Monday, June 11, 2012

Student Research Apprenticeship Program Begins

The University of Wyoming campus feels a little empty without the usual crowds of students walking to and from class. Everything is quiet and calm, but for Wyoming EPSCoR, the summer fun is just getting started . This week marks the beginning of the Student Research Apprenticeship Program (SRAP), which will take place on the University of Wyoming campus from June 10-July 21. For the next six weeks, sixteen high school students will live and research on campus, gaining valuable experience in research labs, and for many, learning what it is like to live away from home for the first time.

One of Wyoming EPSCoR's primary goals is to foster collaborative communication among diverse participants in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. SRAP is one way that Wyoming EPSCoR works to include diverse participants in the STEM fields, because it is first and foremost a research program for minority high school students.

The goal of the program is to bring minority groups, women and first-generation students bound for college into STEM research where they have traditionally been exempt.  Junior and senior high school students ranking in the top third of their class are eligible for the program and are primarily selected from the Rocky Mountain region. SRAP participants are matched with professors according to their interests and are paid for the research they conduct over the following weeks. At the end of the program, the students formally present their research. These presentations not only prepare students for college and professional life, but also introduce them to the collaborative communication process that Wyoming EPSCoR aims to foster in our programs. SRAP participants meet professors they may want to work with in the future, learn about the possibilities for them in the STEM fields and make friend with other high-achieving students.

SRAP is one of three student research and fellows programs sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR.

~by Kali S. McCrackin

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