BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Lawmakers have secured nearly $130,000 in federal funding for partnerships between NASA and Maryland universities to provide opportunities for students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The funding was announced Wednesday by members of the Maryland Delegation, who said the money will benefit the University of Baltimore’s Space Tech Camp as well as the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore’s Precollege Summer Institute.

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The money, administered through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, will flow through the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP), which aims to boost STEM interest in students from underrepresented communities.

U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, and Congressmen John Sarbanes, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume and Andy Harris said cultivating interest in science at a young age is key to “inspiring the next generation of innovative thinkers.”

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“For young scientists, especially those from underserved communities, learning in an enriching environment at one of Maryland’s outstanding universities can help progress their academic trajectory or career goals and ultimately develop a more diverse pipeline of Marylanders in the STEM fields. That’s why we continue to fight for resources for programs like these to help expand these unique opportunities for young students as they choose their future careers,” the lawmakers said.

Some of the funding will go toward the University of Baltimore’s Space Tech Camp, which aims to get Baltimore high school students acquainted with NASA’s Artemis program by working on augmented reality, or AR, projects.

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Additionally, some of the funding will support the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore’s HAWKS MUREP Precollege Summer Institute, a two-week program that teaches students about space exploration, aeronautics and Earth science.

CBS Baltimore Staff