The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Grant pays off in A&M STEM advancement

A technical education grant awarded last year to Texas A&M is paying dividends as it motivates a new crop of students to become the nation’s next scientists and engineers.
IT-consulting giant and Fortune 500 company Cognizant Technology Solutions awarded a $150,000 grant to Texas A&M to fund education focused on STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. That money supports BioForce, a high school summer camp that introduces students to STEM careers through hands-on experiments, lab visits and interaction with industry professionals.
Kathryn Nash, associate director of educational affairs at Cognizant, said the demanding nature of STEM majors often discourages children.
“We want to expose kids to a new world that they don’t learn from simply reading a textbook,” Nash said. “We are a company dependent upon talented people who think outside the box and learn hands-on, and that’s how we want hopeful STEM students to approach their education.”
Texas A&M’s National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing accepted the grant last year and uses it to support its BioForce program, a week-long summer camp dedicated to educate high school students in lab technology and STEM careers. BioForce places special emphasis on the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry.
Brooke Schneider at NCTM manages the BioForce program. She said Cognizant’s grant money enabled the program to give students experiences they otherwise would not have.
“Cognizant has paid for extra activities for the kids, such as touring labs and pharmaceutical companies,” Schneider said.
Schneider also said BioForce has attracted high school students from all over the state.
“Last year we served 52 students that came mostly from the Bryan-College Station area and some outer cities,” Schneider said. “Because of the scholarship, we have received interest this year from students all over Texas, including some of the underprivileged areas.”
Cognizant Technologies recently relocated from its New Jersey headquarters to College Station, intent on recruiting Texas talent.
“College Station is a community in which we can thrive,” said Nash. “Kids who are prepared, smart and imaginative expand the workforce positively, and through them we are certain to attract good talent and anticipate further growth in Texas.”

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