WSU Spokane helps build the pipeline for a stronger science workforce
Students decide at different times of their lives to pursue health care careers. Some wait until they're well into college before making a choice. For others, the seeds are sown early, thanks in part to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs in K-12 schools that emphasize the skills needed to succeed in science and math-oriented careers.
While WSU offers degrees in several health science fields-from bachelor's to doctorates, nursing to pharmacy-the university recognizes the need for STEM programs that prepare younger students for college-level studies.
For example, WSU Spokane is a biomedical affiliate of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national non-profit that creates hands-on curricula in engineering and biomedicine for high school students. The university trains teachers from around the region and the nation to teach the laboratory-based biomedical lessons that PLTW offers. The program is directed in Spokane by WSU research scientist Sylvia Oliver.
Dr. Oliver is also the founder of WSU Spokane CityLab, which engages students with interesting hands-on, science-based projects.
WSU works with local institutions to maintain a strong MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) program. It co-sponsors events such as the 2013 Prosthetic Arm Challenge at Gonzaga University.
WSU Spokane is also a founding member of the new Spokane STEM Network, formed to coordinate and promote STEM programs in Spokane County.
The new Riverpoint Academy, for Mead School District high school students interested in science and technology careers, is now open in the Innovate Washington Building on the Riverpoint Campus.