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Participation in research or STEM work, such as co-ops or internships, provides students with both
academic and financial support. The academic support comes in the form of ongoing interactions with colleagues and from applying class-learned knowledge in an authentic environment.
Also, our survey indicates that over half of students in the introductory STEM classes have outside jobs. The availability of paid research opportunities or STEM work experiences allows students to earn money while gaining important career-building skills. Other types of authentic experiences include team activities and service activities that can allow students to put their classroom knowledge into practice.

Make a Connection
Work together with the faculty and older students in your field of study.
1) AURAS Research Experiences: We envision a number of research groups in COS and COE, with AURAS research fellows in a near-peer mentoring environment, progressing to positions of greater responsibility within their research groups over time. This experience will also build a relationship between the AURAS student, the professor or researcher, and other students in the research group. Other types of research experiences are also available including REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
2) Internships and co-ops: We expect that AURAS learning opportunities available for students will lead some to research interests and others to work interests. Students in the AURAS program will be informed of how to participate in these work opportunities, through co-ops and internships, along with the research availability. The College of Engineering has a full-time internship co-ordinator who will work with students interested in these types of opportunities.
3) Student-focused team competitions and service events: Groups such as the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Race Car Team, the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Bridge Building team, and the IEEE Robotics team provide students another way to work on an authentic problem in a learning environment. Outreach events such as robot contests and math competitions for high school or middle school students allow STEM students to serve as role models to younger students which provides reinforcement to the STEM student. Students in the AURAS program will be informed of these team and service opportunities along with the research and internship availability and will be considered for paid positions with the Engineering Summer Programs.
4) Research presentations and symposia: UTA offers two programs, Annual Celebration of Excellence in Students (ACES) in the spring and Research Day in the fall for students to present their research achievements to the larger student body, faculty, and local community. Students can present research work as well as other types of presentations to demonstrate their knowledge at these events.

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