STEAM Summer Academies 2022



Below you will discover the academies offered for Summer 2022.  Look for updates for summer 2023 in early spring.


The STEAM Summer Academies are one-week, residential, immersive programs for high school students who are currently in grades 10 and 11 (and are at least 15 years old) and are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics. This year we are offering programs in aviation, chemistry, psychology, engineering, pre-med, and cybersecurity and computer science.



Summer Academies 2022

Registration extended to May 1, 2022


Academies will be held the week of June 19-24 and June 26-July 1, 2022. Dates of academies are noted beside each academy. Program fee per academy is $500. This includes all instruction materials, plus room and board on our beautiful campus. Limited financial aid is available. See the application for details.


Participants will be eligible for a $1,000/year scholarship (up to four years) to SFU if enrolling as a full time SFU student within 28 months of high school graduation, and receive one college credit.


We are offering the following academies:


  • Aviation Academy (June 19-24, 2022)
  • Chemistry Exploration Academy (June 19-24, 2022)
  • Psychology and Neuroscience Academy (June 19-24, 2022)
  • Engineering Design Academy (June 26-July 1, 2022)
  • Pre-Med Academy  (June 26-July 1, 2022)
  • Computer Science and Cybersecurity Boot Camp (June 26-July 1, 2022)
*Academies will only run if a minimum number of students enroll. If a student's first choice does not run, participants will be offered a place in a different academy or their deposit will be refunded.
Explore our academies offered

Academic Details

  • Aviation Academy

    June 19 – 24, 2022

    Get a taste for the world of Aviation! From professional flying and airport management, to aircraft design and manufacturing, the Aviation Academy has it all. Expect to be immersed from day one in a hands-on exploration of how airplanes fly and the many facets of the aviation industry. Expand your horizons as you hear from professionals working in the airlines, tour a working aircraft manufacturing plant, get a pilot-guided tour of a State Police helicopter, and get in the air for your first hour of flight instruction with Nulton Aviation Services at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport. Come and see how you can take the next step as you pursue a future in the world of flight!



    Br. Marius Strom

    Br. Marius Strom

    Br. Marius, an engineering instructor with master's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Aerospace Engineering, and a private pilot's license in gliders. He has advised research projects involving terrain modeling using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the development of particle tracking velocimetry systems based on UAS-derived imagery, and the automatic identification of ground control points in UAS images for use in photogrammetry.


    Nulton Aviation Services

    Nulton Aviation Services

    Nulton Aviation Services is the fixed-base operator (FBO) for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (KJST), serving private, commercial and military aircraft. We look forward to welcoming you! Nulton Aviation will be hosting the SFU Aviation Academy both as we take to the skies and get a tour of the facilities and aircraft at the Johnstown airport.


    Pennsy Supply

    Pennsy Supply

    Pennsy Supply is the leading manufacturer of aggregate, sand, asphalt, and concrete throughout the North and Central Regions of Pennsylvania and Delaware. We have served the region for 100 years and provide materials for commercial construction, infrastructure development and residential building. Pennsy Supply's unmanned aircraft operations will be on display at the SFU Aviation Academy!

  • Chemistry Exploration Academy

    June 19 - 24, 2022

    Have you ever wondered what a forensic chemist does? How did your chemistry teacher learn so much about elements? Can you turn your knowledge of chemistry into a career? Through our summer academy, we will show you the exciting avenues that are open to someone with a chemistry major!


    Not only will you have the opportunity to conduct experiments and hands on activities relevant to cutting edge jobs, but you will also hear from SFU graduates who have turned their chemistry education into a career. Together, we will explore various tracks through which you can become a pharmacist or medical doctor, environmental chemist, forensic chemist, chemistry teacher, or researcher the emerging field of nanochemistry.



    Dr. Ashley Smith

    Dr. Ashley Smith

    Dr. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry who earned her Ph.D. in Inorganic/Materials Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include Green Chemistry methods for nanoparticle synthesis and ligand exchange and characterization on gold nanoparticles. She has been teaching at SFU for two years.


    Dr. Rose Clark
    Dr. Rose Clark

    Dr. Rose A. Clark is a Professor of Chemistry who earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the North Carolina State University. Her research interests include investigating electron transfer proteins to better understand how they function in biosensors and characterizing biosensor surfaces with Atomic Force Microscopy.


    Jane Gleason
    Ms. Jane Gleason

    Ms. Jane Gleason, lab Instructor for Human, General and Organic Labs earned a BS in Chemistry from LIU-Southhampton, then worked as a Research Chemist for United Guardian, Inc. and as a Research Microbiologist for Estee Lauder.


    Dr. Ed Zovinka
    Dr. Edward Zovinka

    Dr. Zovinka is a Professor of Chemistry who earned his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California at Davis. He studies acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation, focusing on the surface chemistry between metal ions and calcite. He also studies the science of Paint Pouring, the artwork made famous by Jackson Pollack and the use of mechanochemistry in synthesis.

  • Psychology and Neuroscience Academy

    June 19 - 24, 2022

    At the Psychology and Neuroscience Academy you will explore the mysteries of the human mind, discovering the biological, cognitive, developmental, and social factors that influence our normal and abnormal behaviors.


    Students will investigate the connection between the brain and human 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.



    Dr. Schlomit Flaisher-Grinberg

    Dr. Shlomit Flaisher-Grinberg

    Associate Professor of Psychology, has earned her PhD at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota, USA. Her research interests include the psychopharmacology of mood and anxiety disorders, the neurobiology of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, and the bidirectional benefits of the human-animal bond.

