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STEM Career Exploration and Symposium

Event Type
Illinois Summer Research Program Alliance (ISRPA)
Illini Union at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jul 26, 2024   8:00 am - 6:45 pm  
Britt Carlson
Originating Calendar
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Events

Undergraduate research will take center stage on July 26, 2024, during the STEM Career Exploration and Symposium at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The free, full-day event at the Illini Union serves as the capstone experience for undergraduate researchers participating in dozens of programs across the Illinois campus during the summer. It also provides opportunities for high school and community college students and educators to explore careers in STEM and learn more about the role of undergraduate research in preparing students for these careers.

The day will include poster, oral, and lightning presentations by undergraduate researchers, as well as career panel discussions, an employer and professional organization networking fair, and keynote speaker Ashley Huderson, who will discuss diversity in STEM fields. The full program is available online: Illinois Summer Research Program Alliance.

Students from any undergraduate research program on campus can attend and present their work. This includes community college students or students from other universities attending campus programs such as Bug2School, the Center for Digital Agriculture REUI-BELIEFMICRO-CCS, and others. 

The event’s organizers invite undergraduate researchers, as well as high school and community college students and educators, to register (for free) by July 1. Representatives from industry and professional organizations are also encouraged to register and attend. Meals are included throughout the event with registration. Limited free parking can be arranged on a first-come, first-served basis. 

“This is not just a symposium. It’s an opportunity to expose earlier-stage students, as well as educators from high schools and community colleges, to come and see what you can do as an undergraduate in STEM fields. We want to broaden participation so that a wide diversity of students can see themselves in science careers,” said event co-organizer Britt Carlson, associate director of STEM program implementation in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at Illinois. 

Carlson said summer undergraduate research programs have been running on campus for decades, but last year was the first time all the participants came together for an end-of-summer event. She is hoping even more undergraduate researchers, non-university students, and teachers will attend this year. To that end, K-12 teachers should note the STEM Career Exploration and Symposium is an Illinois State Board of Education-approved professional development event.

Campus sponsors include the College of ACES, The Grainger College of Engineering, the Beckman Institute, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

For more information, contact Carlson at

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