Funded by a special grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Memphis
will offer a residential summer session June 5-17 to let high school students explore STEM fields — the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics — to help them envision studying those subjects in college.
The new program is also intended to make the STEM fields more inclusive. "Those fields to this day lack representation from women and people of color," said Fredrika Cowley, a CARES Counselor at the University's Center for Academic Retention & Enrichment Services.
The STEM Academy is open to students who will be high school sophomores and juniors in fall 2016. Crowley, who works with the program, says they are planning to select 44 students overall. To be selected, students must have successfully completed Algebra I and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Each must submit an application and a letter of recommendation is required from a teacher or staff member at an applicant’s high school.
Students will be selected by committee.
Chosen from the Shelby County Schools, the students will live on campus in UofM residence halls during the two-week session. Housing, meals and all activities will be paid for by the grant.
"We want to expose these students to STEM fields and for them to be excited and passionate about learning. Ultimately, our major goal is to have the students who participate in this program seek out higher education opportunities. Whether it be through a two year college or a four year public research institution, we want them to have the desire to go to school and be successful beyond high school," Crowley said.
The hope is to offer this program year over year, but because the program is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents, its continuation is contingent upon funding.
Space is limited in this competitive program. The application deadline is April 1. An application is available online.