INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2017
INL to inspire the next generation of multicultural leaders in STEM
IDAHO FALLS — On Friday, March 24, Idaho National Laboratory will host minority, first-generation, and/or underserved high school students from throughout the region at a new event called INL Multicultural Leaders in STEM, designed to inspire the future workforce. Kickoff will begin at 8 a.m., and keynote speakers and tours will conclude at 4 p.m.
In 2014, a nationwide initiative was created to address persistent opportunity gaps disadvantaged youth face, and to ensure all young people could reach their full potential. In an effort to maintain this outreach, INL K-12 STEM will be partnering with the TRiO organization to host nearly 100 young, multicultural leaders within the state of Idaho. The goal of this event is to break down stereotypes about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, and connect the students with opportunities, role models and mentors to instill a passion for STEM.
“One of the biggest challenges our industry face?s is acquiring and developing an inclusive workforce,”?said Toni Carter, INL director of Inclusion and Diversity.? “Engaging students? early in the educational process ensures they are aware of the opportunities? available to them, while helping to prepare them for the future. By encouraging students to maximize their potential, we will ensure INL has the innovative talent we need to create next-generation energy solutions? – which is why I love the INL Multicultural Leaders in STEM initiative. It helps underrepresented students take their limits off and to believe everything they want in life is possible.”
INL sees the importance of reaching out to students in towns small and large, and of all backgrounds and origins, so an interest in STEM subjects can be sparked early. With diverse backgrounds comes diverse thought and innovation, which we need in our future workforce.
Students will participate in a full day of hands-on activities and laboratory tours, interact with research scientists, engineers and technicians, and learn about STEM careers, internships and opportunities for post-secondary education. INL Multicultural Leaders in STEM will engage students in STEM activities relevant to the mission of INL and related to the curriculum they are learning in school.
“Too often, students, parents and teachers are not aware of the opportunities available in their own backyard,” said Amy Lientz, INL’s director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment. “In the end, this type of event builds interest in STEM careers and helps to grow our talent pipeline, enabling a sustainable future workforce.”
This year’s event will be held at the Energy Innovation Laboratory (EIL) in Idaho Falls, and in several other INL facilities.
The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.
INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.