Emma Regentova and Venkatesan Muthukumar (both Electrical and Computer Engineering ), Si Jung Kim (Entertainment Engineering and Design), and Jonathan Hilpert (Education) have received an $882,699 award from the National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning program for implementing the project " NEVADA STEM LAB- Cultivating Tomorrow’s Engineers through the Entertainment & Hospitality Landscape".
This project aims to foster the development of STEM identity among a diverse group of middle school students and, in turn, motivate them to pursue STEM interests and careers. It will employ a mix of online and on-site activities to introduce students to engineering methods in the context of the entertainment and hospitality industry that is the lifeblood of Las Vegas. Investigators will collaborate with local resorts, multimedia designers, and arts institutions to offer field experiences for students to interview, interact with, and learn from local experts. The lab will help youth overcome prevailing beliefs of STEM as boring and difficult, boost their confidence as STEM-capable individuals, and expose them to the exciting STEM careers available in their hometown. UNLV engineering undergrads will serve as near-peer mentors to the middle school students, guiding them through lab activities and acting as role models.