The following is a guest blog post by Molly Marks, director of special events and PLTW affiliate director, UNLV, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering…
At the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering we were thrilled to host our fifth annual Project Lead The Way STEM (PLTW Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer training program for middle and high school teachers from July 11 to August 6. This year, thanks to a grant from Splunk4Good, we were able to offer a new Computer Science Principles course, adding to a range of offerings like Green Architecture, Automation and Robotics.
The $25,000 Splunk4Good donation funded startup program costs, instructor fees and enabled us to sponsor a local teacher who is recruiting others to join him in a computer science teaching alliance.
At UNLV’s College of Engineering, there is a lot of interest in big data, cybersecurity and robotics. The College is involved in research, has started working with NASA, and we are proud of our talented students who have done well in national and international competitions. For example, at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) robotics challenge, UNLV students’ robot, Metal Rebel, placed eighth among the best robotics teams in the world, right after MIT and Carnegie Mellon.
We are pleased that our College of Engineering dean, Rama Venkat, supports PLTW. He believes that PLTW is a good investment, not only to provide professional development for teachers, enabling them to bring hands-on curriculum back to their classrooms, but also to inspire and prepare students to pursue STEM fields in college.
UNLV is the second most diverse university campus in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing. In addition, we know that many of our students are the first in their families to attend college. Efforts like PLTW help support STEM teachers and prepare our diverse and first-generation college students for the academic challenges they will face in college.
Teachers who have participated in PLTW have given us great feedback. Some have even asked, “Why did you wait so long to offer the Computer Science Principles course?” We are grateful for the timely donation from Splunk4Good that is helping us inspire a new generation of engineers and computer scientists.
UNLV, Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering director of special events and PLTW affiliate director
Through community grants and volunteering Splunk supports organizations and initiatives that leverage big data for social impact and community problem solving, including STEM education, disaster and humanitarian assistance, and using data for good everywhere from your street corner all the way to the international space station.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of approximately 29,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty and staff that is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with high research activity. UNLV offers a broad range of respected academic programs and is on a path to join the top tier of national public research universities. The university is committed to recruiting and retaining top students and faculty, educating the region’s diversifying population and workforce, driving economic activity through increased research and community partnerships, and creating an academic health center for Southern Nevada that includes the launch of a new School of Medicine. UNLV is located on a 332-acre main campus and two satellite campuses in Southern Nevada. Learn more at UNLV.edu