Andrew Koch, a graduate student studying secondary education; Karissa Palmer, a junior math major pursuing a teaching certification; and Abbey Hilt, a junior elementary education major, will all receive $1,500 stipends to go toward their tuition.

According to the SDSGC website, the stipend offers educational and research opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds who are pursuing degrees in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Koch said that as society becomes more dependent on technology it’s imperative for educators to prepare students to succeed in college by teaching critical thinking skills — something he thinks educators in STEM fields are well prepared to do.

“We talk about preventative medicine, we talk about things to do to lift people out of poverty and I think a good education in a lot of ways can be the best preventative medicine,” he said.

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