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IMPACT LA puts tech trio in local schools as NSF Fellows

Program trains graduate students in research, teaching; leads teens to STEM fields

Ankur Bansal, Sean Caonguyen and Narek Zohrabyan at the computer.

Selected as Cal State L.A.’s first group of IMPACT LA Graduate Teaching Fellows, three graduate students are working with local school teachers to get teenagers interested and fascinated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The IMPACT LA Fellows—Ankur Bansal, Sean Caonguyen and Narek Zohrabyan—serve as visiting scientists and engineers at Hollenbeck Middle School and Roosevelt High School, bringing hands-on activities related to their research into the classroom. Bansal's research is in artificial intelligence; Caonguyen's is in bioinformatics; and Zohrabyan's is in image processing.

Each has been awarded a $30,000 stipend—along with $10,500 for fees, books and travel—to conduct research and develop classroom activities.

Narek Zohrabyan, Sean Caonguyen, Ankur Bansal, and Nancy Warter-Perez.

IMPACT—which stands for Improving Minority Partnerships and Access through Computer/Information Science/Engineering-related Teaching—is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education Program. It pairs college graduate students and local K-12 math or science teachers. Cal State L.A. received a five-year $3 million grant last spring from NSF to support the University’s IMPACT LA program.

According to Nancy Warter-Perez, IMPACT LA director and Cal State L.A. professor of electrical and computer engineering, “The integrative program aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students to pursue college degrees and careers in STEM, and to strengthen the research and teaching skills of the graduate fellows.”

Interested in obtaining graduate research experience? Interested in making science fun and tangible for teens? Cal State L.A. is now accepting applications for the second group of IMPACT LA Fellows. The submission deadline is Friday, Feb. 27.

Find out more about IMPACT LA at the following links:

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Last Update: 01/12/2016