What is STEM?

What does STEM stand for?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Our Mission

The mission of the STEM Education Coalition is to inform federal and state policy makers on the critical role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education plays in U.S. competitiveness and future economic prosperity. If you want to know more about STEM.


Coursework for the completion of an associate degree in physical or biological sciences and their related subdisciplines at ECTC is guaranteed to be transferrable to all public colleges and university in the state of Kentucky. It is likely that these courses transfer to out-of-state institutions. Completion of an associate in science degree greatly enhances one s pursuit of a bachelor or higher degree in the following disciplines: physics, chemistry, mathematics, statistics, computer science, earth sciences, environmental sciences, engineering, biology, nursing, physical therapy, and other medical and related fields Completion of an associate degree at ECTC provides high quality education at a low tuition cost. With its small class sizes and readily available faculty, the college offers convenient, affordable and quality, valuable science education opportunities.

Transfer Opportunities

Here are links to the major universities where many ECTC students transfer to complete their education:

If you re interested in a particular department/major, you can search for it on that university link. If you did not find what you want, contact the page administrator given at the bottom of the page.

Scholarship Opportunities for Stem Students At ECTC

Local Scholarships

Recognizing the increasing need for STEM professionals in our service area, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has designated funds toward scholarships for students who intend to pursue STEM educational paths. The following is a listing of those scholarship opportunities.

  • The Professor Modesto del Castillo Excellence in Science award $1,500.
    • Recipient must be enrolled as a first-time, full-time freshman student at ECTC.
    • Recipient must be a resident of Hardin County, Meade, or Nelson County (Grayson Co. is acceptable, but preference given to Hardin, Meade, Nelson Co.).
    • Recipient must be a graduate of a Hardin, Meade or Nelson County High School.
    • Recipient must meet the College's criteria for need-based financial assistance.
    • In the event there is no qualified applicant, the scholarship will be carried over to the following academic year, and two (2) awards will be made.
  • The Michael F. Stephens, M.D. award $1,500.
    • Recipient must be a full-time student.
  • 2 KCTCS Workforce Development Transfer Scholarships $2900 (Sophomore).
    • Recipient must have completed a minimum of 18 credit hours applicable towards an Associate of Science degree at a KCTCS college and be enrolled full-time at the college for the fall semester.
    • Declare their intent to pursue an associate degree in an area of workforce need at a KCTCS institution.
    • Enter a KCTCS institution in good academic standing and maintain that standing while enrolled.
    • Declare their intent to pursue a baccalaureate degree upon graduating from KCTCS with an associate degree.
  • KCTCS Workforce Development Transfer Scholarship $2,100 (Freshman).
    • Recipient must be enrolled as a first-time, full-time freshman student at ECTC.
    • Declare their intent to pursue an associate degree in an area of workforce need at a KCTCS institution.
    • Enter a KCTCS institution in good academic standing and maintain that standing while enrolled.
    • Declare their intent to pursue a baccalaureate degree upon graduating from KCTCS with an associate degree.
  • ECTC Endowed Scholars Fund $1,500.
    • Awarded based on academic potential and financial need.
    • Tuition paid for up to three hours over the full-time load of 12 credit-hours.

Requirements for all scholarships

  • Recipient must be a resident of the service area.
  • Recipient must demonstrate potential for academic success.
    • Past record of academic success.
    • Standardized test scores.
    • Letters of recommendation from STEM faculty or employers.
    • Recipient must be majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) related discipline.
    • Recipient must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (3.0 cumulative GPA) to be eligible for the scholarship after the first semester.

Students and prospective students interested in applying for scholarships should follow this link:

Scholarships / Waivers

Transfer Scholarships

All state universities provide scholarship opportunities for KCTCS students. Requirements and award amounts differ by university. Listed here are a few:

University of Kentucky

  • TRUSTEES SCHOLARSHIP Currently enrolled KCTCS students who will earn their Associate s in Arts or Associate s in Science Degree with a 3.50 cumulative GPA by the end of the spring 2015 term and then transfer to UK for the fall 2015 term are eligible to compete for a limited number of two year renewable awards which cover the difference between UK instate tuition and KCTCS in-state tuition.


