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UNI REAP-STEM Apprenticeship Program Opportunities

REAP is a commuter summer STEM program that places talented high school students from groups historically under-represented and underserved in STEM into university research laboratories. REAP apprentices work on a hands-on research project, under the direct supervision of a mentor. UNI REAP-STEM Apprentices will spend 200 hours on campus over a 6-8 week period. The majority of the UNI REAP-STEM Program involves working in a lab with a faculty mentor and UNI student summer researchers. The UNI REAP-STEM students will also get together weekly to share their experiences, build professional skills, learn about STEM careers and higher education opportunities, and more. UNI REAP-STEM Apprenticeships are highly competitive and they are paid. This program is funded by the Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP) and STEM at the University of Northern Iowa.  Back to UNI STEM K-12 Opportunities page.

If you would like to work on a specific project, please include the project name or faculty name in your REAP Application in the "What areas of STEM are you most interested in? Why?" Section.  Otherwise the UNI REAP team will identify the best match based on your application.

REAP-STEM Apprenticeship Research Opportunities

Genetic Analysis of Native and Non-native Cattails, REAP Apprenticeship

Study Biology with Dr. Kenneth Elgersma, Biology Department

This project is examining genetic differences between three types of cattails that can be found in Iowa: the native Typha latifolia, the non-native invasive Typha angustifolia, and their hybrid (Typha X glauca). Ultimately, the goal of this examination is to better understand why these three cattails, which appear so similar that they can hardly be distinguished from one another, differ so greatly in their invasiveness ("weediness").  Since Typha X glauca and Typha angustifolia can be problematic wetland invaders, better understanding these species is the first step in better controlling them.  The REAP-STEM Apprentice will primarily be working in the lab and will therefore need to observe standard laboratory safety procedures, such as wearing long pants and close-toed shoes.  The student will gain experience with genetic sequencing procedures and equipment.  No prior experience is required, but the student will need to be detail-oriented.



Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence of UAVs, REAP Apprenticeship

Study Artificial Intelligence with Dr. Andrew Berns, Computer Science Department

This summer we will be investigating how machine learning and artificial intelligence can work with autonomous systems to solve problems in sensor networks.  In particular, students will research how machine learning can process data captured from an unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV or "drone") to make decisions in real time and adjust the UAV's flight path.  Activities for the student may include assembling embedded sensors and UAVs, piloting UAVs to gather data, writing scripts to organize large amounts of data, and creating programs to use data to make decisions and pilot the UAV.  Most work will take place in the Real Time Laboratory in Wright Hall.  Students should have a strong interest and willingness to learn new things!

Learn more and apply to be a REAP-STEM Apprentice



Synthesis of Diruthenium Complexes, REAP Apprentice

Learn spectroscopy and study chemistry with Dr. Martin Chin, Chemistry & Biochemistry Department

This project involves the synthesis of diruthenium complexes that can be used to probe the possible intermediates in the C-H bond activation of alkanes. The precursor complexes to be synthesized are alkyl complexes with two ruthenium metal centers. The characterization of the precursor complexes will use 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The REAP-STEM student will learn how to acquire and interpret this spectroscopic data. This Chemistry REAP Apprentice must be 16 years or older at the start of the research project (by June 10, 2019). 

Learn more and register here.



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