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STEM Summer Academies in Loretto, Pennsylvania

The STEM Summer Academies are one-week long immersive programs in engineering, aviation, computer science, mathematics, pre-medicine, health sciences, biology and chemistry for high school students entering grades 11 and 12 in Fall 2019 (current sophomores and juniors). Students will be introduced to college life and earn two college credits upon completion.

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  • Contact Us

    Questions can be directed to ScienceOutreach@francis.edu or 814.472.3878

    Apply Now!

    Summer Academies 2019

    Talented high school students will have the opportunity to earn two college credits from Saint Francis University while working in teams to complete real world projects, and present their results in this unique pre-college experience. Students selected for an academy will be provided with room and board and all course materials for the week. Students interested in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields are encouraged to apply. 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.

    2019 STEM Summer Academies Brochure

  • Application Process

    Apply Now! Registration ends April 22, 2019. 

    Students:  Required Application Materials include:

    • Teacher or guidance counselor letter of recommendation
    •  High school transcript (unofficial transcripts will be accepted)
    •  Non-refundable application fee of $25 for EACH academy to which the student is applying
    •  Essay with response to one of the following questions:
      •  Why would you like to participate in this summer academy?
      •  What can you contribute to this summer academy?
      •  How will participation in the academy advance your future plans in chemistry, biology, engineering, medicine, or health science? 
  • STEM Academy Program costs

  • Pre-Med Academy - June 23 - 28, 2019

    June 23 - 28, 2019

    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. 

    • 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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
    • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

    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.

    Environmental Engineering Design Academy - June 23 - 28, 2019

    June 23 – 28, 2019

    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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU
    • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.  

      Air Francis Academy (NEW) - June 23 - 28, 2019

      June 23 - 28, 2019        

      From flying to engineering to air traffic control to airport operations: aviation has it all!  At Air Francis, students will have a chance to explore the aviation industry from the front seat: be it the pilot's seat in an airplane, the chair of an air traffic controller, or the drafting desk of an engineer.  Participants will have the opportunity to participate in behind-the-scenes tours of an FAA air traffic control facility, learn the aerodynamics of fixed- and rotary-wing flight, experience the challenge of controlling unmanned vehicles, and fly in aircraft used for flight training at Saint Francis University.

      • Students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program which will be a step towards completing their pilot's license at Saint Francis University.
      • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.  

      Gabby Banner Diamond Aircraft

       

      Biology: From Dragons to DNA Academy - June 28 – July 3, 2019

      June 28 – July 3, 2019               

      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 and various aquatic insects, then we’ll investigate their DNA and proteins using molecular biology techniques.  In addition, each student will work with HeLa cells, a cervical cancer cell line, to visualize cellular stress.

      • 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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.

       

      Exciting Chemistry Academy - June 28 – July 3, 2019

      June 28 – July 3, 2019

      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 nanochemistry. 

      • 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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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. 

      Science of Exercise Physiology Academy - July 7 - 12, 2019

      July 7-12, 2019

      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 attending this academy will have the option to Scuba Dive (all equipment provided) during an evening activity in our Stokes pool. 

      • Students will receive 2 college credits in Exercise Physiology 102 and 103 (1 credit each), along with a course lab manual for completing this program.
      • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.   

      Solving Cybercrime with Digital Forensics Academy (NEW) - July 7 - 12, 2019

      July 7 - 12, 2019

      3 Bullets - 2 Bodies - 1 Computer

      Technology meets criminal justice in the field of Digital Forensics.  Cyber criminals use mobile devices, laptops, and network servers to commit a variety of crimes from hacking to drug dealing.  In other instances, electronic devices serve as convenient storage media for evidence of crimes.  In this Academy, you will learn how digital forensics is becoming the next CSI.  You will be presented with a real-world digital "Who Done It?"  The police have a theory about what happened, but they need more evidence, so they turn to you.  You will learn how to use a variety of cutting edge tools and applications to find digital artifacts and evidence hidden within a computer.  Did it happen as the police suspect, or is it something completely different?  Your task, should you choose to accept it, will be to solve the crime and provide the police with the digital evidence they need.   

      • Students will receive 2 college credits in CPSC 113: Introduction to Computer Technologies for completing this program
      • Academy participants are eligible for a $4,000 Scholarship if enrolling in a qualified major within the School of STEAM/Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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. 

      Sports Analytics Academy July 7 – 12, 2019

      July 7- 12, 2019

      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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.  

      Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Academy - July 14 – 19, 2019

      July 14 – 19, 2019 

      Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering is the discipline concerned with oil and natural gas production from subsurface rocks at around 2~20 thousand ft. deep. The PNGE summer design academy provides participants a fun adventure in the oil and gas world from its generation to its application. 

      This academy introduces students to the fields of geology, rock property analysis, drilling method and equipment, production technology, and especially the method to enhance oil recovery through multiple hands-on projects, language arts activities, and teamwork. This will help students to better understand the basic knowledge of how oil and natural gas is generated, explored, and produced. 

      • 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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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. 

      Psychology and Neuroscience Academy - July 14 – 19, 2019

      July 14 – 19, 2019

      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. 

      • 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 STEAM/School of Health Sciences (depending on academy attended) at SFU 
      • Program cost $425 (includes application fee)

      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.   

      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 applications must be submitted no later than April 22, 2019.

      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 $25 is required for each academy the student is applying to.

      Is there a discount for attending more than one academy?

      Yes, the following fees apply (excluding application fees):

      • $400 fee for first academy
      • $300 fee for second academy
      • $200 fee for additional academies

      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?

      Students have two weeks to submit all necessary materials to complete their application.

      • Letter of Recommendation
      • Essay due with online application submission
      • High School Transcript (unofficial is accepted)

      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.  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.

      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 and closed-toe shoes 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 or Friday 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?

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

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

      Air Francis Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Science 102 for completing this program which will be a step towards completing their pilot's license at Saint Francis University.

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

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

      Science of Exercise Physiology Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Exercise Physiology 102 and 103 (1 credit each), along with a course lab manual for completing this program.

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

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

      Psychology and Neuroscience Academy students will receive 2 college credits in Psychology 425 (Special Topics) 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 at francis.edu/Request-a-Transcript

      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 in a qualified major within the School of STEAM/School of Health Sciences.

       

      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 two academies in one summer or attend academies two years in a row, you are still only eligible for one scholarship.

      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: