STEM Academy Scholars arrive on campus one week early at no added cost to begin their college careers surrounded by people who are just as excited about their areas of study as they are. In addition, STEM Academy Scholars have the ability to continue to build community with their colleagues and the university by applying to the STEM Academy Living Learning Community during the Fall and Spring semesters.
During the week-long STEM Academy, Scholars will engage in a full schedule of engaged, hands-on activities in morning (9:00-12:00), afternoon (1:45-4:45) and evening (7:00-9:30) sessions. Many sessions are scheduled in a small group setting and the schedule is filled with opportunities for personalized engagement with graduate students, peer mentors, professors and experts.
During the sessions, STEM academy scholars will work in small groups and receive personalized training to:
- Complete, analyze and communicate the results of a quantitative hands-on laboratory exercise
- Tour STEM research labs and engage with researchers
- Engage in "The Conversation of Research" with faculty, graduate students and peers
- Develop a comprehensive action plan for engaging in undergraduate research
- Enhance writing skills through reflective writing and journaling
- Learn the importance of deliberate career planning
- Create a vision statement, of a CV and a portfolio of credentials
- Develop solutions to math problems in the USF SMART lab
- Network and develop connections with peers, USF research faculty, graduate students and undergraduate researchers active in STEM fields
- Understand the pathway to graduate and medical school and various career opportunities for STEM graduates
Scholars will have the opportunity to spend lunch with an expert who will share their experiences and who are open to questions and lively discussions. After dinner, evenings sessions provide unstructured time for daily reports outs, active journaling of the days activities and engaged team-building sessions.
Connecting College to Careers, the STEM Academy introduces Scholars to various pathways to the careers they are working toward. Whether STEM Academy Scholars arrive with careers in mind or not, there are plenty of opportunities to discover careers they never heard of or knew much about before entering the program. The STEM Academy is designed to help Scholars learn about pursuing their passion, the non-linear pathway to success, the importance of research, leadership and internship experiences and how to build a network of advocates – all designed to help the Scholars develop a plan for their future at USF and beyond.
Who should apply: Any student who has been accepted to USF and is an entering freshman who has chosen to pursue a STEM degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. This includes the following majors: Biomedical Sciences (Chemistry Dept.), Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMMB Dept), Chemistry/Biochemistry, Environmental Biology (IB Dept), Environmental Microbiology (IB Dept), Environmental Sciences, Geology/Geosciences, Integrated Animal Biology (IB Dept), Marine Biology (IB Dept), Mathematics, Microbiology (CMMB Dept), Physics, and Statistics. Students who will be entering into pre-calculus math courses are especially encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and students who have been accepted to USF and made deposits to attend will be admitted to the STEM academy on a first come first served basis. Due to the nature of the program it is expected that the academy will reach capacity quickly.
This program is funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which plays an influential role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the United States, have made important discoveries that advance our fundamental understanding of biology and its relation to human disease. In a complementary program at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus in Loudoun County, Virginia, leading scientists are pursuing long-term, high-risk research in a campus designed to bring together researchers from disparate disciplines. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research.