MARQUETTE — Increasing the number of American Indian and Alaskan Native students in the STEM Fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will soon be a big point of emphasis at Northern Michigan University, thanks to a six–figure grant the school just received from the National Science Foundation.

The NMU Center for Native American Studies received a $300,000 grant from a new program called NSF Includes. The goal of the grant is to get the underrepresented ethnicities interested in the STEM fields when it comes to continuing their education.

April Lindala, the director for the Center of Native American Studies, says this grant will allow the university to do several things.

“We’re looking to share knowledge with K–16 STEM Educators, who might not realize that there are American Indian methods and materials available to them to enhance what they’re already doing in the classroom,” said Lindala.

“We are looking forward to offering programs both in the summertime and the main academic year for American Indian high school students to see what’s available to them in the STEM fields, what types of classes they might take as well as what kind of fields they might work in,” Lindala added.

Lindala will travel to Washington D.C. to learn more about the grant. The goal is to have the new programs up and running in 2017.