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STEM Summer Academies

  • Summer STEM Academies at Saint Francis University

  • Saint Francis University’s STEM Summer Academies are one week programs in engineering, computer science, health sciences, biology and chemistry designed to provide unique experiences for talented high school students entering their junior or senior years.

    Students will have the opportunity to earn college credit while working in teams to complete real world projects and present their results. Students selected for an academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Program activities include:

    • classroom and laboratory learning experiences;
    • hands-on experiments and industry-based learning involvements;
    • field trips and recreational activities guided by experienced SFU student mentors.
  • Summer Academies 2018

    We will be accepting applications until April 15, 2018.

    Students:  Registration information will be posted soon.

    Teachers:  To encourage your students to apply for the Summer Academies, please download the Summer Academy Classroom Packet.

    Questions?  Please contact the Science Outreach Center ScienceOutreach@francis.edu or by calling 814.472.3878.

  • Environmental Engineering Design Academy - June 24-29, 2018

    June 24 – 29, 2018

    Environmental engineering is the discipline most responsible for preserving and improving human health. Environmental engineers work on projects such as designing drinking water treatment systems and protecting soil, air, and water from pollution. 

    In the Environmental Engineering Design Summer Academy, students will gain first-hand, project-based experience using knowledge from science, technology, and math to design and construct a solution to an authentic issue in environmental engineering.  Along the way, students will learn problem solving skills and engineering design principles that have many real world applications.

     
    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Engineering 101 and 102 (one credit each) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

    Sports Analytics Academy June 24 – 29, 2018

    June 24-29, 2018

    In sports today, the effective use of analytics can be the difference between winning and losing.  General Managers, coaches, gamblers, agents, and fantasy sports participants are among those who make use of the insights gained by the quantitative analysis of sports.  

    In the Sports Analytics Academy, students will learn the use of statistics to come to a better understanding of various sports.  How does one compare the relative strength of two teams who have not played one another?  Is it a good decision to try to steal a base in a given      situation?  What is the main reason there is a home field advantage?  What is the role of chance in a game?  In this course we will use analytics to come to a better understanding of sports as well as using sports to help us learn the basics of analytics. 

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Mathematics 102 for completing this program 
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

     

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    Exciting Chemistry Academy - June 24 – 29, 2018

    June 24 – 29, 2018

    Exploring the World through Chemistry!

    Chemistry is everywhere and chemistry will take you anywhere you want to go.  We want to show you the exciting options you will have for your career if you know chemistry.  Each day will focus on experiments and hands on activities conducted by chemists in different careers.  Become a pharmacist or medical doctor, environmental chemist, a forensic chemist, a chemistry teacher, or move into the new world of Nano chemistry. 

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

    Biology: From Dragons to DNA Academy - July 8 – 13, 2018

    July 8 – 13, 2018              

    Biology is the study of life in all of its variety and complexity. 

    From ecosystems to molecules, biologists investigate the natural world from a variety of exciting perspectives. In this course, students will experience life as both a field and laboratory biologist as they learn hands-on about the ecology, behavior, and genetics of living organisms.

    In the Biology: From Dragons to DNA Academy, we will first visit a number of local habitats to study and sample dragonflies, plants, microbes, and other creatures, then we’ll investigate their DNA, proteins, and potential as biofuels using a variety of molecular  techniques.
     
    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for                              completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    Science of Psychology Academy - July 8-13, 2018

    July 8-13, 2018

    Psychology is the study of the biological, cognitive, developmental and social factors that   affect normal and abnormal behavior. 

    In the Science of Psychology Academy, students will investigate the connection between the brain and behavior while dissecting brain specimens, explore perceptual illusions while dissecting eye specimens, explore the effects of various psychotropic drugs while applying them to the daphnia system, and practice the science of learning and memory while training live rats and dogs.  

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Psychology 425 (Special Topics) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

     

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    App Inventor Academy - July 8 – 13, 2018

    July 8 – 13, 2018                                           

    Applications for Android phones will be developed using a beginner’s toolkit: MIT App Inventor.  Access to laptops, Android phones, and all necessary software will be provided.  Students will learn how to build several standard apps, followed by opportunities to develop their own ideas. 

