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Here’s what Gov. Cox hopes to accomplish with Utah’s 1st annual ‘Week of Stem’

One day before National STEM Day, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox visited the Utah Stem Action Center to officially declare and kick off the state’s first annual “Week of Stem”

SHARE Here’s what Gov. Cox hopes to accomplish with Utah’s 1st annual ‘Week of Stem’
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Timothy Holt, left, and Marshall Hansen, show off their robot Mantis to Gov. Spencer Cox.  

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

One day before National STEM Day, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox visited the Utah Stem Action Center to officially declare and kick off the state's first annual "Week of Stem."

"Utah is made up of STEM industry leaders in the areas of aerospace and defense, life sciences and health care, computer science, information technology, agriculture, energy, advanced materials, manufacturing, natural resources and many other trades," Cox said Monday.

He added that 15 of the 20 fastest-growing jobs in the Beehive State require STEM skills.

"Utah is committed to investing in STEM education," Cox said. "We recognize that a diverse workforce makes us stronger."

To Cox and the Utah STEM Action Center, the goal of Utah's Week of Stem is to bring STEM to everyone across the state, particularly marginalized populations, or those in rural locations that usually don't have access to STEM education.

With this in mind, Cox called on Utah companies to support programs that "create greater access, opportunity and inclusion for all of our communities."

Gov. Spencer Cox, left, talks with Paige Manning-Duncan from the Girls Scouts FTC program as she explains their robot after he declared Utah’s first “Week of STEM” at an event at the Utah STEM Action Center in South Salt Lake on Monday.

Gov. Spencer Cox, left, talks with Paige Manning-Duncan from the Girls Scouts FTC program as she explains their robot after he declared Utah’s first “Week of STEM” at an event at the Utah STEM Action Center in South Salt Lake on Monday.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

"Today, we are asking our industry partners to consider lending a helping hand to ensure these programs are successful and have positive impacts across the state," Cox said, adding that the programs would be rolled out on each day of STEM week.

The first programs — announced on Monday — will focus on coding, robotics and computer science.

Club Ability and Tech-Moms are fundraising to increase the capacity of their programs and continue to expand their efforts to serve a diverse community.

Additionally, Cox announced that Nomi Health has committed $20,000 to Club Ability and that Comcast is the title sponsor of the launch of a new Tech-Moms in Color program that will expand the impact of women of color in technology roles.

On day two of the Week of STEM, the Chief Science Officer program will be brought to Utah to allow student voices to "sculpt STEM education in their own schools and communities," Cox said.

Chief Science Officers are students in grades 6-12 who have a passion for STEM and want to make a difference in their schools and community. The program will be supported by a donation from the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation.

Stan the Man robot stands in the front entry of the Utah STEM Action Center in South Salt Lake on Monday. Gov.Spencer Cox to declared Utah’s first “Week of STEM” at an event at the center.

Stan the Man robot stands in the front entry of the Utah STEM Action Center in South Salt Lake on Monday. Gov.Spencer Cox to declared Utah’s first “Week of STEM” at an event at the center.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Other Week of STEM announcements will include the Micro STEM Fest Kit — developed by Utah Valley University's Creative Learning Studio featuring all the tools needed for a pop-up, mini STEM festival at school — which will be highlighted at Whittier Elementary in Salt Lake City. The Utah STEM Foundation (nonprofit arm of the Utah STEM Action Center) and Lucid are currently funding the project.

Finally, the nonprofit Green Our Planet is partnering with the STEM Action Center to bring hydroponics gardening programs to Utah schools where students can learn all about STEM through the fun of growing their own plants without the use of soil.

Utah already has 12 libraries and 12 schools with hydroponics systems as well as an additional 29 schools on the waitlist to receive the system.

"Utah industries, I ask you to support all of these programs. Help us bring STEM to every Utah home, school and community to build a brighter future," Cox said.