Dear President Sternberg:
STEM Ventures would like to thank the University of Wyoming for hosting a group of fifty-two middle and high school students from the Denver Metro area on Friday, September 27. These students came from fourteen different schools and five different school districts – Douglas County, Jefferson County, Cherry Creek, Littleton and Aurora.
On behalf of SER’s K12 Energy Education program, Don Roth, together with Megan Schnorenberg and Sarah Ramsey Walters, and the entire Science Posse team, did an outstanding job providing a first-class program to engage, excite and educate Colorado students, teachers and parents about STEM careers, which is critical to our national success.
Our hope is that the UW Science Posse experiential learning experience will compel our students to study for a STEM career and even possibly attend the University of Wyoming. The new Energy Innovation Center is a showpiece for not only Wyoming students, but for students from throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Many of our students remarked that the 3-D Visualization Lab was the highlight of their experiential learning adventure.
On the bus ride home we asked the kids to share what they most enjoyed about the event. We heard a lot of excitement, with repeated mention of the blood typing lab, the Cave, the campus architecture, the math exercise and more. You created an impactful experience that will make a difference!
Pepper Jo Six did an excellent job describing exactly what each middle and high school student must do in order to prepare for post secondary success. The information that she gave was vital for all students, regardless of where they choose to attend college.
At a National Academy of Sciences event in April of 2013, President Obama said: “We want to make sure that we are exciting young people around math and science and technology and computer science. We don’t want our kids just to be consumers of the amazing things that science generates; we want them to be producers as well. And we want to make sure that those who historically have not participated in the sciences as robustly — girls, members of minority groups here in this country; that they are encouraged as well.”
The STEM Ventures Experiential Learning program that you created at the University of Wyoming was designed to help achieve two of the five critical goals identified in President Obama’s Five Year Strategic plan for Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education. Those national goals are:
1. Increase and sustain youth and public engagement in STEM. Support a 50 percent increase in the number of U.S. youth who have an effective, authentic STEM experience each year prior to completing high school, and
2. Better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Increase the number of underrepresented minorities that graduate college with STEM degrees in the next 10 years and improve women’s participation in areas of STEM where they are significantly underrepresented.
SER’s experiential learning adventure was more than just a field trip. We believe that this authentic STEM experience had the potential to be life changing for each student because they were exposed to STEM careers, especially in the energy sector.
Thank you again for your generous hospitality and STEM ingenuity. We are looking forward to a long-standing relationship with UW and will do our best to promote your institution to our students in Colorado. We want to be your Colorado connection!
Warmly with Gratitude,
Judy Brannberg and the STEM Ventures Team