This summer, IPB hosted budding young scientists participating in SPARK and BRIDGE, two UConn summer programs that serve underrepresented students including women and minorities, particularly in STEM fields. This was the perfect opportunity to pique curiosity and nurture interest in science and engineering among these middle and high school school students, who were excited to learn about engineering research applications and see firsthand IPB’s sophisticated technology including specialized 3D printers, nanoscale Xray tomography equipment and powerful electron microscopes, with visits to IPB’s additive manufacturing and materials characterization labs PW AMC, SHAP3D, and REFINE.
IPB’s Interim Executive Director Emmanouil Anagnostou stresses IPB’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, saying, “The IPB community strives to support these impactful educational efforts and it is an honor to help develop a future generation of engineers through programs that serve underrepresented groups.”
The SPARK tour was sponsored and facilitated by Pratt & Whitney’s Women’s Initiative for Success and Equity. SPARK and BRIDGE are made possible by UConn School of Engineering’s Vergnano Institute for Inclusion, launched in 2021 by alumni Betsy and Mark Vergnano, dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students in engineering and other STEM fields.