UAA STEM program will host Anchorage School District students at learning event

by Michelle Saport  |   

The UAA Resilience and Adaptive Management (RAM) Group received a NASA Space Grant to collaborate with Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Anchorage School District (ASD) to provide continuing education for teachers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and to host ASD students on campus for a series of hands-on educational workshops.

Alaska EPSCoR UAA Outreach Coordinator Holly McQuinn created the event after the RAM-lab was selected to receive a NASA Space Grant. She said the funding provided a good opportunity to involve the community's teachers and youth with the university, while also providing them with a unique science, math, engineering and technology education opportunity.

"It's a small project, but the impacts are really big," says McQuinn. "One of the goals is to use the program as a model for future continuing education partnerships between school districts and the university."

She is excited about the response not only from ASD, but the UAA faculty and researchers interested in participating in both the teacher training and student events. Holly says for the first year, there was a successful turnout at the teacher training, which was held earlier this month, and more than 130 K-12 students are expected to attend Friday's event.

"We put the call out to the university and got an overwhelming response," says McQuinn of her recruitment efforts for UAA faculty to lead the education segments. "There is definitely an interest in STEM K-12 education and the importance of sharing research methodologies and results and seeing this information shared with the community."

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