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Western Illinois University in Moline awarded nearly $137,000 to upgrade STEM program

The Roy Carver grant, which benefits organizations in Iowa and Illinois, awarded WIU, Quad Cities campus, money to make science lab upgrades.

MOLINE, Ill. — One Quad City-area college is getting a grant to make upgrades to its STEM program and science lab.

Western Illinois University of the Quad Cities, recently received $136,919 dollars from Roy Carver Charitable Trust, a program that benefits organizations in I.R.S. designated, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations in Iowa and Illinois.

The school says it plans on using the money to upgrade its science lab, which will offer new chemistry courses to students.

"It will be fully aligned with the program down in the Macomb campus as well," WIU physics professor Dr. Jim Rabchuk said. "So, if they want to continue on and major in another discipline, they can do that easily."

Additions to the lab include storage for chemical equipment and tools for experiments. Rabchuk said the new chemistry courses and equipment will support the engineering program.

We're going to be able to offer two semesters of introductory chemistry that will support the engineering program," Rabchuk said.

WIU - Quad Cities Campus Vice President of Operations Dr. Kristi Mindrup said this is a big step for the school and for the Quad Cities.

"The concept of being able to offer a full stem offering on the Quad Cities campus is something we had a vision for when we built these campus spaces 10 years ago," Mindrup said.

The school says it hopes the expansion will prepare students for life after college.

"Our hope is to educate them and then retain them and contribute to the workforce needs of the Quad Cities area," Mindrup said.

A press release from the school stated, planning for renovation, scheduling and staffing of the new space is underway. There is no timeline yet, for completion.

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