Outreach programs encourage summer learning at Princeton

Students of all ages and teachers from New Jersey and beyond will be engaged in a summer of learning on the Princeton campus, taking part in outreach programs on subjects ranging from basic computer skills to advanced scientific research.

Princeton students, faculty and staff will lead various programs designed to help elementary, secondary and college students build their academic skills and to provide cutting-edge lessons that teachers can take back to their own classrooms.

The outreach programs are part of a busy summer on campus. Princeton's athletics department sponsors some two dozen sports camps; the University runs a summer day camp; and the Office of Conference and Event Services works with numerous outside organizations that use campus facilities for educational programs and other activities.

The following list offers a look at some of the University's educational outreach programs taking place this summer. Deadlines for registering for this year's programs have passed, but anyone interested in participating in future programs should consult the links and contacts listed below; some programs are restricted to participants from particular schools, organizations or geographic areas. Reporters interested in covering any programs should contact the Office of Communications at (609) 258-3601.

Community House
Contact: Yomaira Jimenez, (609) 258-6136, [email protected]
Computer Camp, July 7-Aug. 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A camp for local students in grades 6-8 emphasizes computer literacy as well as math and writing skills. Openings may remain.

Electrical Engineering
Contact: Ron Weiss, (609) 258-1174, [email protected]
Stem Cell Synthetic Biology Summer Program, June 9-Aug. 15
Eight undergraduates from Princeton and other institutions as well as two high school students will work in the labs of synthetic biologist Ron Weiss to prepare for competition in this fall's annual International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Jamboree. The event is a contest among more than 30 teams from institutions throughout the world.

The program is supported by the National Science Foundation as well as multiple entities at Princeton, including the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, the Office of the Provost, the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials, the Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment Center and the departments of electrical engineering, chemical engineering, molecular biology and chemistry.

Graduate School
Contacts: Karen Jackson-Weaver, (609) 258-3257, [email protected]; Elaine Willey, (609) 258-3033, [email protected]
Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE), June 16-Aug. 8
This program is designed for undergraduates who have completed their sophomore or junior years and who express a serious interest in pursuing a Ph.D. and following a career in college or university teaching and research. It is intended to prepare students to make competitive applications to research doctoral programs. Students may work in any of Princeton's academic departments or programs. Undergraduates who are underrepresented minorities, who are from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds or who are from liberal arts colleges are especially encouraged to apply. Students receive a stipend and a travel allowance.

James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions
Contact: Bradford Wilson, (609) 258-6333, [email protected]
James Madison Seminars, June 23-Aug. 15
The Madison Program hosts six two-week seminars for middle and high school teachers of American history from New Jersey and New York City, primarily from public schools. Teachers participate in the seminars each summer for three years, covering a range of topics on American constitutional history. The seminars are led by scholars from around the country, including Princeton faculty. They are co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Association of Scholars, and are part of a nationwide effort funded by the federal Teaching American History Grant Program.

Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment Center
Contact: Joe Montemarano, (609) 258-2267, [email protected]
Summer Research Opportunities, June-August
The Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) Center will host 27 undergraduate students at its six participating institutions for five and nine weeks of research and education. The students will participate in short courses and lectures that explore the challenges of hardware, software and systems engineering of sensors. The center's research could yield important new technology related to health, homeland security and the environment. Students also will attend seminars that examine the role of science and engineering in society and will visit nearby government and industrial labs.

In addition to the college students, seven high school students will work in MIRTHE labs at Princeton and other universities.

The participating MIRTHE institutions are: Princeton, Rice University, City College of New York, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Texas A&M University and Johns Hopkins University. The students at the sites in Maryland, Texas, New York and Princeton will interact via weekly Web-based teleconference calls and meet together with the entire MIRTHE community in the final week for the annual MIRTHE Workshop.  The 2008 workshop will take place on Aug. 3-8 on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins.

Molecular Biology
Hot Topics, Cool Genes, July 13-25
Contact: Ann Sliski, (609) 258-2075, [email protected]
Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology will host 24 secondary school teachers from around the United States and Qatar for its two-week workshop, "Hot Topics, Cool Genes," funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The 2008 workshop has an intense schedule of hands-on introductory and advanced experiments designed to illustrate the principles of modern molecular biology and genetics; the application of these principles to questions of human health and disease; and the way in which discoveries are made in the natural sciences.

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, June 16-Aug. 15
Contact: Alison Gammie, (609) 258- 6380, [email protected]
Each summer, the Department of Molecular Biology, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute provide intensive laboratory research experiences to a select group of undergraduates chosen from a nationwide pool. Each student joins a world-class research group -- headed by a Princeton faculty member -- and carries out an original research project. Participants are immersed in a culture of close collaboration with other undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, and thereby experience first-hand what it is like to be a scientist. More than 70 percent of former participants have since pursued degrees in Ph.D., M.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. programs.

Office of the Vice President for Campus Life
Contact: Richard Just, (202) 508-4478, [email protected]

Summer Journalism Program, July 25-Aug. 4
Princeton alumni will lead journalism workshops for about 20 students from low-income backgrounds who are entering their junior and senior years of high school. The students -- selected from an applicant pool of 180 -- will practice reporting and writing articles, including covering a professional sports event, and produce a 12-page newspaper and a television documentary. They will visit The New York Times and ABC News offices and receive advice from guest speakers from a number of major media outlets. They also will receive guidance on applying to college. This is the seventh summer the program is being offered.

