Training the Next Generation Workforce
Many high school students interested in the biosciences and data sciences are unable to practice their textbook knowledge through actual research.
Through the Keep Engaging Youth in Science (KEYS) program, we have the unique privilege of providing real-world application of what is learned in classrooms, with the goal of sparking intellectual and creative curiosity. As one of the core tenets of our mission, we are committed to educating and inspiring our next generation of scientists through this program.
The seven week KEYS Research Internship Program provides promising Arizona high school students with a strong interest in bioscience, bioengineering, environmental health, data science or biostatistics with a unique opportunity to work with top UArizona faculty. Past interns have assisted in creating better ways to detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma, and diabetes; harnessed the power of big data to discover novel viruses that infect bacteria; and worked to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2007, 526 students have completed the KEYS internship program. Approximately 64% of participants are women, and 60% are under-served. 64% of KEYS alumni chose to stay in Arizona for college, with the majority of those attending UA.
Nearly all program alumni either attended or are currently attending college to pursue STEM fields. About 75% of KEYS alumni have chosen to attend college in Arizona, with the majority of those attending UArizona. All KEYS alumni accepted to UArizona are automatically accepted into the Honors College and awarded three units of college credit at the completion of the program.
Past interns advanced STEM fields by contributing data to research grant applications and publications. Some present their work at local and national conferences. Many students continue to work in UArizona research laboratories following the conclusion of the program, even some of those still in high school.