribal colleges and universities in their efforts to significantly increase the numbers of students enrolling into and successfully completing high quality degree programs in STEM disciplines in order to diversify the STEM workforce. The other award supports the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus to partner with Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) and Hamline University, among others, to expand professional development opportunities for 18 science teachers working in diverse schools. 

“To continue our global leadership in science and technology research and development, American students must receive the best training and education,” said Klobuchar. “With these federal grants, our schools can better prepare students for the careers of tomorrow.”

“Every student deserves every opportunity to succeed and build a bright future for themselves, and that all starts with a good education,” said Senator Smith. “This funding will help all students, from middle school through undergrad, no matter their background, to develop the skills they need to enter into a STEM field.” 

The North Star STEM Alliance aims to increase the number of students who graduate with B.S. degrees in STEM who participate in the STEM workforce. Over a five-year period, North Star Alliance will use $2,500,000 to increase STEM Bachelor of Science degrees from 700 in 2022, to 1,000 annually by 2028. To do this they will provide financial support for domestic and international research experiences, internships, supplemental instruction, other student support services, and North Star STEM Alliance research conferences. These methods are evidence-based high impact practices for bolstering recruitment and retention.  

Institutions participating in the North Star STEM Alliance include: 

  • The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 
  • The University of Minnesota – Duluth 
  • The University of Minnesota –Morris 
  • The University of Minnesota – Rochester  
  • Bemidji State University  
  • Century College 
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 
  • Metropolitan State University 
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College 
  • St. Cloud State University
  • White Earth Tribal and Community College 
  • Red Lake Nation College 
  • Augsburg University 
  • Carleton College 
  • St. Olaf College 

The goal of the $2,992,228 partnership with SPPS is to improve access to science education for middle school and high school students. Teachers learn to support students’ learning by exploring culturally meaningful material and real-world problems. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus program will also partner with Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) Science Learning, the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Hamline University.