Ames National Laboratory receives funding to engage underrepresented students in STEM fields

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The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced awardees for the FY 2022 Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) Pathway Summer School Request for Proposals. Among the winners is a project led by Kelly Bergman, Ames National Laboratory’s Education and Outreach Program Manager, and Adisak Sukul, Iowa State University Associate Teaching Professor. The project “Data Science Workshop for Energy Solutions” will target undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The goal is to provide skills and support to succeed in their fields of study and future STEM careers.

The workshop will take place in Ames, Iowa over the course of five weeks during the summer of 2023. Participants will be undergraduate students from two- and four-year post-secondary schools. Recruitment will focus on underrepresented groups in STEM including minorities, and first-generation college, community college, and rural students.

Participants will build skills through hands-on research. They will engage in learning through problem-solving, discussion, and case studies. And they will benefit from interactions with real DOE scientists at various career stages. Students will also learn about science and career opportunities at Ames Lab and other DOE National Laboratories.

“As the nation’s population continues to diversify, inclusion of underrepresented populations in STEM education and the STEM career pipeline is imperative,” said Bergman. “The workshop is designed to help underrepresented students in STEM build a STEM identity and gain valuable skills to help them persist and succeed in their chosen major.”