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 history and playwriting to clean energy and DNA.

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 University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua in the Office of Communications at mmbugua@princeton.edu or (609) 258-5733.

Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center

Combustion Summer School, June 26-July 1

Contact: Lilian Tsang, (609) 258-5041, ltsang@princeton.edu

About 140 graduate students and researchers from almost 60 academic institutions, national laboratories and corporations will attend a week of training designed to provide the next generation of combustion researchers with a comprehensive knowledge in the technical areas of combustion theory, experimentation, computation, fundamentals and applications.

The program, now in its second year, is organized by the Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center at Princeton and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Community House

Summer Explorations in Writing and Science, Aug. 1-12

Contact: Marjorie Young, (609) 258-6136, may@princeton.edu

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 at Community House, at 58 Prospect Ave., will focus on writing, while afternoon sessions in Bowen Hall will focus on science.

Computer Science

Center for Computational Intractability

Summer Program in Theoretical Computer Science, June 2-Aug. 15

Contact: Moses Charikar, (609) 258-7477, moses@cs.princeton.edu 

Eighteen high school students, mostly from New Jersey high schools, and four undergraduate students from other institutions will participate in this program aimed at introducing students to advanced topics in theoretical computer science. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Computational Intractability at Princeton.

Graduate School

Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE), June 13-Aug. 5 

Contact: Karen Jackson-Weaver, (609) 258-3257, kjweaver@princeton.edu; Elaine Willey, (609) 258-3033, ewilley@princeton.edu

This program is designed for undergraduates who have completed their sophomore or junior years and express a serious interest in pursuing a Ph.D. with plans to embark on a career in college or university teaching and research. It is intended to prepare students to complete competitive applications to research doctoral programs. Students may work in any of Princeton's academic departments or programs. Undergraduates who are historically underrepresented minorities, who are from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds or who are from liberal arts colleges are especially encouraged to apply. Students conduct independent research, attend a Graduate Record Examination preparation course, as well as receive a stipend and travel allowance. Each PSURE student also will have an opportunity to present their research at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium on July 29-31, in Old Greeenwich, Conn.

James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions

James Madison Seminar on Teaching American History, July 5-Aug. 5

Contact: Bradford Wilson, (609) 258-6333, bpwilson@princeton.edu

The James Madison Program is hosting four eight-day seminars and one five-day seminar for middle and high school teachers of American history. The teachers, who this year all come from New Jersey public schools, participate in the seminar 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.

Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education

International Research Exchange Program (REACH), June-July

Contact: Stephanie Landers, (609) 258-3979, slanders@princeton.edu

The Keller Center has arranged for three undergraduate students from Hong Kong and three undergraduate students from Germany to work in Princeton research laboratories this summer. As part of the exchange program, Princeton students will conduct research abroad, with six students at German universities and three students at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute. 

The program, developed by Princeton's Keller Center in partnership with Princeton's International Internship Program, aims to expose engineering students to international approaches to technology, research and leadership, while giving them hands-on research experience in their field of study. It is a partnership between Princeton, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and ConRuhr, a consortium of three universities in Germany's Ruhr region.

Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE)

Summer Research Opportunities, June-August

Contact: Roxanne Zellin, (609) 258-7922, rzellin@princeton.edu 

MIRTHE, the Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment center, will host 48 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 36 different colleges and universities across the nation, including Princeton.

In addition to the college students, 14 high school students and three high school teachers will work in MIRTHE labs at Princeton and other universities.

The other participating MIRTHE institutions are 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 and New York will meet with the entire MIRTHE community in the final week for the annual MIRTHE Summer Workshop, which will be held this year from July 31 to Aug. 5 on the Princeton campus.  

Molecular Biology

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, June 13-Aug. 12

Contact: Alison Gammie, (609) 258-6380, agammie@princeton.edu

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 Princeton undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, and they experience firsthand what it is like to be a scientist. More than 75 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

Molecular Biology Hands-On: Cool Genes, Colorful Proteins, July 10-22

Contact: Ann Sliski, (609) 258-2075, asliski@princeton.edu

The 2011 Department of Molecular Biology Outreach Program Summer Workshop for secondary school science teachers will consist of a two-week summer workshop for 18 teachers where every day features a mix of laboratory projects and discussions with colleagues and Princeton faculty. The goal is to help prepare teachers to bring cutting-edge biotechnology into their classrooms.

The workshop will feature an 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 perform DNA fingerprinting analyses; test snack foods for evidence of genetic modification; use bioinformatics to analyze their mitochondrial DNA; participate in lunchtime research seminars and discussions led by Princeton faculty; and develop curricula for their classrooms. The program is funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Office of the Vice President for Campus Life

Princeton University Summer Journalism Program, July 29-Aug. 8

Contact: Lily Gold, (609) 258-6651, lgold@princeton.edu

Princeton alumni will lead journalism workshops for 22 students who are entering their senior years of high school and come from low-income backgrounds. The students -- selected from an applicant pool of approximately 175 -- 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, The Daily Beast and CNN offices and receive advice from guest speakers from a number of major media outlets. They also will receive guidance on applying to college during the summer program and throughout the academic year. Fifteen of last year's students have been accepted to Ivy League or other highly selective universities. This is the 10th summer the program is being offered.


