layout University Affiliated Research Center - UC Santa Cruz - NASA Ames Research Center

Systems Teaching Institute

Educating Tomorrow's Scientists and Engineers


San Jose State University and University of California, Santa Cruz are partners in the development of the UARC’s Systems Teaching Institute (STI). As NASA builds its future workforce, it needs professionally educated scientists and engineers with on-the-job experience akin to what a medical doctor receives in medical school. STI will serve science, technology, engineering and mathematics students as a teaching hospital serves medical students. Students will learn through direct experience on research projects where they examine realistic problems and data. STI will create accomplished new researchers by bringing together curriculum and practice.

The STI will develop and provide student resources and programs in support of research task orders assigned by NASA Ames Research Center to the UARC. In addition, the STI will provide for educational interaction among university faculty, students and Ames researchers, and work to develop future human resources in technology and science in those areas of particular importance to the NASA Ames mission.

As part of the UARC contract, an Aligned Research Program was established. The aim of the Aligned Research Program is to fund research by University of California faculty and students working in collaboration with NASA Ames scientists on research problems that are directly aligned with NASA Ames priorities.

Educational Objectives
STI will work closely with NASA Ames Research Center to provide education programs that:

  1. Create accomplished new researchers - Students working with UARC and ARC will receive immersed experience in focused research and development, keen knowledge and understanding of the NASA mission, experience in complex applications, and mentoring in research management skills.
  2. Bring together curriculum and practice - Faculty, students and scientists work in close proximity together, gaining knowledge and experience. Students and faculty help refresh ARC thinking, and scientists promote academic programs that produce a better-trained workforce.
  3. Deliver "best practices" training to research organizations - At STI organized programs, scientists, faculty and students present cutting-edge research findings, industry presents latest applications and technology advances, and K-18 STEM educators learn how to integrate new information in their curriculum to develop the pipeline of skilled workforce.
  4. Measures success - Metrics that measure, track and evaluate the effectiveness of STI will be implemented. Based on evaluation outcomes, STI programs will be modified to assure continuous improvement, with data reported to UARC and shared freely with ARC.


Jennifer Victoria


UC Santa Cruz

San Jose State University

layout layout