Kennesaw State receives grant to increase STEM, computing access and readiness

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 16, 2017

Program to provide reusable learning kits to area middle schools

Kennesaw State University’s College of Computing and Software Engineering has received a $36,000 grant to launch a program promoting computing and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields to middle school students.

The award, part of State Farm’s Systems Priority School 2017 cohort, will support the University’s Sustainably Improving Interest, Access and Readiness for STEM+Computing program, which is designed to engage middle school students and teachers through on-site peer mentoring and hand-on activities with Kennesaw State faculty and students. The proposal targets existing partnerships between the Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools.

“This grant and the 20 laptops that State Farm donated earlier this semester will allow our faculty and students to extend our current activities in promoting STEM in local K-12 schools,” said Jon Preston, interim dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering. “Our mission is to set and maintain high-quality academic standards for student success and to help improve the quality of life by tackling tomorrow’s complex problems through the application of computing.”

State Farm Grant

To bring attention to the universal applications of computing, the program will have students participate in games-for-learning, hackathons and game jams at area schools, libraries and community centers, Preston added. State Farm will fund 300 reusable learning kits designed out of everyday material to empower teachers to discuss algorithmic thinking and computing concepts, and the University will host four on-campus events highlighting the work and learning of the students as they progress through the program.

The grant will help cover salaries for 12 KSU student mentors and two faculty personnel in the program’s first year and includes a one-week computing camp for area STEM teachers.

“State Farm is proud to support Kennesaw State University’s College of Computing and Software Engineering in its efforts to promote STEM education in Georgia’s public schools,” said State Farm Service Manager Rachel Bagnell. “KSU’s plan to utilize this grant to build mobile training labs for students interested in information technology will help build the next generation of IT professionals and complements State Farm’s own goals of promoting STEM education.”

– Travis Highfield

Photos by David Caselli

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit