The National Science Foundation is giving Hampton University $1.4 million to recruit more minority students into the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, The Newport News Daily Press reports.
The school was awarded two grants designed to increase retention and participation in those fields. The first grant — about $565,400 — is for research on whether integrating financial applications into calculus courses significantly increases learning for math, science, technology or engineering majors.
The second is a five-year, $840,881 grant that prepares minority undergraduates in the four majors to become K-12 public school teachers in high-need public school systems.
Carolyn Morgan, a math professor, is the principal investigator of both grants.
"Students often come to the classroom thinking that they want to be engineers, but have no idea what that entails mathematically," Morgan said in a statement. "It's going to be a very interesting project."
For the first grant, Morgan, along with a co-principal investigator, will conduct mixed-methods research by integrating finance topics into calculus courses taken by business and science majors.
For the second grant, they will prepare 30 undergraduates and career-switching professionals to enter those fields through scholarships, summer workshops, involvement in educational research and curriculum development, and attendance at local and national conferences.
The grant will also provide support services during the teachers' first three years in their fields.