The STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP) is funded by the National Science Foundation and guides University of Utah scientists to carry out effective public engagement of science to public groups that do not or cannot gain access to science engagement in traditional science education venues.
STEMAP offers a workshop series and one-on-one guidance to support scientists in designing and implementing public engagement of science activities in non-traditional venues. The program is currently accepting applications from faculty, post docs, staff scientists, and graduate students who wish to participate.
Since its founding in 2016, STEMAP has trained 70 scientists from a range of disciplines, including engineering, biology, geology, math, anthropology, and physics. Previous engagement activities have included:
- an engineer engaged a community council in discussions about air quality research and citizen science opportunities;
- an urban planner studying water conservation discussed water-wise landscaping practices with inmates in a horticulture training program at a county jail; and
- an ornithologist provided a bird identification workshop for outdoor recreation guides.
Through STEMAP training, scientists gain public engagement skills that can be applied when communicating with stakeholders outside their field, developing innovative Broader Impact activities for NSF proposals, and creating awareness of the importance of science in the lives of all citizens. An overview of our training process and outcomes appears on our website (www.stemap.org) and is published in BioScience.