Skip navigation

STEM Summer Academies

  • Summer STEM Academies at Saint Francis University

  • Saint Francis University's STEM Summer Academies are week-long programs designed to provide an opportunity for talented high school students entering their Junior and Senior years to experience science, engineering and computer science in action.

    Students will have the opportunity to earn college credit while working in teams to complete a real world project 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 environmental and industry-based learning experience;
    • field trips and recreational activities guided by experienced SFU student mentors.


    STEM Summer Academies Photo Gallery

  • Summer Academies 2017

      Application Deadline:  Applications MUST be postmarked midnight on April 26, 2017.  Financial aid is also available to those who qualify. 

      Students:  To apply for any of the Summer 2017 STEM Academies, please complete the Summer Academy Application.  

      Teachers:  To encourage your students to apply for the Summer Academies, please download the Summer Academy Classroom Packet (4.321 mb).

    • Environmental Engineering Design Academy - June 25-30, 2017

      June 25-30, 2017

      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. 

      Principles and projects involved in the Environmental Engineering Design Summer Academy are designed to be independent of, but complimentary to the Green Chemistry Summer Academy. 

      • Students receive credit for Engineering 101 and 102 (one credit each) for completing the program.
      • Students are eligible to receive a $4,000 School of Sciences Scholarship ($1,000 for 4 years) if enrolling in a major withing the school of Sciences at SFU.
      • Program Cost:  $350.
      • 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.

      From Dragons to DNA Academy - June 25-30, 2017

      June 25-30, 2017

      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. 

      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 receive 2 college credits in Biology 412 for completing this program.
      • 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 available to those who qualify. 

      Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course supplies and 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.

      Green Chemistry Academy - June 25-30, 2017

      June 25-30, 2017

      Green chemistry is an approach to chemistry from the sustainability perspective. Building sustainability into the utilization of resources, product designs, and activities can decrease dependencies on non-renewable resources as well as decrease chemical hazards. 

      During the Academy students will be challenged to conduct research and design a solution to a real world issue utilizing principles from green chemistry; design a project in teams; collect and analyze data and communicate project results to peers in teams.

      • Students receive 2 college credits for Science 102 (a special topics School of Sciences course) for completing this program.
      • 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 available to those who qualify. 

      Students selected to participate in the program will be provided with room and board and all course supplies and 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 9-14, 2017

      July 9-14, 2017

      Students will develop applications for Android phones using the beginner’s toolkit, MIT App Inventor. Students will have access to laptop PCs, Android phones, and all necessary software. Students will learn how to build several standard apps, followed by opportunities to develop their own ideas.  

      In the App Inventor Academy, students learn how to program simple games and control advanced smartphone controls like the Accelerometer, Location Sensor, and Orientation Sensor.

      No prior experience in programming is required. Demand for software developers of mobile devices is booming. Get started with this App Development academy.

      • Students receive 2 college credits in Computer Science 241 for completing this program.  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

      Science of Exercise Physiology Academy - July 9-14, 2017

      July 9-14, 2017

      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 Summer 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 receive 2 college credits in a Exercise Physiology 101 and 102 (1 credit each) course for completing this program.
      • Students are eligible to receive a $4,000 School of Health Sciences Scholarship ($1,000 for 4 years) if enrolling as an Exercise Physiology or Physical Therapy major at SFU.
      • Program cost $400.
      • Financial aid is available to those who qualify. 

      Students selected to participate in the program will be provided with room and board and all course supplies and 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 and Natural Gas Engineering Design Academy - July 16-21, 2017

      July 16-21, 2017

      Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering is the discipline concerned with the exploration and production of oil and gas. In the Petroleum 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.   

      This Academy introduces students to the fields of geology, reservoir engineering, drilling engineering and production engineering.  Participants will have a fun adventure in the oil and gas world from its generation to its application.

      • Students receive 2 college credits in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering course for completing this program.
      • 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 available to those who qualify.

      Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course supplies and 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 - July 16-21, 2017

      July 16 – 21, 2017

      If you are interested in medicine, then consider participating in this one week academy to gain a better understanding of the human body.  During your time here, 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 receive 2 college credits for completing this program. 
      • 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 available to those who qualify.

      Students selected for the academy will be provided with room and board and all course supplies and 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 can 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. 

      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 26, 2017.

      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?

      Yes and No.  Students applying to more than one Summer STEM Academy only need to complete one Printer-Friendly Application Form.  The applicant will check the box(es) at the top of the application form to designate which academy (or academies) they are applying to.  A separate recommendation letter may be submitted for each academy.  (For example:  A student may submit a letter of recommendation from their Chemistry teacher to accompany their application for the Green Chemistry Summer Academy and a letter of recommendation from their Math teacher to accompany their application for the Environmental Engineering Design Summer Academy.)  An application fee must be included with the application packet 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 Green 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:

      • Completed Application Form
      • 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 mail of their application status no later than the second 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 third Friday in May 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 mail no later than the second Friday in May.  The student will be provided with further instructions on completing the necessary forms and submitting them by the third Friday in May.  (Please note the one week turn around.)  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 third Friday in May.  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.  

      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?

      App Inventor Academy students receive two credits for Computer Science 214 for completing the program.

      Green Chemistry Summer Academy students receive credit for Science 102 (a two-credit special topics course) for completing the program.

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

      Science of Exercise Physiology students receive two college credits in Exercise Physiology 101 and 102 (one credit each) for completing this program.

      From Dragons to DNA Academy students receive two credits for Biology 412 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: