ExploreU STEM program earns Transamerica grant for fifth year in a row


ExploreU World of Technology, Mount Mercy University’s week-long science, technology, engineering and math program for middle-school-aged girls, once again earned a grant from Transamerica. The grant provides support for program development, student scholarships, mentor scholarships and faculty development.

“We’re thankful for the generous support of Transamerica,” said Elizabeth Kleiman, associate professor of computer science and ExploreU co-founder. “Together, we are dedicated to continuing to advance the STEM fields.”

Entering its eighth year, ExploreU offers two sections: June 24–29 and July 8–13. Newcomers and return students are welcome.

ExploreU provides role models and fun activities for girls interested in STEM. College students serve as mentors, helping to illustrate the possibilities for women in STEM careers. Math and computer science topics are integrated into hands-on workshops and an inquiry-based learning environment.

ExploreU students learn how to program using Scratch—a tool that guides practice in analyzing patterns, integrating math and computer science, 3D visualization, and more. Participants test what they learn with a challenging, campus-wide treasure hunt. In 2016, the program added Nao, a programmable humanoid robot, to its team.

“The goal of ExploreU is to provide STEM opportunities to all middle-school-aged girls—not just those whose families can afford it,” Kleiman said.

Thanks to the funding from Transamerica, ExploreU is less expensive than most local STEM programs, at just $60 for the week. Scholarships are also available for low-income families.

Registration is open until spots are filled. Find more information about the program and its Transamerica scholarships at mtmercy.edu/exploreu, or contact Kleiman at ekleiman@mtmercy.edu.

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