This summer, youths have been engaged across the University of Arizona campus in science, technology, engineering and mathematics camps.
Arizona Youth University, Campus Recreation and Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium are among those hosting STEM-related camps, teaching on topics that include the science of language, rocket science, 3-D modeling, programming, web design, and how to develop mobile apps and games.
The summer camps are a continuum of offerings provided by the UA, which has spent the last two years improving STEM education and instruction with funding from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust under a nationwide Association of American Universities initiative.
Additionally, the UA is expanding its efforts to improve STEM outreach through various programs and initiatives, such as the STEM Learning Center, which is working to achieve broad-based access to high-quality STEM learning throughout southern Arizona.
Another example of community-focused engagement is the recently launched program "A Sleep Education Program to Improve STEM Education in Elementary School," also known as "Z-Factor," which is funded by a $1.2 million grant through the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, a program of the National Science Foundation.
Z-Factor is led by Michelle Perfect, an associate professor in the UA College of Education's Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, and Janet M. Roveda, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The interdisciplinary project will involve middle school students, their teachers and families in an initiative meant to simultaneously address students' poor sleeping habits while informing them about STEM.
Such efforts at the UA — whether related to instruction, research or outreach — are part of the University's commitment to fulfill its land-grant mission and create programs that encourage new generations to explore and discover.