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Utah Launches STEM Education Outreach Effort with Statewide Broadcast

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Utah held its first ever statewide broadcast focused on STEM education Tuesday. It was designed to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. 

Tami Getz, Executive Director for Utah STEM Action Center, spoke with KUER before the broadcast. She says it’s the beginning of a grassroots outreach and engagement campaign to get children thinking about a STEM related career.

“Really, the whole spirit of this is to get people to get excited, to get the spirit and the vision of what we mean when it comes to STEM for our kids and our community and our state,” Getz says. “So today is really about fun. It’s about inspiration.”

The assembly took place at Olympus High School and was broadcast at schools throughout the state. Host Ruth Todd, former news anchor, now with the Utah-based company Nu Skin International, encouraged students to look out on the view of Mount Olympus and dream big. Students heard personal stories from guest speaker Bryan Kehl, an NFL Linebacker and STEM advocate, and Fred Lampropoulos, CEO of Merit Medical. They also heard from five Granger High students in a dramatic presentation that sounded like poetry.

“We are born insanely curious about science, technology, engineering and math, and are on the leading edge, the bleeding edge,  the cutting edge of all that is unbelievable, inconceivable, undeniable, preposterously cool, and outrageously out there,” the students voices weaved in and out. “We are STEM,” they said together. “Watch us now,” said one girl with a challenging stare before they all bowed their heads. 

Tami Getz calls this outreach effort version 2.0 in their STEM action efforts. They’ve launched a new website –, as well as new contests to get students, teachers, administrators, and parents more involved in STEM education, offering awards worth up to $25,000.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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