Three Akron-area college and universities are among seven in Ohio awarded $150,000 in Dominion Higher Education Grants.

Locally, the awards include $25,000 to the University of Akron; $30,000 to Stark State College; and $25,000 to Kent State Universitys Stark Campus. From polyethylene pipe welding to mechanical engineering to environmental data collection, this years Ohio Dominion educational grant-winning programs engage students in a variety of outstanding energy- and environmental-focused science, math and technology programs.

For the 2016-17 academic year, colleges, universities, community colleges, schools and educational institutions in Ohio and 10 other states will share grants totaling $1 million from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion East Ohio. The higher education grants focus on programs that help prepare students for technical positions in Ohios growing energy production and other industries.

This years grants will support a variety of innovative programs encouraging young people to learn the essential skills needed to tackle real-world issues, said Jeff Murphy, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. They will help students gain knowledge and experience with technologies that are leading the way to a greener energy future.

Winning Akron-area programs are:

The University of Akron:received $25,000 for an upgrade of the schools Surveying and Mapping program with 3-D mapping and aerial surveying equipment. The University of Akron has the only accredited bachelors degree surveying program in Ohio and is one of fewer than two dozen in the nation.

Stark State College:in North Canton received $30,000 for its Polyethylene Pipe Welding Program. The plastic material is used in corrosion-resistant natural gas main and service lines.

Kent State Universitys Stark Campus:also in North Canton, received $25,000 for its Wired Wetland program that will fund the real-time collection of environmental data from Kent State Stark Pond and Wetland Research area.