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GO STEM utilizes $587,000 grant to expand computer science education across Eastern Oregon

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s Greater Oregon STEM (GO STEM) Hub is helping break barriers and providing support to give students across Eastern Oregon direct access to engaging computer science education tools and professional development. The Oregon Department of Education has awarded $6 million of the $10 million investment from the Oregon Governor’s Computer Science Initiative to the 13 STEM Hubs in Oregon. EOU’s GO STEM Hub intends to use their portion of this grant to provide free computer science materials, professional development, and support for Eastern Oregon schools. Additionally, the effort will curate a menu of items that schools can incorporate to support and improve upon their current computer science capacity/abilities, meeting the students where they are at. 

“We are excited to have the opportunity to provide computer science materials and experiences for our students.” David Melville, Executive Director of GO STEM said. “The goal is to have materials in the hands of Eastern Oregon students this spring!”

Through this effort, GO STEM has hired three EOU students to help in ensuring this project is a success. Two student workers are Computer Science majors and one Education Master’s student have been hired to aid in this project. These students have been working closely with the GO STEM team to provide insight and collaboration on new and innovative ways to aid Eastern Oregon schools on their road to making computer science programs more readily accessible to students. 

In speaking about this project, Jordan Rogers, a senior majoring in Computer Science at EOU shared that, “Getting the opportunity to work with the GO STEM team and the equipment within this grant has been an absolute blast! With the systems in this grant, these kids will gain opportunities in learning some of the ways that code works and hopefully it will inspire some passion for them to keep pursuing computer science in the future.” 

The projects from this grant will also help prepare Oregon students for an increasingly digital future workforce, as well as to help youth develop important cognitive and critical thinking skills through computer science lessons and learning. Stefanie Holloway, Program Director of the GO STEM Hub, shared that, “It is incredible to have this opportunity to share engaging computer science materials with schools. Having the help of the EOU students has been an incredible asset to this project. This larger grant is a tremendous learning opportunity for all of us, and it is exciting to see how everything is coming together.” 

The GO STEM Hub provides P-12 STEM educational resources, professional development, and outreach, and provides pipelines and pathways into STEM careers. It serves seven Eastern Oregon Counties: Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Baker, Grant, and Harney. To learn more about the GO STEM program visit go-stem.org/. 

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