April 14, 2024

Illinois Central College awarded National Science Foundation grant

Pete Fandel

EAST PEORIA, Ill. — Illinois Central College was awarded $349,397 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation for an Advanced Technological Education program called Creating a Workforce Pipeline of STEM Technicians Through Water Analysis.

The three-year grant will create a pathway for students to enter the STEM technician workforce in central Illinois.

Project activities include enhanced curriculum for agriculture, biology and chemistry students, work-based learning activities, outreach and career development activities, and professional development opportunities for ICC and area high school staff and faculty.

It also will gather research data for the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy to support agricultural mitigation and improve local water quality by reducing nutrient loss.

“Illinois is a leader in corn and soybean production, and researching ways farmers can reduce nutrient loss is a priority,” said Pete Fandel, ICC professor of agriculture and project principal investigator.

“This project gives ICC a great opportunity to conduct applied research with our students and provide sound data to area farmers and agencies about cost-effective nutrient loss reduction strategies.”

The Advanced Technological Education program supports technician education by focusing on curriculum development, faculty development and partnership development at two-year institutions of higher education.

The project at ICC will increase the number of STEM technicians in the greater Peoria area, raise awareness of STEM jobs and agriculture careers among diverse and underserved communities, and contribute scientific data to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf Hypoxia Program via the INLRS, leading to improved agricultural conservation strategies for positive environmental and water quality outcomes in Illinois.

AgriNews Staff

AgriNews Staff

The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses. We give readers information they can’t get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions.