Our organization, MCoRE at UC Merced, aims to foster academic engagements between the University of California (UC) Merced and the local community in order to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, both in industry and academia. More specifically, our goal is to provide young unrepresented, and underprivileged high school students with extracurricular STEM activities (with an emphasis on Math and Computer Science) to provide students with a supportive venue where they can discover the appeal of these domains with the hopes of encouraging them to pursue higher education and research in these areas.
MCoRE operates as a part of UC Merced’s Applied Mathematics Department–one of the few in the country focusing on state-of-the-art applied mathematics with a strong emphasis on the intersection between classical analytical methods and modern computational approaches. Faculty and students in our department actively engage in multidisciplinary collaborations with researchers across many scientific and engineering disciplines and are committed to training diverse students from all backgrounds and education levels.
Our mission is to encourage high school students, especially girls and other historically underrepresented groups, to discover the joy and appeal of mathematics and computer science (CS), hoping to inspire many of them to pursue careers in research.
We aim to achieve our mission by making extracurricular math and CS activities accessible to high school students. Through our program, we will host students from underprivileged high schools in California’s Central Valley and engage them in hands-on workshops and activities that are inspired by intriguing research questions. Our mission is to provide high school students with an opportunity to explore different research areas in math and CS at a young age. Moreover, we strive to plant the seed of possibility in the minds of the younger generation and to demonstrate that regardless of students’ high school grades and performance, they can succeed in research careers if they choose to pursue them.
We hope that our diverse and multi-faceted body of volunteers will enable students to better relate to researchers and academics and to learn more about overcoming barriers they may face in their future careers through discussion and Q&A sessions. As we detail below, we will collaborate with the CalTeach program at UC Merced to recruit students from local high schools and we will host monthly activities which rotate between school visits and workshops for professional development. Additionally, the monthly activities planned under this award will allow local high school students to visit the UC Merced campus, thus familiarizing them with the environment and culture of an institution that they may one day attend if they choose to seek higher education and research career.