Registration for SYP 2020 is now live!

The holidays may be just around the corner, but here at Michigan Technological University, we can’t stop thinking about summer! 

We are excited to announce that our 2020 Summer Youth Programs course catalog is NOW LIVE! We have several NEW courses this year, including:

  • Intro to Machine Learning
  • Transforming Sunlight into Energy
  • Engineering Psychology and Human Factors
  • U.P. Summer Theater Institute 

    Plus, we have over 50 other explorations in a variety of fields. 

    2020 Summer Youth Programs also brings the return of several middle and high school competitive scholarship programs:

  • Women in Engineering
  • Engineering Scholars Program
  • Women in Automotive Engineering
  • Junior Women in Engineering
  • Rail and Intermodal Transportation
  • National Summer Transportation Institute
  • GenCyber

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2020 Summer Youth Program launching SOON!

Summer Youth Programs are coming back in 2020 for another great summer of exploring, learning, and making new friends. This year we will have around 50 courses to offer along with our Competitive Scholarship Programs.  Some new courses for 2020 include:

Into to Machine Learning: The amount of data on the internet is projected to reach over 450 GB per day by the year 2025! Manually analyzing and finding trends in this amount of data is impossible, so we rely on computers and machine learning to do the analysis for us. In this course students will learn how to use machine learning tools to allow for automatic data analysis and visualization. Students will get a glimpse of the problems computer engineers and data scientists work on, as well as an idea of the career opportunities available to those who choose this field.

Transforming Sunlight Into Energy: Ever wondered why solar panels are blue or what they are made of? This exploration will take you into Michigan Tech’s microfabrication facility where you will fabricate, test, and even take home your own solar cell. Additional projects will demonstrate how what you learn in the microfab is being used to fabricate smartphones, computers, lab-on-a-chips, and optical devices.

Engineering Psychology and Human Factors: Human Factors (also referred to as Engineering Psychology) is a scientific discipline which examines human behavior and capabilities in order to find the best ways to design products, equipment and systems for maximum safe, effective, satisfying use by humans. It is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on a range of unique topics of interest in psychology and engineering. Unique concentrations include cognitive ergonomics, which is the scientific discipline of making technology systems compatible with human cognitive abilities and limitations at work. On the other hand, user experience engineering carefully studies how workers interact with tools, technology and systems in order to improve functionality and efficiency. Finally, error prevention is one of the most important specializations because it plays an active role in reducing quality and safety concerns. In sum, Human Factors specialists seek to improve society by saving money, saving time, or saving lives! In this class you will get hands on experience with a driving simulator, eye trackers, robotic motor behavior system, and other commonly used techniques used in the field.

U.P. Summer Theater Institute (Choose from Performers focus or Tech/Design): Do you have dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway? This immersive program will lead aspiring performers through a three week rehearsal period, culminating in performances of a full scale musical for a public audience on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts! The UP Summer Theater Institute has created a program that mirrors the professional rehearsal and performance process that industry professionals are accustomed to when hired at an Equity theater.   For the Tech/Design focus: If you love the theater, but would rather run the soundboard, call the curtain cues, build the set, or run the followspot than perform onstage, this program is for you! This program will give aspiring young designers and theater technicians the chance to hone their understanding of lighting, audio/sound design, set design/construction, costume design/construction, and stage management as the mount a full-scale musical on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

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2019 SYP Story Contest

Thank you to everyone who shared their SYP story with us for the 2019 SYP Story Contest. This is always a tough decision but we do enjoy hearing about so many great memories! Here are our winning entries that will be featured in the 2020 SYP Catalog!

Congratulations to Hailey G. for being our winner for the 2019 SYP Story Contest, Middle School level.

Here is Hailey’s story: 
“My name is Hailey and I was extremely excited to go to Junior Women in Engineering (JWIE) sponsored by ITC Holdings because I didn’t know what field of engineering I want to pursue a career in. JWIE showed me insight into my future career options. This experience let me meet other crazy smart girls with the same interests. Getting to design prosthetic legs, building gliders, and making ice cream taught me about just a few of the many fields of engineering. I even got to learn about engineering off campus when we toured Quincy Mine, the wastewater treatment plant, and more.  JWIE also allowed me to experience college life. Staying in the dorms, eating in the dining hall, and having class in actual classrooms and touring labs. Making fast food runs, attending the variety show, attending the block party, and going to Walmart were just a few of the many evening college life experiences. Spending time with other like-minded girls, and with what I learned at JWIE I am now more certain about my future and want to be either an electrical or computer engineer. I think that everyone should experience SYP before college. SYP is an excellent opportunity to be able to experience Michigan Tech and see some of the amazing opportunities that it has to offer. Experiencing what life has to offer after completing high school as a middle schooler will help me make smarter decisions about my future higher education. I really hope I can attend SYP next year!”

