Read the latest issue of the STEM Clarion Newsletter
STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is one of the premiere programs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Developed through a systematic process of assessment and planning which started in 2003, the program is designed to help increase the number and diversity of well-prepared STEM graduates who will help to staff the U.S. and global scientific workforce, which is critical for the economic advancement, health and security of this nation.
At the core in the STEM initiatives at UAPB is a summer academy to help prepare the first year STEM majors for collegiate life and for the rigor of the STEM curricula. Through the 5-6 week residential academy, the students are involved in team building activities, networking, bonding, creating student study groups, meeting professional STEM role models and becoming more conversant with the expectations of a STEM professional. The summer academy ends with a field trip to a major facility which is predominantly staffed by scientists. In Summer 2013, the STEM students (54) plus staff traveled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
STEM interventions continue during the academic year (August-May) including activities such as cohort grouping in select course to continue the team building and facilitate study groups; a guest lecture series to expose students to summer internship and graduate school opportunities; and weekly meetings to share STEM related information such as upcoming professional conferences and opportunities for poster/oral presentations.
Mentoring is a key component of the STEM initiatives. Upper division students mentor the lower division students. Also, each discipline in the STEM Academy has a designated faculty contact. The disciplines are science, technology (industrial); computer science; mathematics; physics; chemistry; biology; animal science and plant science.
During the academic year and in the summer, STEM students build their experiential skills in STEM by participating as STEM research assistants on their home campus during the academic year. In the summer, many of the sophomore-junior students participate in internships at external sites including universities, labs and commercial facilities with STEM workforces.
Through the initiatives described above plus a well-integrated curricula, the STEM students, to date, have maintained an 87% retention rate (2012). STEM graduates are found in graduate programs at universities including Purdue University, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Iowa State University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Master’s of Science in Computer Science and Technology. Other graduates are found in employment at companies such as Monsanto, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, Eaton Corporation, General Electric, Tyson Foods, Walmart, and John Deere.
From lessons learned in implementing the NSF-funded HBCU-UP STEM Program, and in response to the continuing workforce need for diverse and well-prepared STEM graduates, the University of Arkansas joined with seven other Arkansas colleges and universities who share a common vision to address this need and submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation for a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Grant. This proposal was first funded in 2008. The original participating alliance members are Arkansas State University, Philander Smith College, Pulaski Technical College, Southeast Arkansas College, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas at Monticello, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the lead institution. The Alliance recently received a new award for 2013-2018.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards HBCU/UP grants to help increase the number of minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) has formed partnerships with eight targeted school districts and with research institutions in planning a comprehensive program to increase the number of minority students in STEM areas. The program consist of a summer academy, mentoring, research internships, faculty development, equipment upgrades, curricula redesign and infrastructure enhancement.
Read all about the STEM program and activities in the STEM book here.
To assist with increasing the minority scientific and technological workforce in the United States.
The mission of the program is To increase students’ interest in the STEM areas through on and off campus recruiting, educational and research activities.
The goal of the program is to provide student enrichment in the STEM areas through a redesigned curriculum, research experience along with applied theory and practice of STEM activities.
High school graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and composite ACT score of 19 or higher are eligible to apply. The original schools are: Altheimer-Sherrill High School; Dollarway High School; Dumas High School; Star City High School; Pine Bluff High School; Watson Chapel High School; and White Hall High School. Today, eligible high school graduates from other schools may apply.