JOPLIN, Mo. — More than 2 million dollars in state funding will help Missouri Southern help K-12 students pursue a career in science.

A 2.3 million dollar grant will implement a “Science to Jobs” program.

The money comes from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

This pilot program will ultimately add greater awareness and build interest in science programs and careers needed throughout the western side of the state — and will also enhance research opportunities through equipment and technology at Missouri Southern.

“So, anytime you are requesting state dollars, it can be a marathon, and so this was truly a marathon, but we finally reached the finish line. And we are super excited to have that accomplished,” said Dr. Suzanne Hull, MSSU MOSO Caps Director.

“Kids are so creative, but they have to know what are some of the possibilities to get ’em started. And the fun part of this effort is we’re not just putting the responsibility on Missouri Southern State University; we’re sharing that,” said Kelly Gillespie, MOBIO Executive Director.

The program is a partnership between MSSU, the “Missouri Biotechnology Association,” “MOSO CAPS,” and Missouri Western State University.

Camps at Southern will begin next summer.