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STEM occupational demand continues to increase, but many students lack key experiences and road maps to consider STEM careers. First generation, female, disabled, and students of color remain underrepresented in STEM. The START Program provides authentic STEM experiences to underrepresented students, from middle school through graduate school. START aims to strengthen and diversify the STEM community, to ensure an enriched future for STEM higher education, research, and innovation. 

Teachers START envisioning

SUMMERP 2022: START sponsors teacher professional development! Contact START to spend a few weeks in a research lab this summer. START also sponsors teacher attendance at the UK College of STEM Education Workshop June 28-30. For more information click link below


Students START apprenticing

The START Apprentice Program pairs rising high school Juniors and Seniors, age 16 and older, with near-peer UK students and faculty who have been trained as Mentors. Together, Apprentice/Mentor experience authentic STEM research training in campus labs and beyond, access the STEM community, and receive coaching and academic development while gaining robust tools for sustained success.

Mentors START empowering

You don't need to be a STEM major to be a START Mentor. START is currently recruiting UK undergraduate and graduate students who are passionate about student access. The START Apprentice program pairs high school students with a UK Mentor who has received credentialed training from START. You have so much to offer an aspiring STEM student. Get Involved and serve as a START Mentor!



START hosts Apprenticeships on the University of Kentucky campus and beyond. Click on the button below for more information on how to get involved!



UK START Program Receives Golden Apple Award

In recognition of its strong commitment to student achievement, the University of Kentucky STEM Through Authentic Research and Training (START) program was honored with the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) Golden Apple Award. The Golden Apple Award recognizes high-achieving programs and organizations that partner with FCPS to advance education and mentorship opportunities for students in the community. Members of the UK START program received the award on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the FCPS State of the Schools Address event.

UK's START Program Offers High Schoolers STEM Education, Experience

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2022) — The STEM Through Authentic Research and Training (START) program at the University of Kentucky is creating a unique pipeline to increase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) literacy and promote STEM careers for traditionally underrepresented populations — people of color, individuals with disabilities, students from free or reduced lunch schools, first-generation college students and girls and women in STEM.

START for Underrepresented Communities: Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic

ABSTRACT: The STEM Through Authentic Research and Training (START) Program is a new program integrating academic, social, and professional experiences, in the theme of exomedicine, to build a pipeline into college for first generation and traditionally underrepresented students by providing year-round authentic opportunities and professional development for high school students and teachers.