The creation of the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) and the rise of Prosperity 2020 exemplify a growing recognition among state leaders of the importance of science and technology for our state’s health, economy, and future. Yet many regional accomplishments, whether they come from large research institutions or small startups, remain unrecognized.

A new website launching on October 22, Explore Utah Science – www.exploreutahscience.org – will highlight statewide science related news and information, including advances in health, technology, energy, environment, and space. “We are filling the need for a centralized resource to learn about the great science going on throughout Utah,” says co-founder Kim Schuske.

“Utah has a diverse population, but one thing we have in common is a love for our state,” adds Explore Utah Science co-founder Julie Kiefer. “We want to ignite an interest in science by spotlighting research that is happening in our own backyard.”

Supporting statewide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education initiatives, the website has an Education page, in both English and Spanish. The page features student research, education-related feature stories, and a science career series. By creating stories that hold general appeal, Explore Utah Science strives to reach out to those who may not ordinarily be drawn to science.

“Kids love animals, so the first science career story follows two zookeepers who take care of the gorillas and orangutans at Utah’s Hogle Zoo,” says Schuske. “Because they are very intelligent animals, these professionals must come up with clever ways to monitor their health, and keep them mentally stimulated.”

As Ph.D. research scientists-turned communicators, Kiefer and Schuske know first-hand the importance of communicating science to the general public. “It is critical to make stories engaging.  Doing so helps the public understand the relevance of science and technology research, and how it may affect them,” says Kiefer. “Our goal is for the website to become a partnership with the community.” Readers are invited to submit suggestions and story ideas via submission forms located throughout the website, or by email, exploreutahscience@gmail.com.

Thanks to Julie Kiefer and ExploreUtahScience.org for this story