CURE STEM Expo Showcases Scholar Research

On June 11, at the Leadership Hall of the Atrium at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was lined up with large research posters and white lab coats eager for middle and high school students. After two years of virtual poster presentations, students at the UMB CURE Scholars Program are excited to be back in-person at the annual CURE STEM Expo.

“It’s just a different kind of thrill to be back doing this in person at the STEM Expo,” said Lynijah Russell, a Cohort 3 scholar. “Looking at these poster presentations through Zoom doesn’t feel the same, so I’m excited to be here and to show what I’ve been working on all year.”

The UMB CURE Scholars Program is a groundbreaking science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentorship program that supports students in sixth grade and follows them through middle school and high school. The program gives students hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to work on advanced research projects as early as middle school. The CURE STEM Expo is an opportunity for scholars to present their research to professional researchers and health care workers, as well as their families, mentors, and peers, using college-level research posters.

While the CURE Scholars have been together in person for programming several times over the past year, the CURE STEM Expo was the first time that scholars were able to show off their research with in-person presentations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The research posters cover a variety of topics including prostate cancer research, anxiety in adults, and much more.

Demonyae Smith, a UMB CURE Scholar in Cohort 3, presents her research on atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease at the annual CURE STEM Expo.

“To get the posters printed and the scholars to see their hard work physically laid out in front of them they have been really exciting,” said Sequoia Wright, MS, a program manager for UMB CURE. “You can see in all their faces just how proud they are to present their research, and it really is a great feeling.”

One of the scholars, Cyrus Croslin, a rising ninth-grade student who focused his research on climate change, said he was going down to the movies with his friends that were present on Saturday at the STEM Expo.

“I’m feeling very accomplished right now,” he said. “I put a lot of work into something that is actually paid off, and that makes me feel so good. Just looking at the posters and not at a computer screen is awesome. I’m excited that I can actually be here with my poster and get insight and feedback on my presentation. I’m sure I’m making a much better impression here than I would on a computer screen. “

The CURE STEM Expo not only showcased the hard work the scholars put into the past year, but it also showcased the massive support system of mentors, educators, and peers the CURE Scholars Program provides to each student.

“As a working parent, it feels great knowing that my sons have someone to depend on and guide them while growing into adulthood,” said Carlos Croslin, Cyrus’ father, who has another son in the CURE Scholars Program. “With CURE, I know someone is looking out for their best interests with their education and helping them grow up to be men and giving them many experiences that I didn’t have growing up.”

This year’s STEM Expo was sponsored by Becton Dickinson (BD), a medical technology company that has partnered with the UMB CURE Scholars Program to create remarkable research and learning opportunities for scholars. In the past, this includes several field trips to their facility in Sparks, Md., Professionally led science experiments, and summer research internships for high school scholars.

After the STEM Expo, the CURE Scholars have a couple of weeks off before kicking off their summer programming July 11th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker