To further educate future scientists and mathematicians across the Panhandle and West Texas, five Texas Tech professors received a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The NSF gave a five-year $999,999 grant to five faculty members to promote their efforts in educating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students in rural and underserved areas, according to a Tech news release. 

Throughout the five years, the grant will provide funding for a four-year scholarship that will be given to 40 students who are planning on getting a degree in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, geosciences, math and statistics or physics and astronomy, according to the news release. The project is on track to ease the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technicians. 

The project also aims to pair STEM students with strong strengths in science and resilience, according to the news release. The project also wants to help students look at higher education facilities in a better way. 

Because Tech is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the project will help diverse the STEM field, according to the news release. The center of the project consists of case studies that are designed to capture nuances of identity, which includes ethnicity, rurality and attachment to place and community.

The faculty involved include Callum Hetherington, associate professor of mineralogy and geochemistry, John Zak, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Jerry Dwyer, professor and interim chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Patriann Smith, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and Stefanie Borst, associate professor of German and applied linguists and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, according to the release. 

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