Building the “Pipeline” for Minorities in STEM

January 6th, 2011

Allen University, with support from a grant provided by the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy, is implementing the HBCU NNSA Pipeline Program to increase the number of students in the pipeline as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and enhance the educational and career development of these students.

Serving as the lead institution, expanded its program to include other HBCUs in South Carolina, including Voorhees College, Claflin University, and South Carolina State University.  As a part of the program, students from all four colleges/universities participate in summer internships involving research at selected research universities, the U.S. Department of Energy, or a NNSA national laboratory.   This project offers all institutions the resources and opportunities to provide course content and practical experiences to all STEM majors.

In addition to the undergraduate component, the Pipeline Project entails an initiative to increase STEM awareness in K-12 students.  Through an alliance with Richland County (SC) School Districts One and Two, The Pipeline Project provides training to over eighty mathematics teachers from these districts.  The training emphasizes the use of web-based technology in the classroom and benefits over 3,000 students.  Also, a partnership with W.J. Keenan High School (Richland County School District One), The Pipeline Project allows a select number of students to participate in STEM-related research opportunities on Allen’s campus.

Current partners with the Pipeline Project include Richland County School District One, URS Corporation, and SPAWAR – Atlantic Region.

As a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, NNSA works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provide the U.S. with safe nuclear propulsion; and maintain and secure the U.S.’s stock pile of nuclear weapons.  It’s Historically Black Colleges and University’s (HBCU) effort was created to increase the number of minority and female students pursuing education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (“STEM”) areas who could become part of the next generation of leaders committed to answering the needs of national security entrusted to government agencies such as the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA).