Summer outreach programs foster learning on Princeton campus

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 leadership and entrepreneurship to computer science, music and journalism.

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 programs are part of a busy summer on campus. Princeton's Department of Athletics 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 Director of Media Relations and University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua in the Office of Communications at [email protected] or 609-258-5733.

At the Well Young Women's Leadership Academy

Summer Leadership Camp, July 26-Aug. 7

Contact: Jacqueline Glass, 646-592-1488, [email protected]

At the Well Young Women's Leadership Academy is geared toward building leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills for minority high school-aged girls entering the 10th-12th grade. The academy offers dynamic speakers, standardized test-taking strategies, critical reading and essay writing classes, group activities, and field trips. Speakers include business leaders, entrepreneurs and Princeton University faculty and staff.

The academy provides on-campus housing, which allows the students to learn, study and commune together while experiencing college life firsthand. The academy will host more than 50 students from across the country. 


Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Diversity in Chemistry, June 8-Aug. 7

Contact: Susan VanderKam, 609-258-1727, [email protected]

This selective program provides unique laboratory experiences for qualified, non-Princeton undergraduates, placing each student into research groups directed by Princeton faculty. For nine weeks the undergraduate summer researcher becomes part of the lab group, working side-by-side with post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and other undergraduates. Each student has the opportunity to play a part in cutting-edge research and be a contributing member of the research team.

In addition to the valuable laboratory experience, each summer student participates in research discussion groups and safety training, and has the opportunity to participate in summer field trips, including an industrial chemistry laboratory tour, and an end of summer research poster session.

Undergraduate Summer Research in Molecular Biophysics, June 8-Aug. 9

Contact: Kuri Chacko, 609-258-3924, [email protected]

Now in its 11th year, this program offers interdisciplinary research experience in leading laboratories to students majoring in the physical or mathematical sciences or engineering at colleges with limited research opportunities. The program is open only to non-Princeton students. Each student serves as a research assistant in the laboratory of a Princeton faculty member who serves as a mentor and research adviser. The program directors, in consultation with training faculty, match student interests to available projects. Regular meetings with the faculty mentor and members of the laboratory team provide guidance for experimental design, methods and progress. By the end of the program, students prepare a formal written report on their research and present an oral summary. Students also are integrated with other summer students to share educational and social activities. 

Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center

Princeton-CEFRC Summer School on Combustion, June 21-26

Contact: Chung Law, 609-258-5271, [email protected]

Nearly 200 graduate students and researchers representing 12 countries and 27 states will come from 61 academic institutions, as well as national and international laboratories and corporations, to attend a week of lectures designed to provide the next generation of combustion researchers with a comprehensive knowledge in the technical areas of combustion theory, experimentation, computation and applications.

The program, now in its sixth year, is organized by the Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center at Princeton with primary sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Computer Science

Center for Computational Intractability: Summer Program in Theoretical Computer Science, June 22-July 31

Contact: Moses Charikar, 609-258-7477, [email protected]

More than 55 high school students, mostly from New Jersey, and 11 undergraduate students, will participate in this program aimed at introducing students to advanced topics in theoretical computer science. The program is hosted by Princeton's Center for Computational Intractability and is partly supported by the National Science Foundation's grant to Rutgers University-Camden.

Graduate School

Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (PSURE), June 14-Aug. 8

Contact: Renita Miller, 609-258-7193, [email protected]; Jennifer Loessy, 609-258-9637, [email protected]

This program is designed for rising college seniors with a serious interest in pursuing a Ph.D., with plans to pursue a career in teaching and research. It is intended to prepare students to be competitive applicants to research-based doctoral programs. Students may work in any of Princeton's academic departments or programs. Undergraduates who are historically underrepresented, 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 and an intensive research methods seminar, and complete workshops on applying to competitive graduate school programs. In addition, students receive training on preparing academic oral presentations and complete a final paper, which serves as a writing sample for the graduate school application process.

Each PSURE student receives a stipend and travel allowance, and has an opportunity to present their research at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium from July 24-26 in Stamford, Connecticut.

Keller Center

Contact: Stephanie Landers, 609-258-3979, [email protected]

International Research Exchange Program (REACH), June-July

The Keller Center has arranged for six undergraduate students from Hong Kong, and one undergraduate and three graduate 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 six students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The REACH 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, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, and University Alliance Ruhr, a consortium of three universities in Germany's Ruhr region.

eLab, June 8-Aug. 14

The Keller Center's eLab Summer Accelerator is a launch pad for student startups, a creative co-working space open, by application only, to some of Princeton's student entrepreneurs. Students will spend 10 weeks learning from innovators and investors to fine-tune their nascent startup ideas to develop them into viable and scalable ventures. At the end of the program, the students participate in two Demo Days — one in Princeton and one in New York — when they will share their plans with investors, inventors, experts and others from the entrepreneurial community. There are seven teams in the eLab Summer Accelerator Program this summer and they are the first class to occupy the brand new Entrepreneurial Hub at 34 Chambers St., in downtown Princeton.

