The Washington STate Academic RedShirt (STARS) program, which offers engineering students from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds extra academic support, will receive a one-time grant of $2.2 million from the Opportunity Expansion Fund passed by the Washington Legislature and funded by Microsoft.
The 3-year grant is expected to significantly increase the number of students the program can serve during that time period. The expanded STARS initiative will offer supplemental instruction in the math, chemistry and physics courses that are part of the standard engineering curriculum, as well as culturally-aware advising, professional development and career services.
Related: Led by Microsoft's Brad Smith, program gives out $6M in STEM grants in Washington (Puget Sound Business Journal) | Tech, science programs at 3 Washington universities win grants (Seattle Times)
AccessMap – a project spearheaded by the CSE-based Taskar Center for Accessible Technology – provides customized directions for Seattle pedestrians and wheelchair users looking to avoid hills, construction sites and other accessibility barriers. The online travel planner offers customizable suggestions for people who need accessible or pedestrian-friendly routes when getting from point A to B in Seattle.
Miqin Zhang, a professor in UW MSE, is looking for ways to help the body heal itself when injury, disease or surgery cause large-scale damage to one type of tissue in particular: skeletal muscle. Muscles have a limited ability to regenerate, repair and realign themselves properly after certain types of damage.
Zhang and her team are taking a synthetic approach to muscle regeneration. Their goal is to create a synthetic, porous, biologically compatible "scaffold" that mimics the normal extracellular environment of skeletal muscle &mdash' onto which human cells could migrate and grow new replacement fibers.