  • Students transferring from a KCTCS institution with an Associate's Degree (received prior to their first semester as a transfer student), who enroll full-time and apply for admission to WKU by April 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission will receive the following automatic award at WKU for up to 2 academic years:
    • $4,000 with overall cumulative GPA 3.75+ (renewable with 3.25 GPA).
    • $3,000 with overall cumulative GPA 3.5-3.7499 (renewable with 3.25 GPA).
    • $2,000 with overall cumulative GPA 3.25-3.499 (renewable with 3.25 GPA).
    • $1,500 with overall cumulative GPA 3.0-3.2499 (renewable with 3.0 GPA).
  • This is not a competitive scholarship.
  • Departmental scholarships are available.

University of Louisville

  • U of L offers an academic scholarship for students transferring from KCTCS institution to complete their first bachelor's degree. Awards are merit-based and typically range from $500 to $3,000 per year for 2014-2015 academic year, split over the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. Students enrolled part-time will receive a partial award. All eligible students will be awarded; Phi Theta Kappa members may be eligible for an additional stipend:
    • 40 or more transferable hours complete at the end of the spring semester. The 40 transferable hours cannot include developmental or technical coursework.
    • 3.25 transferable GPA at the end of the spring semester. The transferable GPA cannot include developmental or technical coursework. Your transferable GPA will include all colleges attended. If you previously attended  U of L your grades and hours will be included in the transferable GPA.
    • Students most recent college attended must be KCTCS or Ivy Tech Community College, Sellersburg.
    • Submit all official current transcripts, a complete application for admission as a degree-seeking student, and a KCTCS Academic Transfer Scholarship application by April 15.

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Students transferring to EKU with 24 or more credit hours with a college GPA of 3.75 or higher.
    • Award: Three year award of $12,000. Scholarship of $2,000 per semester ($4,000 annually) for up to 6 semesters.
  • Students transferring to EKU with 24 or more credit hours with a college GPA of 3.50 to 3.74.
    • Award: Three year award of $4,500. Scholarship of $750 per semester ($1,500 annually) for up to 6 semesters.
  • Students transferring to EKU with 24 or more credit hours with a college GPA of 3.25 to 3.49.
    • Award: Three year award of $3,000. Scholarship of $500 per semester ($1,000 annually) for up to 6 semesters.
  • Students transferring to EKU with 24 or more credit hours with a college GPA of 3.0 to 3.249.
    • Award: Three year award of $1,500. Scholarship of $250 per semester ($500 annually) for up to 6 semesters.
  • In order to retain the scholarship, the student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and be enrolled full-time.

Women in Science

Women in Science.

Barbara McClintock was an American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927. There she started her career as the leader in the development of maize cytogenetics, the focus of her research for the rest of her life. She produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome to physical traits. She demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere, regions of the chromosome that are important in the conservation of genetic information. She was recognized among the best in the field, awarded prestigious fellowships, and elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1944. During the 1940s and 1950s, McClintock discovered transposition and used it to demonstrate that genes are responsible for turning physical characteristics on and off. Awards and recognition for her contributions to the field include the Nobel Prize for Physiology, awarded to her in 1983 for the discovery of genetic transposition; she is the only woman to receive an unshared Nobel Prize in that category. (Wikipedia)



STEM Lecture 2016


Elizabethtown, KY. - Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is pleased to welcome Mary Shelman, a globally-recognized expert on agribusiness and an ECTC Distinguished Alumni, to speak as part of its LEAF-STEM series. LEAF-STEM is an ECTC science and math initiative designed to enhance awareness through Lectures & Exploration Activities For Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Shelman will offer a talk called From Drones to Genes: STEM s expanding role in food and agriculture on Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m. in room 212 of the college Regional Postsecondary Center (RPC). This lecture is free and open to the public. She will also speak to several high school groups throughout the day, and ECTC students in small groups that afternoon.

From her childhood years in Elizabethtown, working in her father s farm equipment dealership, to her position as Chairman of the Board of a major U.S. seed company, to her decades of industry research at Harvard University, Mary Shelman has a rich, varied, and unique perspective on agribusiness.

A recognized thought leader on the global agri-food system, Mary is the former Director and currently an Advisor to the Agribusiness Program at Harvard Business School. She is the author of more than 60 case studies, has been published in Harvard Business Review, Market Leader, and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, and teaches in graduate and executive courses around the world.

She serves on the advisory boards of the African Agribusiness Consortium, the International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks, and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) where she is a past president.

Additionally, Mary selectively works with companies and governments as a strategic advisor and board member. She spent a decade as Chairman of the Board of Ricetec, Inc., now the largest U.S. rice seed company, served on the boards of RiceTec AG and Stiftung F rst Liechtenstein (Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation), and is currently a Board Director of Cook Simple and Fractal Antenna Systems. She has also advised the Irish government on the strategic direction of the country s food industry, co-authoring Pathways for Growth which led to the creation of the world s first country brand based on sustainability.

Mary holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She received the Tradition of Excellence Alumni Award from Elizabethtown Independent Schools and was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of ECTC in 2009.

For more information, contact Paul Sturgeon at (270) 706-8639 or paul.sturgeon@kctcs.edu.


Local STEM activities


Student presentation

ECTC BIO 205 Student Research: Three students enrolled in BIO 205 (Honors Biology: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules), undertook a semester-long research project in environmental microbiology. The focus of their research was to isolate a microbe that, if present in large quantities, can cause food poisoning. Cheyenne Morgan, John Singletary, and Ashley Register (left to right) (link to pic) homogenized leafy greens mustard, kale, and turnip and grew Bacillus cereus bacteria from them. It is not unusual for vegetables to be contaminated with this soil microbe, and the levels of contamination were determined to be safe. After confirming the identity of their isolated bacteria, the students discovered that all isolates shared resistance to the antibiotic penicillin due to production of -Lactamase enzyme. Students enrolling in future sections of this course will continue to explore the distribution of penicillin-resistant B. cereus in other environmental sites, including the guts of insects. Sent by Professor Martha Wolfe


A student brought in this interesting specimen. Martha Wolfe identified it (hopefully correctly) as Bipalium kewense (scientific name) and land planarian (common name). Martha Wolf and others named it Buddy. Unfortunately Buddy escaped his container one night, and we found him/her the next morning all shriveled up. Here is a web site with more info and interesting pictures! Sent by Professor Martha Wolfe


Two ECTC students, Celina Charles and Joshua Ohde, presented their research on microbes isolated from Bess beetles at the annual Conference for Student Research on November 7th. The annual conference showcases the research efforts of community college students from the central and western part of the state. This year s conference, held at Western Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah, drew about 75 student and research mentors. Celina and Joshua based their presentation on research conducted with Joe Wolf and Cheyenne Morgan in their spring BIO 205 Honors Biology course. Celina and Joshua have been invited to represent ECTC at the spring 2015 Posters-at-the-Capitol event in Frankfort alongside representatives from two and four-year institutions across the state. Sent by Professor Martha Wolfe


I attended the annual Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS) meeting at Eastern Kentucky University to present our department s accomplishments with the WKU partnership for the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instrument grant our department worked on for the past 2 years. Two of our students who benefitted from this program by having access to the NMR have transferred to WKU, done summer research, and each presented their research projects in the KAS chemistry section. Attached is a picture of our two former students.

Dillon is on the left. His research topic was: Ampicillin Encapsulated Gold Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Drug Carriers.1 Dillon S. Pender, Lakshmisri M. Vangala, Vivek, D. Badwaik, Helen Thompson and Rajalingam Dakshinamurthy Western Kentucky University
Jonathan is on the right. His research topic was: Characterization and reaction of an analog anticancer drug oxaliplatin.1 Jonathan D. Hendrie and Kevin M. Williams Western Kentucky University. Sent by Professor Sue Ballard

Physical Sciences

A published article concerning modeling of the Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park, WY by E. K. Esawi ECTC and Kieran O Hara, UK.

Contact Information

KCTCS/Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
David Nusbaumer
SCI 2nd Floor Room 219
600 College Street Road Elizabethtown, KY. 42701
(270) 706-8556


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