It's no secret that the science, technology, engineering, and mathematical fields can be demanding.
That's why University of Kentucky officials are working to retain students interested in studying for STEM-related careers.
UK, in collaboration with Bluegrass Community and Technical College, has been awarded $1.9 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to promote student achievement in those areas.
Mark Lawrence Kornbluh is the dean of UK’s College of Arts and Sciences says a majority of students majoring in the STEM fields either change majors or leave college all together. He says there is a simple reason for that.
“It’s hard! These are hard, demanding rigorous classes.”
This grant will fund a collection of initiatives dubbed STEMCats. Kornbluh says the hope is to keep students engaged from their freshman year and beyond.
“The goal is to turn a switch so that they come in with an interest in science but they really don’t know what a life of science is like and so we believe that if in the first year you can turn a switch, get them excited then it sustains them through the four year process.”
The goal is to have 500 students a year in the program, each taking part in a research project led by a research faculty member with the intent of getting their work published.