UT Austin Launches Resource to Connect STEM-Interested Youth, Teachers to Programming
With more young people interested in pursuing future careers related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics, STEM Starts allows users to access information from groups affiliated with the university who offer STEM camps, workshops, tutoring, teacher professional development and more.
STEM Starts is a new website for families, youth and teachers to connect to offerings in pre-kindergarten–12th grade outreach and education from UT Austin.
Seeking to ignite a love of discovery and technology in learners right from the start, a team at The University of Texas at Austin has launched a new resource to help families, schools and youth connect to the university's offerings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that are especially for children, teens and their teachers.
The new website, called STEM Starts, allows users to access information from groups affiliated with the university who offer STEM camps, workshops, tutoring, teacher professional development and more.
With more young people interested in pursuing future careers related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics, demand from families and schools for youth programming has skyrocketed. Growth across STEM career fields has been high for years, and jobs in these areas are expected to increase at more than twice the rate of other occupations over the current decade.
With demand growing, preparation for success in these fields also needs to begin early and to be available to many more populations than in the past, many experts say. On the STEM Starts site, users can identify programs in their area and at different price points, including offerings that are free or have scholarships available for participants. They can also search by age group to find tools and resources for children as young as preschool all the way through 12th grade.
Having the new portal for all UT Austin STEM outreach and education programming in one place can help Texas residents explore and find resources more readily, according to Tricia Berry, executive director of UT Austin's Women in STEM in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE).
"As a parent, I'm excited to use this site to easily find STEM programming for my own kids. And as an educator, I'm excited to easily find STEM professional development programs to advance my own learning," Berry said. "I'm also excited to showcase amazing UT Austin STEM programming in one place for the community."
Supported with funding from Microsoft for partners in UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences, Texas Advanced Computing Center and DDCE, the site aims to amplify work by faculty and staff from across the university who are already serving pre-kindergarten–12th grade students and their families and teachers with outreach and educational STEM offerings. Families and teachers can explore resources now, including for summer 2022, at stemstarts.utexas.edu.