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Published: Thursday, 7/3/2008

State funds to advance high-tech fields in Ohio

Several northwest Ohio colleges and universities have received state funding to work together on projects that advance state goals in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, also known as STEM fields.

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program strives to recruit and retain talented Ohio students in those areas.

The second round of competitive scholarships will be shared by 28 Ohio public and private colleges and universities.

The projects in which local institutions are participating include:

•"Science & Math Education in Action." Bowling Green State University is the lead institution working with Owens Community College, Terra Community College, Northwest State Community College, the University of Findlay, and more than 100 industrial partners to attract 300 STEM education students during a five-year period. The collaboration will share $3 million to prepare a teacher work force with education and work experience in high-technology fields.

•"Improving STEM Teacher Preparation: A Long Term Investment (D-STEM)." Miami University, the lead institution, is working with Owens Community College, the University of Toledo, Toledo Public Schools, and a number of other colleges and school districts to attract and graduate 150 STEM students over five years. The program, which is receiving $2.7 million, focuses on improving quality K-12 STEM education teachers.

•"Choose Ohio First for Engineering Entrepreneurship (COFFEE) Scholarship." The University of Toledo is leading a project that includes local collaboration with Owens Community College, the Regional Growth Partnership, the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, and the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator, as well as a number of other education and business partners. The goal is to attract and graduate 450 STEM students in five years by promoting student exposure to the industry with more than 1,300 companies participating. The collaboration will share $3.9 million in state funds.

The programs are part of $250 million in investments being made statewide to enhance programs in those fields of study, the Ohio Board of Regents said.

For more information on the scholarship program, visit http://universitysystem.ohio.gov/chooseohio1st.

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