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I³: The UCF Community Embraces the Knowledge-Based Economy


The University of Central Florida Community Embraces a Knowledge-Based Economy brings together NSF awards from the EHR STEM Talent Expansion program (STEP), Engineering Education, and Research Experiences for Undergraduates (RAMP) around the I³ themes of broadening participation and the integration of research and education. The project goals are to provide coherence to multiple internally and extramurally funded STEM projects at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and integrate STEM research and education activities. The project targets UCF students, faculty, and staff by providing resources for communication, research, education, professional development, STEM program improvement, and K-12 educational enhancement.

The project objectives are as follows: increase STEM education program interactions, improve STEM fluency, integrate STEM research and education, increase participation of under-represented individuals in STEM, and strengthen education and outreach components of future research programs. Activities undertaken to accomplish the objectives include increased program interactions through the development of the UCF STEM Research and Education Council (STEMREC) and the comprehensive STEMREC web-based management program. The innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)  Gallery encourages collaborations between faculty, undergraduate STEM researchers, and art and design students through science inspired art and design based on STEM research. Project activities also include the integration of NSF research findings into service learning, an annual “State of STEM” conference, undergraduate STEM researchers outreach activities, and a variety of television and web-based programing designed to encourage ongoing communication across the UCF community and beyond. The project provides increased undergraduate student and K-12 teacher research opportunities through grant supplements. The Summer Faculty Development Conference promotes the integration of NSF STEM grant findings into course content and applications. Finally, there is the potential for new STEM courses, tracks, and minors in addition to K-12 student education modules, demonstrations, and learning tools.

This project will reach over 550 undergraduates, faculty members, undergraduate researchers, and classroom teachers. Communication via UCF television programing, web broadcasts, and other electronic media further extend the project’s reach in addition to the STEAM Gallery displays in the local community. A comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation will be conducted by the Program Evaluation and Educational Research Group (PEER). Overall, the consistent emphasis on the integration of STEM research and education activities, combined with a creative project design will ensure that UCF students, faculty, and staff are well prepared to meet the challenges of a knowledge-based economy.

Members of the project team include:
Program Evaluators: Bonnie Swan and Conrad Katzenmeyer
Graduate Research Assistants: Cynthia Cassagnol and Caitlyn McKinzie
Student Programmer: Terrence Howard



Start: May 01, 2010
End: April 30, 2015

Project Members:


University of Central Florida

Project Website:

UCF I Cubed
Facebook Profile

Award Number: