Greater Alabama Black Belt Region (GABBR) STEM Initiative
As an extension of the Greater Alabama Black Belt Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (GABBR LSAMP) Program, the Black Belt STEM Initiative was launched as a pilot project during the summer of 2018 at Bullock County High School in Union Springs, Alabama. The goal of the program is to increase college readiness among students from the Black Belt Region of Alabama (including Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Gale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Russell, Sumter, and Wilcox counties) by expanding their content knowledge in core subject areas, allowing them to progress along a path toward college/university admission and successful studies in STEM.
Thirty students from Bullock County Schools in grades 6-9 participated in the 2018 pilot program. The students took five-week courses in Mathematics, Science, and English taught by Auburn University graduate students. In addition to classroom work, students also participated in hands-on learning activities and went on field trips to Franklin Field Airport in Union Springs, Southern Power's Plant Franklin in Smiths Station, the Auburn University Regional Airport, and a campus tour of Auburn University. A graduation ceremony for the students was held on June 28, 2018 at the Bullock County Career Technical Center.
In 2019, GABBR LSAMP plans to continue the program in Bullock County as well as expanding to other counties throughout the Black Belt Region. The program is supported by Auburn University, the Alabama State Department of Education, Bullock County School District, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.