The University of Colorado, Boulder has announced a $1.5 million grant from Google.org in support of its global STEM education project, as well as a donation of rent-free space for its National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Part of Google's $50 million global initiative to foster new leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, the grant will support the university's PhET Interactive Simulations project, which was founded in 2002 by Nobel laureate and former CU Boulder Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman and enables students to explore the inner workings of atoms, build electronic circuits, explore basic concepts of physics, and much more through hands-on simulations. Among other things, the grant will enable PhET to convert many of its older simulations to HTML5 — a Web programming language that, unlike older Java-based software, runs well on any device, including computers, tablets, and phones. The funds also will help the PhET team expand its partnerships with groups such as Learning Equality, which installs PhET simulations and other educational tools on servers and distributes them to schools in India, Africa, and other regions with poor or no Internet access.
Google also announced that it will donate space rent-free for six years to the university's National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). A community of more than eleven hundred universities, companies, nonprofits, and government organizations nationwide, NCWIT works to increase the meaningful participation of girls and young women in computing. A move by Google to its new central Boulder facility made the gift of office space, valued at $1.3 million, possible.
"NCWIT is central to CU Engineering's drive for gender equity across our college community," said CU College of Engineering and Applied Science dean Bobby Braun. "They serve as a model for the pursuit of gender equity in STEM fields across the nation. I am thankful that this innovative organization was founded at CU Boulder and grateful for the value Google and other tech companies see in this partnership."
(Photo credit: Google.org)