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 American constitutional history to modern molecular biology and genetics.

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 dozens of 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 Media Officer Emily Aronson in the Office of Communications at [email protected] or (609) 258-5733.

Community House
Contact: Maria Bohn, (609) 258-6136, [email protected]
Summer Explorations in Writing and Science, July 20-31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A collaboration with the Princeton Center for Complex Materials, this program will provide area middle school students with a chance to improve their writing skills and to learn about sustainability with hands-on science activities. Morning sessions in the Fields Center for Cultural Equality and Understanding will focus on writing, while afternoon sessions in Bowen Hall will focus on science.

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 15-Aug. 7
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 29-July 30
The Madison Program hosts five 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.

Contact: Scott Kenney, (609) 258-4202, [email protected]
Program for Woman and Mathematics, June 8-19
Contact: [email protected]
The annual Program for Women and Mathematics is coordinated with the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. The main theme of this year's program is "Geometric PDE" -- using analytic tools such as partial differential equations to solve problems in geometry. Undergraduate students will be introduced to the basic notions of differential equations and geometric curvatures. Graduate students will study model differential equations such as the Gaussian curvature equations on compact surfaces, the prescribing curvature equations and the evolution equations related to the curvature flows. There will also be research seminars and colloquium talks.

Summer Workshop in Mathematics, June 11-19
Contact: [email protected]
This workshop is intended for female rising high school seniors interested in mathematics. Participants in the workshop will attend two mathematical courses and in the afternoon will work in groups on an exploration topic related to a course of their choice. Throughout the workshop, students will meet undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty of the Department of Mathematics.

In addition to the mathematical activities, various other events are planned. Attendees will participate in the "Women in Science" seminar every afternoon, organized jointly with the Program for Women and Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. They also will hear a panel discussion by Princeton undergraduates on applying to college and take a mathematics-themed tour of campus.

Summer Program in Mathematics, July 27-Aug. 14
Contact: Jill LeClair, (609) 258-4443, [email protected]
This intensive program for up to 25 mathematicians consists of three related courses in analysis and geometry. Each course will be composed of eight one-hour lectures. The main lectures will be complemented by two-hour problem sessions each afternoon conducted by graduate students within the department. The program is part of a research training grant from the National Science Foundation.

Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE)
Contact: Roxanne Zellin, (609) 258-7922, [email protected]
Summer Research Opportunities, June-August
The Engineering Research Center for Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) will host 34 undergraduate students at Princeton and its five partner institutions for nine weeks of research and education. The students will participate in original, hands-on research projects and attend short courses and lectures that explore the challenges of hardware, software and systems engineering of trace chemical sensors. The center's research could yield important new technology related to health, homeland security and especially the environment. Students also visit nearby government and industrial labs. The undergraduate students hail from 18 colleges and universities across the nation, including Princeton.

In addition to the college students, 11 high school students will work in MIRTHE labs at Princeton and other universities, as well as six high school teachers and one community college teacher.

The participating MIRTHE institutions are: Princeton University, 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 meet with the entire MIRTHE community in the final week for the annual MIRTHE Summer Workshop. The workshop will take place Aug. 2-7 on the St. John's University campus in New York City and at City College of New York.

Molecular Biology
Summer Undergraduate Research Program, June 15-Aug. 14
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 firsthand 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.

Outreach Program Summer Workshop for Secondary School Science Teachers
Hot Topics, Cool Genes, July 12-24
Contact: Ann Sliski, (609) 258-2075, [email protected]

The 2009 Department of Molecular Biology Outreach Program Summer Workshop for secondary school science teachers will consist of a two-week summer workshop for 20 teachers focusing on hands-on experimental work in the laboratory 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.

The workshop will feature a new experiment using a rainbow of fluorescent proteins from Roger Tsien's BioBridge program at the University of California-San Diego. Tsien was a co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry. 

In the program, teachers also will: isolate their own DNA and, using the polymerase chain reaction, perform DNA fingerprinting analyses; test snack foods for evidence of genetic modification; explore the new field of metagenomic analysis of microbial samples; conduct a forensic DNA experiment; participate in lunchtime research seminars and discussions led by Princeton faculty; and develop curriculum for their classroom. The program is funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Office of the Vice President for Campus Life
Contact: Isabel Schwab, (609)-258-8046, [email protected]

Summer Journalism Program, July 31-Aug. 10
Princeton alumni will lead journalism workshops for 23 students from low-income backgrounds who are entering their senior years of high school. The students -- selected from an applicant pool of approximately 275 -- 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 eighth summer the program is being offered.

Program in Teacher Preparation
Contact: Jason Klugman, (609) 258-3337, [email protected]

Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), June 25-Aug. 4
This intensive, three-year college preparation program supports a select group of academically gifted high school students from low-income families who attend partner schools in Mercer County. 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.

