Nnewi-born Professor Okenwa Okoli has been given a grant four (4) million US Dollars by the United State Department of Energy and the Nuclear Security Administration to build the pipeline for minority engineers and students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), from the K-12 to doctoral level.
The United State Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration which gave the grant to Prof. Okoli and Prof. Tarik Dickens through the Florida A&M University, is meant to lead the new collaborative effort with universities, laboratories, and government partners to advance minorities to the next level in STEM education.
According to Okenwa Okoli, a professor and chair of the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering at the college and lead project director for the grant, there is a great need to educate a minority workforce who can be pipelined to government labs and government agencies.
He plans to empower students at different levels while using a multilevel approach in their development. He also plans to integrate STEM after-school programs for K-12 into the curriculum offered in three local area schools and also track the progress of students over time to see how the initiatives are making a difference.