    In the App Inventor Academy, students will learn how to program simple games and control advanced smartphone controls like the Accelerometer, Location Sensor, and Orientation Sensor.  Previous programming is not necessary.  
     
    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Computer Science 241 for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

    Science of Exercise Physiology Academy - July 15 – 20, 2018

    July 15 – 20, 2018

    Exercise Physiologists study the acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations resulting from physical activity.  An Exercise Physiologist can apply this knowledge to improve or maintain health, fitness, or performance.

    In the Science of Exercise Physiology Academy, students will study the physiology of exercise, experience and appreciate why the body responds to exercise the way it does, collect and analyze data, and communicate the results to others.
     
    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Exercise Physiology 101 and 102 (1 credit each) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

    Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Design Academy - July 15 – 20, 2018

    July 15 – 20, 2018  

    Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering is the discipline concerned with the exploration and  production of oil and gas.  This Academy introduces students to the fields of geology, reservoir    engineering, drilling engineering and production engineering.    

    In the Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Design Summer Academy, students will engage in hands-on explorations, language arts activities and field trips, which will introduce students to the basic knowledge of how oil and natural gas is formed, explored and produced. Participants will have a fun adventure in the oil and gas world from its generation to its application.

    This academy is partially funded by the EQT Foundation.

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Engineering 101 and 102  (one credit each) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

    Pre-Med Academy for rising Juniors - July 15 – 20, 2018

    July 15 – 20, 2018

     

    If you are interested in medicine, then consider participating in this one week academy to gain a better understanding of the human body.  During this academy, you will measure your own   stress hormones, determine your blood type, and gain a greater degree of knowledge of your   five senses.  

    In addition, students will learn about and get hands on experience with genetic testing, metabolic diseases, wound healing assays, and blood pressure regulation.  The academy will also discuss best practices for gaining admission into medical school. 

    This academy is specifically tailored to rising high school juniors.

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

     

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    Pre-Med Academy for rising Seniors - July 22 – 27, 2018

    July 22 – 27, 2018

     

    If you are interested in medicine, then consider participating in this one week academy to gain a better understanding of the human body.  During this academy, you will measure your own stress hormones, determine your blood type, and gain a greater degree of knowledge of your five senses. 

    In addition, students will learn about and get hands on experience with genetic testing, metabolic diseases, wound healing assays, and blood pressure regulation.  The academy will also discuss best practices for gaining admission into medical school. 

    This academy is specifically tailored to rising high school seniors.

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Students are eligible to receive a $4,000 School of Sciences Scholarship ($1,000 for 4 years) if enrolling in a major within the School of Sciences at SFU.
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

     

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    Protein Biochemistry Academy - July 22 – 27, 2018

    July 22 – 27, 2018

    Biochemistry strives to understand how organisms, from bacteria to animals, work on a molecular of chemical level.  Interactions between molecules drives the chemical reactions required to make biological molecules, break down food for energy, and detect pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. Biochemists have advanced other fields such as forensics, food safety, agriculture, and medicine.

    In the Protein Biochemistry academy, the chemistry of proteins will be explored. Students will gain lab experience by putting a gene encoding a human protein into bacterial cells. These transformed bacteria will be grown, producing large quantities of the human protein. The human protein will be separated from the bacterial proteins. Finally, the human protein will be studied using a variety of state-of-the-art chemical techniques.

     

    • Students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program
    • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of Sciences/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $400
    • Financial aid is also available to those who qualify

     

    Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials.  Students earn two college credits upon completion of the program.  Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the academic value that students receive?

    Selected students will be provided with room and board, all course supplies and materials (up to a $2,000 value), and two college credits upon completion of the program. Students with an interest in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply. 

    How are students introduced to the college experience?

