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MIT and Dow Chemical announced today the establishment of an outreach fund designed to help support science education and encourage high school students, underrepresented minorities, and women to pursue careers in science.

The fund is a 5-year, $2 million commitment from Dow Chemical that will help MIT and MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) build resources and opportunities for high school, undergrad, and grad students.

The first goal of the Dow-MIT Outreach Program is the development of course materials aimed at inspiring interest in the sciences - particularly chemistry - among high school students worldwide. These resources will be made available through MIT OpenCourseWare and the MIT Highlights for High School portal.

That portal was recently listed by ten-year-old MIT OCW as one of the areas it plans to focus on during the next decade. The Highlights for High School program organizes over 70 introductory courses from the opencourseware site and indexes over 2600 individual resources, tying them to the AP curricula for calculus, physics, and biology. The funding announced today will help curate MIT OCW for high school students, and will also include creating chemical science videos as part of the hands-on learning section of the Highlights for High School program.

The funds announced today will also support graduate scholarships for women and underrepresented minorities majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering, and material sciences at MIT, as well as support MIT's ACCESS program. The latter involves weekend workshops, talks and tours designed to introduce minority undergrads to the idea of pursuing a graduate education in engineering.

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Audrey Watters


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