STEM Education

Research Immersion Program for Teacher Trainees
Operated by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program is a summer research experience for students currently training to be K-12 STEM teachers. Once selected, STAR Fellows spend nine weeks conducting research at federal labs such as LLNL, SLAC, and NASA JPL, working alongside mentors to get hands-on experience in advanced instruments and methods. STAR Fellows help federal labs answer pressing questions and, more importantly, bring real-world research experience with them to their future careers as STEM educators.

LLNL operates the Teacher Research Academy (TRA), which offers middle and high school science teachers and community college faculty a summer experience at LLNL in specific technical tracks such as biotechnology, computational modeling, 3D printing and design, fusion and astrophysics, and technical writing. Berkeley Lab also hosts an Undergraduate Faculty Fellowship (BLUFF) for college faculty who primarily teach undergraduates.

Encouraging Underrepresented Students
NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP)
awarded multimillion dollar grants to create several California programs that recruit underrepresented students for internships with researchers at NASA Ames, NASA JPL, and elsewhere. Awarded programs include the NASA DIRECT-STEM program at Cal State Los Angeles; the NASA MIRO Center for Applied Atmospheric Research and Education (CAARE) at San Jose State; the Fellowships and Internships in Extremely Large Data Sets (FIELDS) program at UC Riverside; and the Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) program at UC Merced.

The DOE Student Undergraduate Lab Internship (SULI) program also provides undergraduates from two- and four-year colleges with research internships at DOE National Laboratories, including Berkeley Lab, LLNL, Sandia California, SLAC, and NREL. Other DOE internship programs for undergraduates include the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF), the Community College Internship (CCI), and the Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program (MEISPP) programs.

Berkeley Lab also hosts the Undergraduate Research (BLUR) program for student researchers, and partners with community organizations such as the Rising Sun Energy Center in Berkeley, California, which provides job opportunities in the residential clean energy services sector for young people predominantly from disadvantaged communities.


Research Benefits by Topic Area:

Public SafetyHuman HealthAgriculture, Water, and Natural Resources | Climate Change | Energy Efficiency and Renewables | Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship | Cybersecurity  | STEM Education | Inspiration for All

Alongside academic powerhouses such as the University of California campuses, Stanford, and Caltech, Californians can take pride in our unrivaled collection of federal laboratories and research centers. CCST helps facilitate links across the capabilities and talents of these labs and centers through its Federal Laboratory Affiliates program — convening their expertise to deliver impartial science advice in response to the Governor, the Legislature, and other state entities. Learn more about the federal labs and science centers benefiting California at

Find the California Council on Science and Technology on Facebook at, on Twitter @CCSTorg, and on LinkedIn. Learn more about CCST at

Updated: 2018.02.13