Western Illinois University was recently awarded a $136,919 grant from Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to equip and expand science laboratories on the Quad Cities campus, 3300 River Drive, Moline.

Western Illinois University’s QC campus is at 3300 River Drive, Moline.

“We have known for some time that there is an unmet demand in the Quad Cities area for affordable, high-quality, STEM-focused programs that will provide the sort of skilled labor that area businesses are seeking,” College of Arts and Sciences Assistant Dean Jim Rabchuk said in a Monday release.

“We are so excited that the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has offered this support to expand WIU-QC’s ability to provide STEM-related course offerings and experiences to local students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

The grant will permit WIU to upgrade an existing lab on campus with safety equipment, storage capacity and laboratory equipment that will enable the Quad Cities campus to offer WIU’s introductory sequence of chemistry courses.

Kristi Mindrup, WIU’s Vice President for Quad Cities Campus Operations.

This will expand science-focused General Education offerings at WIU-QC, including prerequisite courses for the majors of Engineering and Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. In addition, the funds will permit the purchase of equipment in support of the Ph.D. program in Environmental Science.

“WIU is grateful to the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for their generous support of STEM-focused initiatives on the Quad Cities campus,” Kristi Mindrup, Vice President for Quad Cities Campus Operations, said. “Western’s enhanced science laboratory capabilities will expand course offerings and programming, establish innovative spaces for applied learning and research and create new educational opportunities for WIU students, area high school students who participate in dual enrollment and our Quad Cities community partners.

The region has a critical need for STEM-focused college graduates to meet the needs of the expanding economy. In response to this need, WIU-Quad Cities is dedicated to ensuring that campus spaces, programs and curriculum align to maximize student opportunities to gain hands-on experiences that prepare students for industry-based careers throughout the region and beyond, the college release said.

Investment in enhanced science laboratories will expand curriculum and research capabilities within Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science programs. Planning for renovation, scheduling and staffing of the new space is underway.