Cumberland Times-News

Local News

August 3, 2010

ARC grants to help FSU, Mountain Ridge

Cumberland — CUMBERLAND — Frostburg State University plans to expand its Nanotechnology Lab, and Mountain Ridge High School plans to upgrade Internet services, thanks to grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The commission, which funds several hundred projects a year to promote economic development and education in the Appalachian region, awarded $49,000 to FSU’s Nanotechnology Lab last month.

To be matched by $49,000 from the university, the funds will help buy new equipment, hire trained instructors, and develop outreach programs, according to a press release from U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin.

“Grants like these help us invest in workers and businesses that are ready for the future,” Mikulski said. “I’m pleased these funds will give more students the skills and training they need to launch their careers and be prepared for the jobs of the future.”

Nanotechnology is a field of science that strives to control individual atoms and molecules to create devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies. Applications are anticipated in the fields of medicine, computing and space exploration. In the metric system, a Nanon equals one-billionth of a meter.

FSU uses its Nanotechnology Lab for classes in engineering, physics, chemistry, and biology, as well as extracurricular activities for K-12 students. The lab is also used for continuing education and to provide expertise to companies in the Allegany Business Center.

After expansion, the lab is expected to be used by approximately 450 students every year, while hosting 700 visitors and students.

In a round of ARC grants announced Monday, Mountain Ridge High School is receiving $12,150 to construct a new telecommunications antenna that will increase Internet bandwidth at the school. The upgrade will allow students to access online course materials and interactive video, as well as enroll in college-level courses.

Also receiving funding is Garrett College, which was awarded $400,000 to build a flexible trades laboratory, where students receive career training in fields such as environmental/energy systems and telecommunications. Hagerstown Community College received a $22,000 grant for its Alternative Energy Technology Program.

“Our nation’s future depends on our ability to invest in high-tech education and training that is needed for jobs in the 21st century,” Cardin said. “I strongly support these grants because they will provide residents of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties with opportunities that will help them succeed and find jobs in the future.”

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