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New York Tech Mini-Research Grants Program Expands to Focus on Girls in STEM

Thanks to funding from the American Association of University Women, New York Tech is expanding its Mini-Research Grant Awards (MRGA) program to focus on attracting girls to STEM studies. Sep 13, 2022

Pictured from left: 2021 Mini-Research Grant Award winners Dua Hanif, Isabel Chilpe, and Amanda Sanchez from Brentwood High School.

Reinforcing its commitment to undergraduate research and to building a pipeline for students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, New York Tech is expanding its Mini-Research Grant Awards (MRGA) program to focus on attracting girls to STEM studies. This expansion is made possible by funding from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Harlem Village Academies in New York City, and Brentwood High School and Uniondale High School on Long Island have committed to participating in the expanded program.

“We’re proud that New York Tech’s commitment to undergraduate research and to diversifying the STEM pipeline at all academic and socioeconomic levels encourages research activity among high school students, and we are optimistic about welcoming more girls into the program, thanks to our high school partners and our generous funders,” said Niharika Nath, Ph.D., New York Tech professor of biological and chemical sciences, who founded and leads the MRGA program.

In 2021, New York Tech’s MRGA program received 127 research project submissions from high schools throughout the New York metropolitan area and beyond and awarded 30 research projects from 20 high schools with grants of $300. The awards, also made possible through the support of Voya Foundation, are applied to expenses incurred by the high school researchers during new or continuing research in STEM and related disciplines during the academic year. The participants must have plans to compete in a science competition and present their work at New York Tech in May 2023.

In addition to the $300 grant, high school awardees will experience tours of New York Tech’s New York City and Long Island campuses, interact with undergraduate student clubs, and engage with a research robot that facilitates engagement and learning activities.

Also part of the MRGA review committee are Rosemary Gallagher, D.P.T., Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy, Wenjia Li, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science, and Amy Bravo, senior director of Career Success and Experiential Education. New York Tech undergraduate and graduate students also will assist in the grant review process, which will take place in January 2023.

“Opening the pipeline for underrepresented populations in STEM education and career opportunities is key to removing barriers for students,” said Rebecca Grella, Ph.D., a scientist and educator at Brentwood High School.

Applications for the sixth annual Mini-Research Grant Award for high school students are now being accepted.

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