    Academy participants will live in a college residence hall with SFU Student Mentors. The mentors are selected based on their expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and their maturity and experience mentoring younger students. SFU Student Mentors will mentor the participants in and out of the classroom to support the goals of the summer academies and to provide the students with an excellent experience.

    The Application Process

    Who is eligible to apply to Saint Francis University Summer STEM Academies?

    We accept applications from rising juniors and seniors (currently sophomores or juniors that will be juniors or seniors the school year following the summer academy) in high school who are in good academic standing and are interested in the sciences, engineering, technical, or mathematical fields.

    When is the application deadline?

    All completed application packets must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2018.

    Is financial aid available?

    A limited number of financial assistance grants may be available.  Please visit www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov to complete a needs analysis.  Print out the form with the EFC number and submit with the application packet.  Financial aid requests will only be considered when submitted with the application packet.  Financial aid requests will not be accepted after the selection committee has met.

    Does a student need to complete two applications if applying to more than one academy?

    Students applying to more than one Summer STEM Academy can choose this on the registration form.  An application fee of $20 is required for each academy the student is applying to.

    How many letters of recommendation does a student need?

    A student needs to submit a minimum of one letter of recommendation.  However, if a student is applying to more than one academy they may submit a letter of recommendation specific to that academy.  (For example:  A student may submit a letter of recommendation from their Chemistry teacher to accompany their application for the Exciting Chemistry Summer Academy and a letter of recommendation from their Math teacher to accompany their application for the Environmental Engineering Design Summer Academy.)

    Do students need to send in all of their application materials at the same time?

    Yes.  Application packets MUST be complete when submitting to Saint Francis University Science Outreach Center.  A complete application packet includes:

    • Letter of Recommendation
    • Essay
    • High School Transcript (official transcript is preferred, but not required)
    • Printed Fafsa Forecaster information with EFC number (optional - submit only if requesting financial aid)

    What if a student has not yet taken the PSAT, SAT, or ACT?

    Students who have not taken the PSAT, SAT, or ACT should designate this on their application that they have not yet taken these exams.

    The Acceptance Process

    When will applicants hear about their application status?

    Summer STEM Academy applicants will receive notice via email of their application status no later than the third Friday in May.

    What if a student is notified that they are on the waiting list?

    Students are accepted into the Summer STEM Academies based upon the materials in their application packet (application form, letter of recommendation, transcript, test scores, etc.).  After reviewing the applications, the selection committee ranks the students who qualify for acceptance into the program.  Those students are then assigned a slot in the program by their ranking until the maximum number has been reached.  If a student who was assigned to the program does not complete their acceptance documents and submit the balance due by the due date provided, they decline their position and their slot is then offered to the next person on the waiting list.

    What are the acceptance packets and why are they important?

    Once a student is accepted into one of the Summer STEM Academies they will be notified via email no later than the third Friday in May (due to the application extension).  Followed by an acceptance packet via postal mail, the student will be provided with further instructions on completing the necessary forms and submitting them by the due date provided.  Failing to return the completed forms along with the balance due by the due date will result in the student declining their acceptance into the program.  The student's slot will then be given to the next student on the waiting list.  Students who have not completed and returned their forms and balance due will not be permitted to enter or stay in Saint Francis University housing or attend any aspect of the academy.

    What is the deadline to return the acceptance packet?

    Acceptance packets (including all completed forms and payment of balance due) MUST be received by the due date provided.  Failing to return the acceptance packet will result in the student declining their acceptance into the program.  The student's slot will then be given to the next student on the waiting list.

    Preparing for Saint Francis University

    Is a laptop computer required?

    No.  Summer STEM Academy students will be provided with a laptop to use during their participation in the program.  The laptop will be set up for each student to use with all of the software needed while attending the academy.

    Is there a dress code?

    The Summer STEM Academies require that students pack closed-toe shoes and pants they do not mind getting wet or dirty.  Shorts and tee-shirts can be worn for most of the program instruction and activities.  Long pants will be required for labs.

    Will students need to purchase books?