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)

LEDA Summer Institute, June 20-Aug. 8

Contact: Beth Breger, 646-641-3568, [email protected]

Since 2005, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) has hosted their annual Summer Institute on Princeton's campus. Over seven weeks, 100 high achieving, low-income high school juniors from across the country are empowered to gain admission to and succeed at the country's most selective colleges. By helping qualified students from low-income backgrounds access these institutions, LEDA seeks to ensure that our nation's leaders are truly reflective of its citizenry. While at Princeton, LEDA scholars receive leadership training, writing instruction, standardized test preparation, one-on-one college counseling and more. In college and beyond, LEDA scholars receive ongoing community-building, academic advising, career counseling and postgraduate planning to support their continued success.

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

Summer Research Opportunities, June-August

Contact: Roxanne Zellin, 609-258-7922, [email protected]

MIRTHE, the Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment Center, will host 26 undergraduate students at Princeton and its partner institutions for eight 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 16 colleges and universities across the nation, including Princeton. In addition to the college students, eight high school students (rising seniors age 16 and older) and three high school teachers will work in MIRTHE labs at Princeton and other universities. The other participating MIRTHE institutions are Rice University, Texas A&M, City College of New York and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. The students at the sites in Maryland, Texas and New York will come to Princeton for the last two days of the program for a research presentation workshop, which will be held July 30-31 in Bowen Hall.

Molecular Biology

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, June 8-Aug. 7

Contact: Alison Gammie, 609-258-6380, [email protected]

Each summer, the Department of Molecular Biology, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and the Genentech Foundation 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 77 percent of former participants have since pursued degrees in Ph.D., M.D. or combined M.D. /Ph.D. programs.


So Percussion Summer Institute, July 19–Aug. 2

Contact: Yumi Tamashiro, 646-926-2330, [email protected]

The So Percussion Summer Institute is an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for college-age percussionists and composers. The four members of So Percussion, the Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence at Princeton, serve as faculty in rehearsal, performance and discussion of contemporary music. The 2015 institute will focus on the interface of percussion music and movement (dance, theater and inherent physical motion). Participants will have the opportunity to work with award-winning directors Rinde Eckert and Mark DeChiazza, as well as take part in master classes, composition lessons and coachings with renowned composers and performers; performances around Princeton; and readings by So Percussion of student composers' pieces.

Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium and International Piano Festival, July 11–19

Contact: Adrienne Sirken, 609-306-1237, [email protected]

This symposium for pianists, teachers and musicians of all ages features lectures, master classes, technique clinics, private lessons, supervised practice time and other presentations related to the Taubman Approach, as well as an international piano festival featuring performances by renowned pianists, open to the public. Six recitals will take place as part of the piano festival. For festival tickets, call University Ticketing at 609-258-9220.

Office of the Dean for Research

Laboratory Learning Program, June-August

Contact: Karla Ewalt, 609-258-9410, [email protected]

The Laboratory Learning Program is a supervised educational program that allows a limited number of high school students, with the support of their schools, to conduct research in Princeton science and engineering laboratories. These educational research opportunities are normally limited to students 16 years of age and older who have not yet graduated from high school. This selective program is designed to offer students an opportunity to participate actively in state-of-the-art research projects, under the mentorship and supervision of a Princeton faculty member. Students selected for the program will be integrated into the daily research experience of the laboratory, participating in meetings, seminars, research discussions and other appropriate educational activities.

Research opportunities for high school students normally take place over a summer, though the faculty mentor will define exact terms.

Pace Center for Civic Engagement

Camp PALS Princeton, June 28-July 4

Contact: [email protected]

Sponsored by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, Camp PALS Princeton hosts a weeklong sleep-away camp for young adults with Down syndrome at Princeton University. Camp PALS Princeton provides an opportunity for 40 campers age 21-30 to live on campus, while being able to easily walk into town. The week includes kayaking, playing laser tag and visiting the Jersey Shore. The PALS program provides a place for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers to have fun, grow as individuals and build transformative friendships.

Community House
STEAM Summer Camp, June 29-July 31

Contact: Charlotte Collins, 609-258-0164, [email protected]

The Community House STEAM Summer Camp, hosted by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, offers underrepresented middle school students from the Princeton area a fun foray into science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). Organized and run by a team of Princeton student camp associates, the camp focuses on making learning the STEAM subjects fun and educational. With a curriculum developed by Princeton graduate students (as well as alumni in the field and some undergraduates), each week of the camp will weave together science in the arts with exploration of engineering and media arts, biology and performing arts, technology applications and visual arts, and environmental science and creative writing. STEAM summer campers will also take field trips related to the week's arts and science themes.

