This project provides scholarships to able and financially needy students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Mathematics, and Physics. The project emphasizes enrichment opportunities that concentrate on engaged learning activities that are best suited to the students' studies and aspirations. These include faculty mentoring, monthly project participant meetings, and optional engaged learning experiences that include faculty guided or independent research, internships, and field trips to local industries. Other engagement activities involve participation in professional organizations, including attending and presenting at conferences.
Intellectual Merit: The academic programs into which the students go are strong, and there are academic support activities. The project focuses on student engagement and faculty mentorship in the context of an interdisciplinary community of scholars. This approach is designed to strengthen undergraduate science and mathematics education, increase retention and persistence to graduation, and better prepare students for professional careers where the boundaries between academic disciplines are not clearly drawn.
Broader Impact: The project is increasing the number and diversity of students who complete a STEM major and go on to work in the field or to further education. Many of the interdisciplinary activities are made available to all UVU STEM students, during and after the funding period. Moreover, the goal of graduating more and better-prepared students in mathematics and the sciences is not only an institutional goal, but a community and state goal as well. As such, the college is building partnerships with business organizations to offer internships and on-site learning experiences that take the classroom and laboratory education out to the real world. This facilitates job placement for students as well as enhances the university's relationship with local industry.