iUTAH’s Workforce Development team developed programs designed to enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workforce in Utah. The goals of this team involved inspiring students to choose STEM careers, promoting the retention of students with STEM degrees, and enhancing the success of faculty in STEM disciplines
About Workforce Development:
A strong STEM workforce is critical to Utah’s future economic and environmental health. iUTAH offered formal science education activities for high school students, university undergraduate and graduate students, and K-12 teachers. In an effort to make STEM options available to all students, Workforce Development efforts focused on encouraging participation in the sciences, by historically under-represented individuals and students at Utah colleges and universities that primarily serve undergraduate students.
Research activities used our three study watersheds (Logan River, Red Butte Creek, Middle Provo River) as outdoor laboratories where students and educators learned to explore the data generated by iUTAH research activities. Through programs such as Research Catalyst Grants, faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions included their students in collaborations with faculty at Utah’s three research institutions: Brigham Young University (BYU), the University of Utah (UU), and Utah State University (USU).
iFellows Undergraduate Research Program provided opportunities for undergraduate students from all Utah institutions of higher learning to gain first hand research experience with researchers associated with the iUTAH project. iFellows participated in an 11-week summer research fellowship at BYU, UU, or USU. Throughout the summer, iFellows trained side-by-side with iUTAH researchers and graduate students, participated in professional skill development sessions, developed science communication skills, practice science poster and oral presentations, and engaged with panels of STEM professionals from a number of different careers.
Summer Research Institute brought together students and teachers to work with iUTAH researchers at one of our study watersheds. Small teams of high school students, university students and high school teachers performed hands-on research in the field related to water quality, vegetation and soil moisture, microbiology, and more. The program was designed to help teachers and prospective teachers gain insight into what scientists do and how they collaborate. Participants learned through gathering data, analyzing it, and presenting results of their research to iUTAH scientists.
Research Catalyst Grants offered opportunities for faculty and students from Utah’s primarily undergraduate institutions to develop partnerships with faculty at their own or other undergraduate institutions or with Utah’s research universities (USU, UU, BYU), or with community or professional partners. These partnerships provided opportunities for faculty and students to engage in research that focused on and improved water sustainability in Utah, building on the capacity of participating institutions to conduct further research. Traditionally under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics were encouraged to participate.
iUTAH Traineeships brought undergraduate participants onto iUTAH’s research teams to gain useful skills and technical expertise that transfer beyond the academic realm, and that contribute to a strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) trained workforce in Utah. These students were involved in working with electronic sensor monitoring, software development, and data management. Traineeships involved 31 students, many of whom are now employed in water-related technical fields, or continued their educations in graduate school both in Utah and neighboring states.
Workforce Development News:
June 27, 2018
May 16, 2018
May 16, 2018
May 15, 2018
April 2, 2018