  • Computer Science and Cybersecurity Boot Camp

    June 26 - July 1

    The Computer Science and Cybersecurity Boot Camp will put you right in the middle of the fastest growing and most important industry (we're biased).  You'll learn what it takes to protect critical government or healthcare data, what to do when enemy countries attack our cyber infrastructure, and even conduct a hands-on digital forensic investigation.  At the end of the camp you'll put your new skills to the test as you compete in a Capture the Flag (CTF) contest against your fellow classmates.



    John Valkovice Profile Image

    Mr. John Valkovci



    Michael Zambotti

    Mr. Michael Zambotti


    Michael is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at St. Francis University. He earned his BS in Finance from Penn State University and Master's in Cybersecurity from Utica College.  Michael also works as an Adjunct Professor at Utica College. In addition to teaching, Michael is a Client CIO for Miles Technologies in Southern New Jersey. His goal is to identify solutions to technical and security challenges that companies may be experiencing. Michael has a passion for cybersecurity and is always ready for a conversation about the field. His specific interests in cybersecurity are Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and privacy related issues.


    Kevin Slonka Profile Image

    Dr. Kevin Slonka


    Dr. Slonka is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Cybersecurity.  He has been in higher ed. since 2007 and has worked in industry since 1999.  He consults with a local technology company where he is in charge of cyber security.  Dr. Slonka has various certifications, the most important being the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), a certification for penetration testing (hacking).

  • Engineering Design Academy

    June 26 - July 1, 2022

    Engineers are essential for solving some of our world's greatest challenges. In this Engineering Design Academy, students will gain first hand-experience using knowledge from math, science, and technology to design solutions to some real-world engineering challenges. Along the way, students will learn problem solving and fundamental engineering design principles that every engineer uses in their profession.




    Dr. Travis Tasker
    Dr. Travis Tasker

    Dr. Travis Tasker grew up in Butler, PA. He received his dual B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Allegheny College in 2013 and continued his education at the Pennsylvania State University where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering. His research interests are in tracing the environmental and human health impacts of anthropogenic activities (i.e., hydraulic fracturing, mining, etc) in addition to developing novel solutions for water and wastewater treatment. He also enjoys interacting with students through teaching, research, and mentoring. Outside of Saint Francis, he spends his time outdoors hiking, camping, fishing, and playing soccer


    Dr. Tim Miller

    Dr. Timothy Miller
  • Pre-Med Academy

    June 26 - July 1, 2022

    If you are interested in the healthcare field, then consider participating in this one week academy to gain a better understanding of the human body. During this academy, you will participate in the simulation of testing for an infectious disease, gain a greater degree of knowledge of your five senses, get hands-on experience with genetic testing, metabolic diseases, and cancer care. You will also learn blood typing, blood pressure regulation, cellular and physiological stressors. Importantly, the academy will discuss best practices for gaining admission into medical school and other healthcare programs.



    Dr. Irene Wolf

    Dr. Irene Wolf

    Dr. Wolf is an instructor for vertebrate physiology, anatomy and physiology, and advanced molecular biology. She has an active research lab examining the effects of metformin and dexamethasone on cervical cancer cells. Outside the biology department, Dr. Wolf serves as the Honors Program Director. In her spare time you can find her running, camping, and spending time with her family and numerous pets.

Application Process 

Registration extended to May 1, 2022

  1. To apply for the program, please write a single paragraph explaining your interest: why would you like to participate in the summer academy at Saint Francis University?
  2. High school transcript (unofficial transcripts will be accepted - you may upload yourself, or submit your school's email to upload)
  3. Teacher recommendation letter (you will enter your teacher's email in the application and they will receive an email from us with the request)
  4. Non-refundable application fee of $25 is required (to complete your application)
  5. Optional: To apply for financial aid, please write an essay (500-750 words or 2-3 pages) describing, in your own words, a leader in science, engineering, or medicine who has inspired you. Please include citations and references. Financial aid includes full and partial scholarships for each academy. Additional details can be found on the online application.

Contact Us

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). 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 STEAM 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.

  • The Application Process - When is the application deadline?

    All completed applications must be submitted no later than May 1, 2022 at

  • The Acceptance Process - When will applicants hear about their application status?

    Summer STEAM Academy applicants will receive notice via email of their application status by May 13, 2022.

  • The Acceptance Process - What if a student is notified that they are on the waiting list?

    Students are accepted into the Summer STEAM Academies based upon the materials in their application packet (application form, letter of recommendation, transcript, 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.

  • The Acceptance Process - What are the acceptance packets and why are they important?

    Once a student is accepted into one of the Summer STEAM Academies they will be notified via email by May 13. Followed by an acceptance packet via email, 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.

  • The Acceptance Process - What is the deadline to return the acceptance packet?

    Acceptance packets (including all completed forms and payment of balance due) MUST be received by June 4, 2022. 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 STEAM 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.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - Is there a dress code?

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

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - 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 STEAM Academy.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - Do students need to have spending money?

    Summer STEAM 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 STEAM Academy students bring a fan.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - Do students need to bring food?

    Summer STEAM Academy students may want to bring snacks, though breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided.  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.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - 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 STEAM Academy.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - What time is check-in/check-out?

    Summer STEAM 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 STEAM Academy students will have pizza provided to them later that evening. Check out/Farewell will take place on the last day of the academy at 2:00 pm where families are invited to celebrate student's accomplishments in the academy. Students will give a brief presentation on their projects for the week. Detailed information will be provided in the acceptance packet.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - What is the extent of supervision that students receive?

    All students are closely supervised by their assigned Summer STEAM 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 STEAM 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 STEAM 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.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - Can I earn a scholarship?

    At completion of the academy, participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship ($1,000/year over 4 years) if enrolling as a full time SFU student within 28 months of high school graduation.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - Can I earn more than one scholarship?

    No, only one scholarship per student will be awarded at the completion of the academy. If you attend academies two years in a row, you are still only eligible for one scholarship.

  • Preparing for Saint Francis University - 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: