UNLV Grant

STEM in action: NNSS contractor presents University of Nevada-Las Vegas $33,000 grant

UNLV Grant
Clark County students and their UNLV mentor perform an experiment examining rising sea levels. Photo: UNLV/Josh Hawkins

Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) management and operating contractor Mission Support and Test Services (MSTS) awarded a $33,000 grant to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) to propel science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for local students.

The backing will help fund Rebel Science Camp, a program that allows 1,100 fifth-grade students from Clark County School District Title I schools to explore how science, technology, engineering and mathematics play into real-world applications through hands-on activities. The camp is facilitated by UNLV College of Sciences undergraduate students as part of their credit requirements.

Founded in 2017, Rebel Science Camp has grown each progressive year. The grant will enable more students to experience experiments offered through the program, which include building an aquifer, rock and mineral studies, color chromatography and climate change lessons.

“This really helps us expand the camp,” said UNLV Associate Professor-in-Residence Alison Sloat. “In the past, we’ve only been able to have six days of camp in the spring, and now we’re able to have eight. Before they come to camp, 51 percent of students want to be a scientist. After camp, it’s 68 percent. Their science knowledge is greatly increased.”

Rebel Science Camp is also a proponent for encouraging students to pursue a higher education. Following camp, 98 percent of participants report wanting to attend college.

“As the largest technology-based employer in Southern Nevada, MSTS is thrilled to help Clark County students explore infinite possibilities through STEM,” said MSTS President Mark Martinez. “These could be the future leaders of science-based industries, including the NNSS. We’re excited be a part of their introduction to incredible careers.”