Friday, May 24, 2013

UNO Summer Outreach Program for High School S.T.E.M. Students Starts Next Week

A summer outreach program designed to advance research skills of minority science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) students starts next week at the University of New Orleans.

Now in its 13th year, the summer study program draws students from the greater New Orleans metropolitan area and includes chemistry, physics, biological sciences, psychology, computer science and engineering components. The interdisciplinary program run by UNO faculty is funded by a $20,000 grant from the University of Louisiana System Board of Regents and part of a $315,000 grants recently awarded to UNO to advance the University's summer outreach program for minority high school students, undergraduates and area teachers. Several other university grants will help to supplement the program, including one from the BP Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

Ten or 12 students selected from a diverse mix of area private, public and charter schools will participate in the program, said Matthew Tarr, chair of the UNO Chemistry Department. Under the direction of faculty mentors, they will participate in chemistry, physics and biology department research projects, as well as research at UNO's Advanced Materials Research Institute (UNO-AMRI).

The eight-week program for high school students starts June 3 and concludes with a professional poster presentation on July 26.

"The point of the program is to give them a first-hand understanding of what it is to do research, to understand what it means and how it's important to the world," said Tarr. "I think that's really the key."

Participating high schoolers will work on ongoing projects, completing their own special section of mentored research, and be paid $2,000 for their work.

The program is part of the University's ongoing efforts to engage area high school students in S.T.E.M. subjects and engage them in research as early as possible. This year, the University continued advancing those efforts with the establishment of an undergraduate research council and Innovate UNO, the University's first annual research presentation and creative showcase.


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