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New partnership brings STEM education initiative to Salt Lake City students

Salt Lake City, UT—Today, a partnership that will enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for Salt Lake City students was announced. The partnership between Salt Lake City Corporation, Uplift Aerospace, Salt Lake City School District, and the Salt Lake Education Foundation will bring an immersive, nine-week educational initiative to Salt Lake City students. The initiative, entitled Starborn Academy Program, is designed to increase critical thinking and performance in STEM. 

Students and teachers will undergo a demonstration and feedback period following the formalized agreement. 

The partnership was established as a part of the ongoing Tech Lake City Initiative, the overarching concept guiding Salt Lake City’s current and future economic development efforts. Mayor Erin Mendenhall launched the Tech Lake City Initiative in January 2020 to attract, advance, and retain more innovation and tech talent to the City, and to help improve pathways to tech education and employment for all City residents, particularly those in historically marginalized communities. Tech Lake City represents a pivot to a more proactive, non-traditional approach to economic development.

“Connecting Salt Lake City students with STEM education isn’t just a long-term economic development strategy to support our families, it’s also about raising the next generation of scientists, inventors, and engineers,” said Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall. “Salt Lake City is the place where homegrown innovation in industries like biotech, aerospace, and fintech is happening. Empowering our kids with educational opportunities is how we connect them with our thriving industries and help them make a huge difference locally and globally.”

“As a Utah-based company, we’re especially proud to launch the Starborn Academy program in partnership with Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake Education Foundation, and Salt Lake City Corporation,” said Josh Hanes, CEO of Uplift Aerospace. “This collaboration is not just a milestone for Uplift Aerospace but a testament to our commitment to enriching our local communities by inspiring students through the wonders of space and STEM education.” 

“The Uplift Aerospace program exemplifies the value of partnerships between educational institutions, community organizations, and business, showcasing the strength of collaboration in bringing positive change to our schools,” said James Yapias, Salt Lake Education Foundation Director. “Together, we can create a brighter future for our students and foster opportunities in space exploration career opportunities.”

“Salt Lake City School District is honored to partner with Uplift Aerospace, and Salt Lake City Corporation to create interest and opportunities in the Aerospace Industry for our students,” said Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Superintendent of Salt Lake City School District. “We are committed to building opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. We are grateful for the partners who are helping us serve our students through these important programs.”

About Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development: Formed in 2016, Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development is focused on building Salt Lake City as a vibrant, beautiful, prosperous, diverse, and authentic place – a place that is economically accessible to everyone. Known as the “Crossroads of the West,” Salt Lake City is strategically located for businesses to succeed. SLCDED works to streamline processes, provide excellent customer service, and offer an array of resources and services to recruit and retain businesses in the City, and ensure they have the tools to thrive.  Learn more at

About Uplift Aerospace: Over the past two years, Uplift Aerospace (Symbol: NRPI) has secured agreements with NASA, Blue Origin, Orbital Reef Space Station, University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin, and the University of Central Florida. The Company operates its businesses in order to create shareholder value, while exercising sound corporate governance, to ensure the interests of the Company’s management and shareholders are completely aligned.

About Salt Lake City Education Foundation: The Salt Lake Education Foundation supports every student in the Salt Lake City School District, helping ensure that they achieve their goals both in and out of the classroom. The foundation relies on the support of the community to help students, whether it is volunteers helping with a school musical, gifts of food for families or funds to assist with elementary STEAM activities. For additional information, visit

About Salt Lake City School District: The Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) is Utah’s capital city school district. With more than half of SLCSD students coming from a minority racial or ethnic background, most students coming from low-income households, and more than 80 languages spoken by district families, it is also one of the state’s most diverse. SLCSD prides itself on its robust academic and extracurricular offerings, its inclusive academic environment, its focus on supporting students’ social and emotional learning, and on promoting excellence and equity: every student, every classroom, every day. For more information visit