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

Gran Sasso-South Dakota-Princeton Physics Summer School, July 18-Aug. 8
This program stems from the scientific collaboration between the physics department at Princeton and the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy, where Princeton scientists conduct research on neutrinos and dark matter. In its sixth year, the program is open to students enrolled in the fourth and fifth year of high schools located in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Its sponsors include Princeton, LNGS and the South Dakota Department of Education.

At least 20 students have been selected on a competitive basis. The activities in Princeton will range from physics and astrophysics courses to English language instruction. The program also will involve 10 students from South Dakota who are recipients of the Davis-Bahcall Scholarships, provided by 3M, which cover their expenses for the program. Prior to arriving in Princeton, the Davis-Bahcall Scholars will be visiting and attending lectures for a week at the Sanford Underground Lab at Homestake in Lead, S.D., a former goldmine where scientists studied solar neutrinos and plan on staging dark matter experiments. Finishing there, the students will fly to Geneva and spend a brief period at the European Organization for Nuclear Research called CERN, LNGS and several other sites before joining the other students in Princeton.

Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials
Contact: Dan Steinberg, (609) 258-5598, [email protected]
Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 8-Aug. 7
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.

Partners in Science, June-August
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.

Research Experience for Teachers, June-August
Two 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, July 6-24
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 work on ceramic water filters that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa. On July 20-21, about 10 middle school students will participate in a related program that focuses on climate and energy sustainability. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation (through Princeton's Center for Complex Materials) and the U.S.-Africa Materials Institute.

Summer Program for High School Students, July 27-31
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.

Materials Camp for Teachers, Aug. 3-7
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 fifth year, the camp has resulted in several schools adopting materials science programs as a way of integrating physics, chemistry and mathematics into the curriculum. The project is supported through a partnership with the American Society for Metals.

Summer School for Condensed Matter Physics, Aug. 3-6
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.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
Contacts: Tony DeMeo, (609) 243-2755, [email protected]; Patti Wieser, (609) 243-2757, [email protected]
Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 15-Aug. 14
A total of 42 undergraduate students from across the country and 12 local high school students will spend 10 weeks working with PPPL scientists, participating in current research projects.

U.S. Department of Energy Academy Creating Teacher-Scientists Program, July 1-Aug. 12
This six-week program provides mentored research experience for high school and middle school teachers. Participants are placed in a particular research project based upon academic preparation, teaching assignments, experiences and interests. Research opportunities include physics, engineering, electronics, computer science and environmental science projects. Participants will work with PPPL scientists, engineers and master teachers. At the end of the summer, teachers can apply for $2,000 mini-grants for classroom supplies that support curricula developed based upon the research experience. Funding to provide professional development to other teachers at regional and national conferences is also available.

Plasma Camp, July 20-24
About a dozen science teachers from local middle schools, as well as high schools across the nation, will work in the PPPL's Plasma Science Education Laboratory to study plasma physics and fusion energy and create new curricula based upon the workshop.

Princeton Summer Theater
Contact: Maggie Tominey, (609) 258-7062, [email protected]
Children's Workshops, Fridays, July 3-Aug. 7, 1 to 4 p.m.
The summer stock company of young professionals and students from Princeton and other colleges offers weekly workshops for children ages 7-12, introducing them to theater on stage and behind the scenes. This summer's workshops are on musical theater; playwrighting; documentary theater; sets, lighting and costumes; storytelling on stage; and acting through voice and movement.

QUEST Summer Institute, July 6-17
Contact: Anne Catena, (609) 258-2537, [email protected]
QUEST is a two-week summer institute in science for teachers of grades K-12. It is designed to enhance teachers' content knowledge and skills for inquiry-based teaching through hands-on experiments and discussion. This summer class topics will be: "Human Body Systems"; "Climate Change and Alternative Energy"; "Life and Chemistry in the Ocean"; and "Our Place in Space: Make a Model of your Universe."

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Contact: Melissa Lyles, (609) 258-4809, [email protected]
Junior Summer Institute, June 11-July 31
Thirty-five students from colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad will participate in the Woodrow Wilson School's 2009 Junior Summer Institute (JSI). The program helps prepare students for graduate study and careers in public policy and international affairs by providing participants with the tools of critical thinking, speaking, writing and quantitative reasoning and the skills and experiences necessary to create, analyze, implement, evaluate, and affect policy in a multicultural, multi-ethnic society.

Coursework includes seven weeks of policy-related classroom instruction, including a policy workshop on either a domestic or international policy issue. As part of the program's culmination, students will present a comprehensive final report on a current policy issue that will encompass the skills acquired and the knowledge base gained.