Big El Pomar grant goes toward students’ study of energy issues

Three western Colorado colleges and a nonprofit center will use $75,000 from El Pomar Foundation to encourage western Colorado teens to explore math and science.

The Colorado Springs-based foundation Thursday awarded the funds to Mesa State College and the Western Colorado Math and Science Center to develop camps in which middle school and eventually high school students will deal with real-world issues involving energy.

Mesa, Colorado Mountain College and Colorado Northwest Community College will use a portion of the funds — $50,000 — to recruit students for camps in Craig, Rifle, Steamboat Springs and Grand Junction, said Heather Exby, director of regional programs for Mesa State.

The Western Colorado Math and Science Center will participate in the program, Executive Director Teri Coons said.

The center received $25,000 from the foundation during a luncheon Thursday at Two Rivers Winery on the Redlands. The center will focus on helping teachers, Coons said.

“By getting to teachers, we can extend our outreach to kids and get more kids that way,” Coons said.

In all, El Pomar distributed $188,500 to 15 organizations in northwest Colorado. The grants were given to address work force issues, transportation and housing.

El Pomar Foundation contributes more than $25 million a year through grants and community stewardship programs to support nonprofit organizations in Colorado.


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