    All course materials and supplies are included in the program fee.  The student will not be required to purchase books or course materials while they are participating in the Summer STEM Academy.

    Do students need to have spending money?

    Summer STEM Academy students may want to bring some spending money with them.  The campus bookstore will be open and available for students to purchase items.  There are also snack and soda machines around campus that students may want to purchase from.

    Occasionally the group will agree to take a recreational field trip to a local park or sporting event.

    Do students need to bring their own bedding?

    Yes, students do need to bring their own linens.

    Are residence halls air-conditioned?

    No, the residence halls are not air-conditioned.  It is recommended that Summer STEM Academy students bring a fan.

    Do students need to bring food?

    Summer STEM Academy students may want to bring snacks to keep in their dorm room.  The students are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the week of the program.  The mentors will have a small amount of snacks for the students to enjoy throughout the week.  Students may bring their own snacks.

    Do the dorms have refrigerators?

    The dorm rooms do not have refrigerators.  The residence hall does have a refrigerator accessible to everyone.

    What if a student has an allergy or needs to take a certain medication?

    List all allergies of the student and any medication they take on the Medical and Emergency Contact form included in the acceptance packet.  The student will be responsible for securing and taking their medication during their participation in the Summer STEM Academy.

    What time is check-in/check-out?

    Summer STEM Academy students are to arrive on campus the Sunday of the start of the program between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.  A short informational session about the program with instructor, mentors, and student introductions will take place around 4:00 pm with light refreshments.  Students will be able to settle into their dorm room and return to the check-in area before 4:00 pm.   The Summer STEM Academy students will have pizza provided to them later that evening.

    What is the extent of supervision that students receive?

    All students are closely supervised by their assigned Summer STEM Academy Mentor.  Mentors live in the residence halls with the high school students, arrange evening activities, help the students find their way around campus, and assist the academy instructors.  A non-undergraduate adult is also in the residence hall between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

    While on Campus

    Are students permitted to commute to campus or stay overnight off-campus with family or friends?

    No.  Summer STEM Academy students are required to live on campus and in the designated residence hall.  Housing is required for all participating students and is included in the program fee.  Students are required to stay on campus during the entirety of the program as they will be participating in group activities or working on group projects and/or evening assignments.  Requests for students to leave campus to participate in other activities will be denied.

    Will students have access to a fitness facility or pool on campus?

    The fitness facility and pool will not be accessible to the students.  The Summer STEM Academy students have a full schedule that begins with breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and continues into the evening hours.  The students will be required to work on group projects or after class assignments most evenings.  The Mentors will also have group activities planned in the evening hours.  

    After The Program Has Ended

    Do students receive grades?

    Yes, the Summer STEM Academy students receive two college credits for each program they complete.  A letter grade is given for each program and will be available on each student's transcript.

    Do students receive college credits?

    Environmental Engineering Design Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Engineering 101 and 102 (one credit each) for completing this program.

    Sports Analytics Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Mathematics 102 for completing this program.

    Exiting Chemistry Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program.

    Biology: From Dragons to DNA students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for completing this program.

    Science of Psychology Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Psychology 425 (Special Topics) for completing this program.

    App Inventor Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Computer Science 241 for completing this program.

    Science of Exercise Physiology Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Exercise Physiology 101 and 102 (1 credit each) for completing this program.

    Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Design Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Engineering 101 and 102 (one credit each) for completing this program.

    Pre-Med Academy for rising Junior students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for completing this program.

    Pre-Med Academy for rising Senior students will receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 (Special Topics) for completing this program.

    Protein Biochemistry Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program.

    Do the college credits transfer to other schools?

    While most schools will accept these credits toward general studies, it is up to each individual institution to accept these as transfer credits.

    How do the Summer STEM Academy students receive transcripts?

    Transcripts can be requested beginning mid-August by requesting a transcript through the Office of the Registrar.

    How can I stay in touch with the instructors, other students, and Saint Francis University?

    There are a variety of ways to reconnect with everyone involved in the program including Facebook, email, and the Saint Francis University website.  Like the following pages of interest on Facebook: