The Dalles is a top-15 finalist nationwide for a grant that could potentially hire two full-time employees to help bring hands-on STEM mentoring and projects to local students. US2020 announced the finalists in its STEM Coalition Challenge in January, and the top eight applicants will share around $1 million in grant awards. The finalists were selected based on their potential for impact, approach to partnership building, creative engagement strategies and sustainability planning, according to US2020. The goal of the challenge is to bring STEM mentorship and hands-on experiences to underrepresented students. The challenge received proposals from 92 communities, representing nearly 2,000 partners.