SPECTRA Program (inactive)



This program is no longer being offered due to the grant expiring 

SPECTRA Grant Programs

The Scientists, Prepared, Enriched, and Challenged Through Research-based Activities (SPECTRA) program prepares students for modern careers relying on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) skills and knowledge through the use of innovative and engaging learning experiences. This and other programs of Truman’s STEP Office serve Missouri and America by supplying its workforce with talented and creative individuals. We fuel regional, national, and international economic competitiveness with our cutting-edge programs and our graduates.

The SPECTRA program’s three primary projects are

  • the SPECTRA Summer Scholars program,
  • the SPECTRA Scholars program, and
  • the Pre-STEM Pathways program.


Humanity’s understanding of the natural world and society is growing at a rate that makes textbooks obsolete within years of their publication. Consequently, a college education must be less about memorizing factual knowledge than it is about learning concepts and how to acquire future knowledge.

Research on learning shows that hands-on learning through research-based experience gives young people exactly the tools they will need in life after college: deep and long-lasting conceptual understanding that prepares students for the life-long learning that the acceleration of scientific discovery will require in the 21st century.

It’s through programs like this that Truman State University’s is providing Missouri and America with graduates who will be leaders and innovators in tomorrow’s workforce today.

This program is made possible by National Science Foundation Proactive Recruitment in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) Award #0928013. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of Truman State University, and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact the STEP Office by stopping by Magruder Hall 3101, calling 660-785-7252, or emailing one of our current programs directly at step@truman.edu or molsamp@truman.edu.