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Building a Culture of Undergraduate
Research Across Disciplines

URACE – Enriching Students’ Lives through Research Opportunities

 "The origination of the undergraduate research concept is lost in the mists of time although it likely began well over half a century - perhaps 3/4 of a century - ago in that unique-to-America educational phenomenon: the undergraduate liberal arts college" (Hakim 2000, p. ii).

Bridging the STEM talent gap is not about degrees, but skill sets

In 2013, there were 2.5 times as many entry-level, STEM-related job postings as there were STEM graduates, according to a study by Burning Glass Technologies. The new U.S. News/Raytheon STEM index shows that student aptitude for and interest in STEM increased just 4 percent between 2000 and 2010, while data from the National Science Foundation show the number of STEM jobs grew 20 percent. But what ails technology employers in the U.S. is much broader than a lack of degrees in computer science and engineering. A shortage of people with degrees in STEM fields is a problem, no doubt. But an even bigger problem is a shortage of people with the right skill sets. For more on this topic go to: Bridging the gap

New NASA program has undergraduates designing and flying payloads

A new program organized by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is providing undergraduates an unprecedented opportunity to actively take part in science missions both on Earth and in space.

The new Undergraduate Student Instrument Program, in its inaugural year, is geared to promoting the study of science, technology, engineering and math through direct, hands-on involvement by students in scientific research projects.

Top students from selected schools will work in teams to develop research concepts. They will be given access to NASA suborbital platforms to fly their science payloads. In total, ten schools were selected based on proposals applicants submitted. All of them will have the opportunity to launch scientific instruments on a variety of vehicles provided by NASA.

Teams from the University of Virginia in Charoltesville; Utah State University in Logan, Utah; University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, and Catholic University of America will each use scientific balloons to launch equipment.

University of Virginia students will launch a small satellite, known as the CubeSat Cosmic Ray Dosimeter, to measure cosmic rays. Teams from Utah State University and the University of Maryland will collaborate on a mission dubbed Measurement of  Red Line Airglow, which will measure oxygen levels.  Those from Catholic University will design a system to measure the balloon’s real-time altitude after launch.

A team from Gannon University in Erie, PA, will launch a small balloon carrying an instrument known as a Cosmic Ray Calorimeter.

Using smartphone technology, students at the University of Houston in Texas plan to study Earth’s auroral ionosphere and stratosphere via a weather balloon.

Two teams, one from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and one from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, will fly parabolic aircraft. The first group will study propellant measurement techniques while the second will conduct a microgravity experiment on the way objects accrete in space.

Students at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown will use sounding rockets to launch equipment that will measure the reaction of Earth’s ionosphere to interplanetary disturbances during magnetic storms.

Using airborne science, students from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and from A&M College in College Station, Texas, will sample microbial aerosols.

Students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, will use a commercial carrier to launch equipment that will do multi-modal high resolution mapping of the Earth.

Source: By Laurel Kornfeld The Space Reporter | July 08, 2014

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