SARASOTA- Mote Marine Lab is trying to bring new voices into the field, and to do that they’re going to be studying the classroom. A $1.49 million grant aims to bring more underrepresented minority groups into the STEM field.

“This is a really long term project,” Busse said. “And what we’re really hoping to do is create things that can be used in a lot of other institutions, so we’re really impacting this pathway.”

As part of the grant they will be bringing in 20 interns from State College of Florida and College of Florida Keys.

“Providing access for them to come here,” Busse said. “And then while they’re here making sure they have really, really meaningful experiences.”

Busse says in addition to access, they need to make sure students are excited about the field.

“Finding ways that they can have really meaningful research experiences,” Busse said. “Like at places like Mote through internships that’s really essential for careers.”

Mote is the first non-academic institution to receive this type of grant.

“We in our culture are innovative and really doing things differently than traditional academic institutions,” Busse said. “So really bringing in other people who are thinking differently and seeing things in a different light, are essential to what we’re doing in this field.”

The goal is to make sure the strategies learned go far beyond the initial 20 students.

“We’ll also be developing resources for the students, for the scientific mentors, for institutions,” Busse said. “So we can share much more broadly around the country.”

Mote Marine Lab also received a 277,000 dollar grant to for their coral disease susceptibility research.