Contact: Helen Ju, (609) 258-5822, [email protected]

Gran Sasso-Princeton Physics Summer School, July 23-Aug. 13
This program stems from the scientific collaboration between the Department of Physics at Princeton and the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, where Princeton scientists conduct research on neutrinos and dark matter. Some 20 Italian high school students are selected on a competitive basis to come to Princeton to take courses in physics and astrophysics, engage in laboratory activities and participate in English classes.

Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials
Contact: Dan Steinberg, (609) 258-5598, [email protected]

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 9-Aug. 8
About 25 college students from around the country will conduct research in the labs of Princeton faculty members, working on cutting-edge problems related to energy production, the environment, human health and other societal issues. Their work will be funded primarily by the National Science Foundation through major projects, including the Princeton Center for Complex Materials, the Center for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment, and the Partnership for Research and Education in Materials.

Research Experience for Teachers, June-August
Three teachers from New Jersey high schools will work in the labs of Princeton researchers to gain insight into current research. They will study, among other subjects, ways to enhance materials science and engineering education in K-12 schools. They will reconvene in the next academic year to share their experiences, incorporating these concepts into their curricula.

Princeton University Materials Academy, June 30-July 11
Twenty high school students from Trenton will be on campus to interact with Princeton faculty and students and learn about materials science and solar energy research. Among other projects, the students will help create solar ovens that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa. They also will learn about batteries, fuel cells, solar cells and polymers from faculty members. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation (through Princeton's Center for Complex Materials) and the U.S.-Africa Materials Institute.

Materials Camp for Teachers, Aug. 4-8
About 30 high school teachers from New Jersey and other states will spend a week on campus participating in hands-on demonstrations of materials science labs and course work that they can implement in their schools. Now in its fourth year, the camp has resulted in several schools adopting materials science programs as a way of integrating physics, chemistry and mathematics into the curriculum.

Summer Program for High School Students, July 21-25
About 30 students from Middlesex High School in New Jersey will spend mornings on campus, visiting labs, hearing talks and participating in hands-on projects. Their work on materials science will serve as an introduction to a yearlong materials science and engineering course taught at their school. The program is organized by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials.

Summer School for Condensed Matter Physics, Aug. 11-14
About 60 students, mostly graduate students, from around the world, come to Princeton to attend lectures and workshops in physics and materials science led by prominent researchers from Princeton, Brookhaven National Labs, Alcatel-Lucent and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The program is organized by Princeton graduate students and sponsored by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials.

Partners in Science, June 30-Aug. 25
In collaboration with the Jersey City-based Liberty Science Center, faculty members and graduate students in the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials will serve as mentors to high school students working as researchers in their labs. The program will culminate in a symposium during which the students will present their work.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
Contacts: Tony DeMeo, (609) 243-2755, [email protected]; Patti Wieser, (609) 243-2757, [email protected]

Plasma Camp, July 21-25
About a dozen science teachers from local middle schools, as well as high schools across the nation, will work in the Plasma Science Education Laboratory to better understand energy and find ways to work the subject into their curricula.

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 16-Aug. 15
Twenty-two undergraduate students from across the country, as well as 12 local high school students, will spend 10 weeks working with PPPL scientists, participating in current research projects.

PPPL-Liberty Science Center Workshop for New Jersey Teachers, June 25
About 18 New Jersey teachers from grades 6-12 will participate in a one-day workshop at the PPPL focusing on energy and using plasmas as a teaching tool in a physical sciences classroom. The laboratory is offering the workshop in partnership with the Liberty Science Center.

Princeton Summer Theater
Contact: Lovell Holder, (609) 258-7062, [email protected]

Children's Workshops, Fridays, July 27-Aug. 8, 1 to 4 p.m.
This semi-professional company run by Princeton students offers weekly workshops for children ages 7-12, introducing them to theater on stage and behind the scenes. This summer's workshops are on Shakespeare's comedy, set design, acting movement, ancient Greek theater, stage trade secrets and the Spanish Golden Age.

Program in Teacher Preparation
Princeton University Preparatory Program, July 7-Aug. 15
Contact: Jason Klugman, (609) 258-3337, [email protected]
This intensive, three-year college preparation program supports a select group of academically gifted high school students from low-income families who attend Ewing, Princeton and Trenton public schools. The goal is to prepare students to be viable candidates for admission to and success at selective colleges and universities. Students take courses in art, writing, literature, math, physics, biology, social science and college-preparation skills, while also attending a leadership retreat at the Princeton-Blairstown Center, going on college tours and taking cultural excursions.

QUEST, July 7-18
Contact: Anne Catena, (609) 258-2537, [email protected]
QUEST is a science and math institute for 85 elementary and middle school teachers taught by Princeton faculty and staff, and experts from neighboring institutions. It is designed to enhance teachers' knowledge of science and math through hands-on laboratory experiments and field experiences, and to acquaint them with ideas and activities to use in their classrooms. Another program, CONNECT-ED, teams elementary, middle school and high school teachers with scientists from Princeton and Rider universities to examine how students' understanding of science and math content builds through the K-12 years.

U.S.-Africa Materials Institute
Contact: Wole Soboyejo, (609) 258-5609, [email protected]

Program for Refugees, late June-August
The U.S.-Africa Materials Institute, an initiative directed by Princeton engineering professor Wole Soboyejo, has partnered with the International Rescue Committee to conduct summer science workshops for refugee children attending middle and high schools in New York. The students will receive supplemental instruction in math and science and engage in hands on projects, such as water filters and solar power technology, that could significantly benefit the developing world. "Instead of just teaching them the math and physics, we want to show how it comes together in useful applications," said Soboyejo.