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Cal State East Bay: Bayer grant to aid science

  • March 2, 2011

By Nanette Asimov
Staff Writer

More than half a million dollars is headed to Cal State East Bay from the Bayer USA Foundation to help fund the campus' ambition to become the Bay Area's go-to school for science and math instruction.

The three-year, $540,000 grant will create the "Center for STEM Education" on the university's Hayward campus, using a popular acronym for science, technology, engineering and math in its name.

The new center will have strong ties to elementary and secondary schools by training new math and science teachers, offering resources for improving instruction in kindergarten through 12th grade, and recruiting promising high school students to Cal State East Bay.

The center also will serve as a hub for collaborations with other organizations that focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

"We are enormously grateful to Bayer for this grant," said Cal State East Bay President Mohammad Qayoumi. "With more than half of the life-saving medicines created here in the Bay Area, this will really help our university prepare students, many of who are from nontraditional and previously underserved populations, to join this important biological sciences workforce when they complete their educations."

The grant is part of a long-term effort by Qayoumi, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and master's degrees in nuclear and computer engineering, to raise millions of dollars to transform the campus into a center of science and math education and instruction.

In late 2009, Cal State East Bay won a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation and soon began offering certificate programs in "sustainable resource management," for green jobs, and in "pre-health-professional sciences" to prepare students for medical or veterinary school.

The new grant furthers the goal.

"We want to create a pipeline of students who are prepared and excited about pursuing STEM studies in college," said Greg Babe, president of Bayer Corp. and its foundation. "Perhaps most important, the new center will give California's elementary, middle and high school teachers the tools they need to advance science education in bright and imaginative ways."

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