DuPont announced a $400,000 grant being given to Iowa State University for its Science Bound program that encourages youth in the state’s urban communities to consider careers in agriculture and science.

The grant will help the ISU Science Bound program to increase the number of ethnically diverse Iowa students pursuing careers in agriculture, science, technology, mathematics and engineering, according to the program organizers.  The grant is funded through the company's DuPont Pioneer seed and genetics business.

The grant is “expected to impact” more than 500 Iowa students over the next five years, as noted by the Science Bound director. “We are so pleased that DuPont Pioneer, an early and strong supporter of Science Bound, has expanded their commitment with their most recent and very generous gift,” said Connie Hargrave, Science Bound director and an ISU associate professor of education. “This will make a tremendous difference to our state and nation by increasing the number of young people who are contributing to our nation's needs in agriculture and industry.”

“Building tomorrow’s leaders in science, food and agriculture must begin today,” said Paul E. Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer. “We are proud to support the Science Bound program as they develop the students who have the imagination, creative thinking, and enthusiasm needed to feed the world. In order to advance food security around the world, we need to inspire and engage young people in this great challenge.”

The DuPont Pioneer grant will go toward two of Science Bound’s major efforts:

  • The George Washington Carver Summer Internship program is offered to high school and undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to gain real-life research experience in a professional work environment.
  • The Learn & Earn program is a four-week summer experience offered to Science Bound students as high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors.  The program polishes and sharpens math, language arts and science skills for students who participate.

Science Bound began more than 20 years ago working with a few specific urban middle schools and high schools to entice students toward careers in agriculture, science and technology. The program currently has 378 students enrolled.