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Ramping up STEM for Cleveland kids at CSU

The partnership between Cleveland State University and the Cleveland schools just keeps getting better and better. First, the two collaborated on Campus International, which now runs from kindergarten through fourth grade on CSU's campus.
Now the college and school district are upping the ante in a big way, with a $1.25 million grant from the Key Bank Foundation to move 11th- and 12th-graders in the MC STEM High School to CSU's campus.

The grant will renovate classroom space into high-tech labs, with a little left over for scholarship money for STEM graduates to attend CSU. Currently, upper-grade STEM students in the city's science, technology, engineering and math high school take classes on East 32nd Street. With STEM students at CSU, it will be easier for them to take advantage of a state program that allows high school students to take college classes at no personal expense.

CSU President Ronald Berkman and Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon credit Margot Copeland, the foundation's executive vice president and chair, with initiating the STEM partnership. All three say the project is potentially groundbreaking because of its scope and ability to fine-tune college and high-school course work for individuals.

Berkman vows to embed STEM students into the fabric of the university. The program's new digs should also entice more students. The program currently has 125 juniors and seniors, and it's hoping for 100 students for each grade.

Meanwhile, students in CSU's teacher preparation program, CSUTeach, will get a jump-start on their careers by working with STEM students.

The STEM school at CSU could begin this fall if renovations are completed. The concept earns a solid A.