Gran Sasso-South Dakota-Princeton Physics Summer School, July 23-Aug. 13

Contact: Helen Ju, (609) 258-5822, helenju@princeton.edu

This program stems from the scientific collaboration between the Department of Physics at Princeton and the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) in Italy, where Princeton scientists conduct research on neutrinos and dark matter. Now in its eighth 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.

Twenty Italian 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 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 to stage dark matter experiments. After finishing there, the students will arrive in Princeton to join the Italian students for a three-week physics program.

Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM)

Princeton Center for Complex Materials

Contact: Dan Steinberg, (609) 258-5598, dsteinbe@princeton.edu

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 6-Aug. 5

Twenty-eight 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 (NSF) through major projects, including the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and NSF's 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.

PCCM/ACS-SEED Research Experience for High School Students, June-August

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Rodney Priestley will mentor two minority high school students in summer research in chemistry. The students, both of whom previously participated in the Princeton University Materials Academy science and engineering summer program, will work with Priestley on cutting-edge materials science and chemistry-related polymer research projects. The program is funded by the NSF through the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the American Chemical Society SEED project. Previous students from this program have been accepted to universities to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The students in this program start in the Princeton University Materials Academy and advance through research experience in SEED.

Research Experience for Teachers, June-August

Three teachers from New Jersey and California high schools will work in the labs of Princeton researchers to gain insight into current research. They will study new materials for alternative energy and ways to enhance materials science and engineering education in K-12 schools. In the next academic year, they will share their experiences, incorporating these concepts into their curricula. Two of the teachers this year are part of PRISM's Partnership for Research and Education in Materials for enhancing diversity in materials research and education.

Princeton University Materials Academy, July 5-22

Twenty high school students from Trenton will be on campus to interact with Princeton faculty and students and learn about materials science, nanoscience and clean energy research. The students will work on ceramic water filters that could improve the quality of life and environmental conditions in parts of Africa.

Princeton University Materials Academy for Middle School, Aug. 1-12

Twelve middle school students will participate in a program that focuses on materials science. The program is dedicated to narrowing the academic achievement gap across racial and ethnic groups and is supported by the NSF -- through Princeton's Center for Complex Materials -- and the University's Community House service organization.

Summer Program for High School Students, July 25-29

About 20 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. 8-11

About 75 students, mostly graduate students, from around the world will come to Princeton to attend lectures and workshops in physics and materials science led by prominent researchers from Princeton, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University and other institutions. The broad themes of this year's school are ultra-cold atoms and magnetism. The program is organized by Princeton graduate students and sponsored by the Princeton Center for Complex Materials and the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science.

Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL)

Contact: Patti Wieser, (609) 243-2757, pwieser@pppl.gov

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 6-Aug. 12

A total of 31 undergraduate students from across the country will spend 10 weeks working with PPPL scientists, participating in current research projects.

High School Research Internship, June 27-Aug. 12

This seven-week program provides a mentored research experience on independent laboratory work in plasma physics for 13 high school students from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Plasma Camp, July 11-15

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

Princeton Summer Theater

Children's Workshops, half-days on Fridays, July 1-Aug. 5

Contact: Teresa Bayer, (609) 682-3204, tbayer@pst2011.org

The summer stock company of young professionals and students from Princeton and other colleges offers weekly workshops for children ages 7-13, introducing them to theater on stage and behind the scenes. This summer's workshops are on improvisation; lights, set and sound; masks and costumes; movement and dance; musical workshop; and playwriting.

Program in Teacher Preparation

Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), June 23-Aug. 5

Contact: Jason Klugman, (609) 258-3337, jklugman@princeton.edu

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 of PUPP 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 Summer Institute, July 5-15

Contact: Anne Catena, (609) 258-2537, acatena@princeton.edu

QUEST is a two-week summer institute in science and mathematics for teachers of grades 3-12. It is designed to enhance teachers' content knowledge and skills for inquiry-based teaching through hands-on experiments and discussion. This summer's professional development will include, "Life and Chemistry in the Ocean," "RxeSEARCH," and "Energy in the 21st Century."

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Contact: Melissa Lyles, (609) 258-4809, melissa@princeton.edu

Junior Summer Institute, June 9-July 29

Thirty-four students, representing 31 colleges and universities throughout the United States and abroad, will participate in the Wilson School's 2011 Junior Summer Institute. Students come from 15 states and six countries -- Ghana, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Kingdom -- and also represent 20 undergraduate majors.

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, multiethnic 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. The institute is one of five held at U.S. universities through the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program, a national consortium of top public policy and international affairs graduate schools that prepare college students for advanced degrees and careers serving the public good.

Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute’s Summer Policy Academy, June 20-24

This program provides high school Native Americans the opportunity to explore the current challenges and issues facing Native Americans and to examine how federal policies have an impact on tribal communities. Each year students are nominated to participate in the program by teachers, community leaders, professionals and tribal leaders. This year's participants come from the Pueblo, Navajo, Jicarilla Apache and Mescalero Apache nations of New Mexico.

Through roundtable discussions, case studies and presentations by Native American leaders and noted scholars, students will examine: Native American policymaking on the federal level and the current political climate; Native American education and the role of language and culture in education; indigenous research and policy implications; protection of natural resources and water rights; sacred sites protection policies; and economic development. The week will culminate in Washington, D.C., where students will present their findings and policy recommendations to the National Congress of American Indians.