Princeton University Summer Journalism Program, July 31-Aug. 10

Contact: Azza Cohen, [email protected]

Now in its 14th year, 25 high school students from low-income backgrounds come every summer to Princeton's campus for an intensive, 10-day seminar on journalism. The program's goal is to diversify college and professional newsrooms by encouraging outstanding students from low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in journalism.

Founded and directed by four Princeton alumni from the Class of 2001 — Richard Just, Michael Koike, Gregory Mancini and Rich Tucker — the program is staffed by professional journalists and students who attended the program in past summers. An intern through Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement helps organize, prep and run the program each year.

Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM)

Contact: Dan Steinberg, 609-258-5598, [email protected]

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 8-Aug. 7

About 20 college students from around the country will conduct research in the labs of Princeton faculty members, working on cutting-edge problems in materials science based in engineering, physics and chemistry departments. Their work will be funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through major projects, including PCCM and NSF's Partnership for Research and Education in Materials at California State University-Northridge.

Princeton University Materials Academy, July 13-30

Sixteen high school students from Trenton, New Jersey, will be on campus to interact with Princeton faculty and students and learn about materials science and sustainability in Princeton University labs and classrooms. The students will work on solar cells, wind and hydrogen alternative energy solutions.

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.

Summer School for Condensed Matter Physics, July 24-28

More than 200 participants, 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, the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute for Advanced Study and other institutions. The broad themes of this year's summer school are new insights into quantum matter. The program is organized by Princeton graduate students and sponsored by the PCCM and the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science and Prospects in Theoretical Physics (PiTP) of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).

Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL)

Research Experience for Undergraduates, June 8-Aug. 15

Contact: Jeanne Jackson DeVoe, 609-243-2757, [email protected]

Twenty-three undergraduate students from across the country in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program, along with two students in the Community College Internship Program, will spend 10 weeks working with PPPL scientists on current research projects. The students will take a weeklong introductory course in plasma physics and will work with PPPL scientists who serve as mentors for their research projects. The students will then present their projects in a poster session at the end of the internship.

Princeton University Art Museum

Summer Internship Program, June 8-Aug. 7

Contact: Caroline Harris, 609-258-7482, [email protected]

The art museum offers a nine-week summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students from any accredited four-year university or college program. Interns have the opportunity to work in one of the following departments: curatorial, education, development, information technology, marketing, office of the registrar, publications or retail operations. Not all departments take interns each summer, and interns are placed on the basis of their experience, academic training and departmental need. In addition to their departmental responsibilities, interns participate in a two-day orientation program during their first week and weekly lunch discussions with museum staff. Field trips and networking opportunities with interns at other arts-related organizations are also arranged.

Program in Teacher Preparation

Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP), June 20-Aug. 7

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 partner schools in Mercer County, New Jersey. 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 6-10 and Aug. 17-21

Contact: Anne Catena, 609-258-2537, [email protected]

Princeton's Program in Teacher Preparation will offer weeklong summer institutes in science and mathematics for teachers of grades K-12 that are designed to enhance teachers' content knowledge and their skills through hands-on experiments and discussion. The summer program will include the July 6-10 campus-based seminars for teachers of grades 3-8, including "How Do Humans Impact Local Climate?" focusing on the research of David Medvigy, an assistant professor of geosciences. The same week, teachers in grades 3-12 will partake in "Sustainability — Living on the Edge," with Laurel Goodell, undergraduate lab manager in the Department of Geosciences. They will explore the mitigation of damage from natural disasters. A new field-based program, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Maine's Intertidal Communities," will take place at Acadia National Park in Maine Aug 17-21. During that program, teachers will learn how to observe biological patterns and how to frame research hypothesis/questions.

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Contact: Gilbert Collins, 609-258-4809, [email protected]

Junior Summer Institute, June 10-July 31

Twenty-nine students, representing 24 colleges and universities throughout the United States, will participate in the Wilson School's 2015 Junior Summer Institute. Students come from 16 states and represent 14 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, 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 and knowledge they have gained. The institute is one of four held at U.S. universities through the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program, a national consortium of top graduate public policy and international affairs 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 13-21

This program provides high school Native Americans the opportunity to explore challenges and issues facing Native Americans and to examine how federal policies have an impact on tribal communities. 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 and Jicarilla 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. This year's program will explore education policies that impact language and culture. Participants will define their vision of education that strikes a balance between their traditions and rigorous academic preparation. They will also research how tribes as sovereigns and their schools can secure waivers from Common Core standards as states do and develop recommendations for investing in the development of youth programs and service programs to build the capacity in their tribal communities to respond to the challenges they face. The week will culminate in Washington, D.C., where students will present their findings and policy recommendations to the National Congress of American Indians, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, White House domestic policy advisers, the New Mexico congressional delegation and the World Bank.