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Stories about...DREAAM

CEE student describes what being an Illinois student is like.IMAGINE Family STEM Nights Strive to Interest Underrepresented Students in Engineering

"Scientists in textbooks and on TV don't look like me." "No one in my family has done it." "Math is hard, and you can't do science if you're not good at math." "Only A+ students go to STEM." "The 'cool' kids don't go to STEM." "Math is for 'nerds.'" "A math degree won't pay the bills." "I don't want to work in a lab." "I'll need to go to grad school and that means a lot of student debt." "STEM degrees are more expensive." "I'll never get into X University." "I'll never get a scholarship." – Rafael Tinoco Lopez on misconceptions about STEM.

December 14, 2020

While young African-American, Latino/a, and Indigenous students might face a lot of real challenges in regards to choosing careers in STEM, according to Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Rafael Tinoco Lopez, some misconceptions concerning representation, skills, social life, future perspectives, and resources could be contributing to their not considering STEM careers. To rectify this, he and numerous other folks from both the University and the community are taking part in IMAGINE (Identifying Misconceptions of Access of Underrepresented Groups in Engineering) Family STEM Nights. Their goal? To foster inclusion of underrepresented students in engineering by helping middle grade students and their families learn more about engineering, especially specific disciplines. Plus, IMAGINE isn't just focusing on familiarizing students with what engineering is. Planners hope to address misconceptions about skills needed to be an engineer; foster discussion regarding issues of equity, access, and representation in engineering; and talk about resources available for first-time college students.

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Local DREAAM House boys experience how liquid nitrogen can impact various materials.Uni High Students Bolster Local African-American Boys' Journey on the College Pipeline

January 10, 2019

On December 12, a number of University Laboratory High School (Uni High) students from the Students for a Better World (S4BW) club stayed after school in hopes of making the world a better place for twenty or so local boys. Mostly African Americans, the young boys were from the DREAAM House (Driven to Reach Academic Achievement for Males) program. Part of the Uni-DREAAM Connect partnership, the after-school outreach has this as its short-term goal: to expose young boys to fun and exciting learning opportunities, as well as mentoring. Its long-term goal? To reinforce academics, thus improving the youngsters' achievement so they can successfully navigate the educational pipeline from kindergarten to college.

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