Congratulations to Sarah H. for being our winner for the 2019 SYP Story Contest, High School level.

Here is Sarah’s story: 
“There was just something about the whole experience I can hardly describe with words. I met so many wonderful, intelligent people, I got a glimpse of the incredible opportunities the Michigan Tech campus has to offer, and I feel that for once in my life I finally know what I want to do with my life. I want to go out and explore every corner of the world, like we did on all the excursions every evening; I now know that I have the capability to do just that during my time at college with study abroad programs. I want to work with my hands, just like we did blacksmithing and casting metal; I can easily get a grip on some hands-on work by majoring in mechanical engineering technologies, a major that dabbles in a bit of everything I love. I want to keep improving, to get better at being myself, so that I can be more prepared for the future. I think this experience was one of the first steps in that process. I had more fun in two weeks than I would have spending my summer at home. If I had to just pick one favorite part, I’d choose the whole thing! So for anyone even considering a program like this, do it! No one will experience it the same, but it’s guaranteed to be a great time.”

 

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Calling All Writers!

Where can writing take you? Often students who enjoy writing imagine that writing careers are all about creative writing (the next Great American Novel). If you love to write fiction or poetry, then go for it! But have you thought about other forms of writing like technical writing or writing content for websites?

“Calling All Writers” is a week-long exploration of writing as a profession. You will meet working writers in a variety of fields and learn more about how to shape your writing for different audiences and purposes. You will also have the chance to practice your skills with different writing projects and  learn new ways to approach the writing process, from brainstorming and drafting to revising and submitting for publication.

Don’t worry, attending the “Calling All Writers” program doesn’t mean you will be staring at a blank screen for a whole week trying to think of something to say. We’ll give you plenty of opportunities to get out of the classroom and lots of things to write about. If you are a writer, or want to be one, this is a great opportunity for you to meet and learn from other students who share your interests and from faculty and professional writers who can guide and encourage you along the way.

The “Calling All Writers” course is offered the week of June 16-22, 2019 for students in 9-11th grade. (CN52313) Don’t miss out! Find out more.

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Consumers Energy and DTE Help to Power Renewable Energy Summer Program

Students at Summer Youth Programs love to get hands-on, dive into projects, and try new things. They harness their academic talents in creative ways by solving all kinds of problems. Excitement for STEM comes naturally to the kinds of people who are drawn to SYP: those with curiosity and a sense for how much fun science and engineering can be.

You know who else fits those descriptions? FIRST Robotics students!

Our friends at Consumers Energy and DTE see this connection, and this year we are fortunate to have them as a sponsor. 13 students from Michigan FIRST Robotics teams will receive scholarships to attend our Intro to Renewable Energy program in July. They were awarded during the FIRST Dean’s List and Championship Week events to students from all across the state.

During this class, students will explore renewable energy from batteries to hydroelectric dams, and discover how we harness energy in different ways. Activities may include building and racing solar-powered cars, touring a hydroelectric dam, and building their own turbine.

Zooming with the sun.
Students race solar powered cars as part of a challenge in the renewable energy course.

For Consumers, there is tremendous value to getting students engaged with a summer program like this.

Consumers Energy has boldly and courageously committed to a sustainable future through clean energy. In order to accomplish this, we must engage our students in experiences that will open their eyes to careers involving sustainable technologies. The Intro to Renewable Energy program will be an amazing opportunity for students to gain exposure in this area! We are proud to partner with Michigan Technological University to plant seeds that will yield the talent that will help us to realize this sustainable future!

Monique Wells, Consumers Energy

If this course sounds cool, don’t worry. There are still a handful of spots remaining in Intro to Renewable Energy if you would like to join us this summer! Check out more information on our website at mtu.edu/syp.

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New weeks of programs added!

The school year is coming to an end rapidly, which means that it’s time to think summer! Although some of our SYP explorations have filled up already, we have a few exciting last-minute opportunities that you may want to take advantage of.

  1. Additional week of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The department has added another section of this popular course during the week of June 23-29!
  2. New cybersecurity program. The GenCyber program will run during the week of June 16-22 and provides a full scholarship for those who participate. This program is limited to commuter students and is based on grant funding, which means local or staying-local participants only!
  3.  Space still remaining! We still have plenty of seats remaining, particularly in our June courses! Check out the full catalog to see all the great options that remain.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact our office. We are so excited to see everyone in just a couple of weeks! Our offices can be reached at 906-487-2219 or syp@mtu.edu

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Instructors Needed for Summer Youth Programs

Attention Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and undergrad/graduate students! If you have enthusiasm for a couple of subject areas, we have a great opportunity for you. 

