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Students at DSI/Gemstone at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center participated in the first of the Mission STEMCAP programming with a focus on the Grand Challenge topic of extinction. The program continued starting today with students at UNI GTC and will explore the topic of biodiversity loss.

Here is some information regarding STEMCAp from Dr. Nalini Nadkarni:

“I am a Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Utah, and the Director of the STEM Community Alliance Program (STEMCAP). This is a collaboration among the University of Utah, the Utah State Board of Education, the Utah Juvenile Justice Service, and a number of community educational and cultural organizations. STEMCAP programming is designed to inspire and fuel creativity and to communicate STEM concepts to youth who have complex and diverse backgrounds. Our approach brings experts in science, the arts, and culture to increase awareness of, interest in, and the capacity to achieve in STEM topics; to enhance educational self-discovery, and provide a constructive creative outlet for youth participants.

One aspect of our programming is ‘Mission STEMCAP’. At each of the five youth in care facilities in which we work, we offer a set of presentations and hands-on workshops to frame a single environmental challenge, provide up to date scientific research on the issue, help students create art/writing interpretations, and help students articulate their ‘responses’ by making a news report style podcast and writing letters to those concerned. Our emphasis is on positive aspects of challenges by pointing out policies, careers, and individuals who are addressing these. In November, 2019, we implemented our first set of presentations in the DSI/Gemstone programs on the topic of extinction. Next, we will be presenting our second session, at the Girls Transition Center, on the topic of biodiversity loss.”

YESS feels fortunate to have our students participate in this outstanding program!

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