STEMTank Summer Camp Receives ASEE PreK-12 Commission Spotlight

matt traum

The Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department’s award-winning STEMTank summer camp received spotlight recognition by the PreK-12 Commission of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) to coincide with ASEE’s annual conference. The spotlight announcement is posted at the ASEE PreK-12 Commission’s website:

STEMTank is a hybrid delivery summer program funded by the U.S. Department of education and jointly organized by UF MAE Senior Lecturer Dr. Matthew J. Traum and Jodi Doher, Director of Educational Talent Search at Santa Fe College. For the past four summers, STEMTank has engaged underrepresented students from North Central Florida high schools in hands-on open-ended engineering design-build-test projects that sample the engineering college experience.

Traum and Doher’s spotlight recognition extends to two more contributors. Dr. Adrienne Provost is Director of Student Strategic Initiatives in UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and she initiated and led the first STEMTank program in 2020. Jimmy Yawn is President of the Soaring Saints National Association of Rocketry (NAR) chapter at Santa Fe College. Yawn guided participants through rocket design and build activities central to the camp. One of STEMTank’s key distinctions, highlighted in the ASEE PreK-12 spotlight is collaboration between UF and Santa Fe College throughout the program.

“For many STEMTank participants, the pathway to an engineering major is through a regional college pre-engineering program,” Traum said. “Therefore, it is critical that our students experience both the environments of Santa Fe College and UF through STEMTank.”

The ASEE PreK-12 spotlight highlights STEMTank’s ongoing impact and dedication to encouraging underserved students to pursue careers in engineering and related STEM fields. Previously STEMTank was recognized by UF with a Superior Accomplishment Award for Community Service given to Dr. Traum in 2021 and an Association of Florida Colleges Workforce Adult & Continuing Education Commission (WACE) Exemplary Practice Award in 2020.

STEMTank 2023 was held at UF’s Powell Family Structures & Materials Laboratory with Professor Kurt Gurley as a key collaborator.

Story by: Emily Hinds

MAE Marketing and Communications Specialist

July 13th, 2023