PITTSBURG, Kan. — An area university is one of only a handful in the country to receive a special designation when it comes to competing in the S.T.E.M. world.

Faculty members say there’s no secret to their success, it’s just a lot of hard work.

Over the weekend, Pittsburg State University received the S.T.E.M. School of Excellence Award.

The honor was bestowed on P.S.U. by the International Technology and Engineering Educator’s Association.

The university is one of only six in the U.S. to receive that distinction.

In addition to that, a faculty member, Byron McKay was awarded that organization’s Leader of the Year award.

“The STEM School excellence award shows that your university is offering at S.T.E.M. specific diversity programs uh they are looking at opportunities, partnerships with local and national groups,” said Byron McKay, PSU Assistant Professor, Award Winner.

The University received this designation because it’s not at all unusual for students from PSU to outperform those from much larger Division One schools.

“A lot of times we’ll go up against Division One schools, large engineering schools uh ones that are well known for their, uh their Engineering program so for a small Division Two University that really focuses on hands-on education, we do extremely well in all of the areas of the College of Technology and across campus,” said Dr. Andrew Klenke, PSU Technology & Workforce Learning Department.

“All of this is over and beyond what they, what they do for their school work, many times they spend a lot of late nights and extra hours, they fundraise, they partner with uh local businesses and they work to get to these competitions so they can showcase what they do, represent Pitt, and they all represent well,” said McKay.

In addition to the S.T.E.M. School of Excellence Designation, the university also brought home 3rd place plaques for National Communications, Manufacturing, and Robotics competitions, which took place in Minneapolis.