The Albright College Science Research Institute (SRI) has been named a recipient of $1.48 million in new federal funding. The funds, requested by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan and successfully allocated through the Community Project Funding process in this year’s congressional budget, will help to connect more than 200 low income students in Berks County to SRI’s innovative technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) learning methods.
“The Science Research Institute at Albright College is grateful for the support provided by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan and our community partners, to further advance opportunities for K-12 students and educators in innovative STEAM education across Berks County,” said Adelle L. Schade, dean of pre-college and summer programs and SRI director. “SRI at Albright College continues to achieve its vision of being an equitable, sustainable, inclusive learning community and a leader in advancing lives in our dynamic world by inspiring curiosity through personalized learning.”
The new federal dollars will support scholarships for 100 low-income students to participate in SRI’s summer session, 100 SRI after-school and 40 SRI dual-enrollment scholarships for low-income students in the fall and spring semesters. The funds will also support teacher scholarships and training, housing for summer interns, program supplies and facilitation, transportation for program participants, and keeping SRI’s technology and equipment on the cutting edge.
“The funding secured for this initiative will allow us to attract and retain talent to downtown Reading and Berks County, inspiring the next generation of changemakers,” said Schade.
“As a former chemistry teacher, I am always enthusiastic about opportunities to support STEAM education in our community,” said Houlahan. “Albright College is leading the way when it comes to technology and innovation, enabling these student leaders to develop the necessary skills for our growing workforce here in Berks County. I couldn’t be prouder to support this forward-thinking project through this year’s Community Project Funding process, and I’m excited to see the progress that will be made with these federal funds.”
Employing a unique, student-driven model, Albright SRI is a powerful K-12 and higher education collaboration that empowers students in the city of Reading and Berks County to create, innovate, explore and invent through authentic, hands-on learning experiences with leaders and professors, as well as Albright undergraduates who serve as mentors.
While building visionary projects and products, SRI students learn about protecting their intellectual property and understanding business opportunities and high-value career paths that might be available as a result of their efforts. Nine past participants hold patents for their SRI work.