As Summer Youth Programs (SYP) gears up for another exciting season, we are constantly seeking ways to make explorations engaging, impactful, and fun for all participants. With the semester just coming to a close, enrollment is strong – over 950 participants have already enrolled, between scholarship programs and the wide range of SYP explorations! We have hired nearly 65 undergraduate and graduate student staff, built our executive team, and begun preparations for our annual move to Wadsworth Hall. At this time, one remaining hurdle is finding instructors and TA’s to deliver academic curriculum for several of our popular explorations.

What does it take to be an SYP Instructor or TA? Enthusiasm is a must, and previous classroom experience is ideal. If you are interested in delivering structured, hands-on learning to excited and engaged students from across the country, we’d love to hear from you! Learn more at the SYP website. Here is a list of courses we are still hiring instructors for:

  • Environmental Invaders (June 16—22)
  • Rocketry and Space Science (June 16—22 and June 23—29)
  • Aquatic Ecology (July 7—13)
  • Aquatic Ecology Field Study at Gratiot Lake (July 14—20)

For a detailed look at each course, and general idea of what we’re looking for from instructors, below is some additional information:

Rocketry and Space Science
(Instructors Needed: 1 – TA’s: 1)
June 16—22 (grades 6—8 / capacity 15 students) and
June 23—29 (grades 9—11 / capacity 15 students)

Students in this course will learn about aerodynamics and propulsion while building their own rockets! During the week, they use software to explore design elements, build a homemade rocket, explore concepts in physics and engineering, and learn about careers in space science. The week culminates with the students launching rockets at the Gay Stamp Sands. Instructor should be comfortable working with middle and high school students, have experience in rocketry/space science, and have confidence explaining STEM topics to a wide variety of learners.

Aquatic Ecology Field Study at Gratiot Lake
(Instructors Needed: 1 – TA’s: 1)
July 14—20 (grades 9—11 / capacity 8 students)

Students will spend a week out at the rustic Noblet Field Station on Gratiot Lake! During the week, they will explore ecological topics as they relate to lakes, rivers, wetlands, and streams. Aquatic plants, insects, mammals, birds, fishes, and many other topics are welcome – past activities have included extensive canoeing, water quality testing, learning about beaver dams, plant identification, and much more. Instructors should be comfortable with rustic cabin accommodations and have experience in some aspects of aquatic ecology. Instructor or TA should be, or be willing to become, First Aid/CPR certified.

Aquatic Ecology
(Instructors Needed: 1 – TA’s: 1)
July 7—13 (grades 6—8 / capacity 12 students)

Learn about freshwater ecology in Upper Michigan’s beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula! Who’s eating who in the Great Lakes and what makes a species invasive? What exactly is lurking in your typical backyard stream? And why are some lakes clear, while others are green and murky? Find out the answers to these questions and more—learn all about lakes and streams!

Environmental Invaders
(Instructors Needed: 1 – TA’s: 1)
June 16—22 (grades 9—11 / capacity 12 students)

Find out how invasive species join and change ecosystems with this new ecology course. Throughout the week, you will explore plant and animal species that have taken off in the Keweenaw area. Be ready to get out in the field, hike, explore, and help with some invasive species study and removal projects! We will spend the days outdoors, rain or shine!

SYP invites interested applicants to contact us via cpcojobs@mtu.edu  

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Deadline Approaching for Transportation Scholarships

The deadline for two more of our competitive scholarship programs is coming up fast! Students interested in either the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) or our Rail & Intermodal Transportation (RIT) programs need to apply by Wednesday, May 1 at 5 PM.

NSTI is a two-week long program centered on the transportation industry. Students learn about trains, planes, ships, automobiles, highways, and many other aspects of the field. There are numerous field trips, including to the Mackinac Bridge, Sault Ste. Marie, the local airport, and railroad yards.

RIT focuses specifically on the rail industry, including the many ways in which trains, ships, and trucking (there’s the “intermodal” part!) are engineered and operated. Students will learn about advancements in railroad technology, like alternative fuels and advanced train control systems, as well as go on technical tours at facilities in Marquette MI and Duluth MN.

Both programs provide insight into engineering (especially civil engineering), give students a chance to see real-world applications, and center on hands-on exploration. These two programs require completed scholarship applications, and decisions will be made by mid-May.

Send materials in either by scan (nsti@mtu.edu and rit@mtu.edu, respectively) or by snail mail at:

Summer Youth Programs
217 Administration Bldg.
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI  49931

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Introducing our 2019 SYP Head Staff Team!

SYP Head Staff
L to R Front: Grace Kluchka, Mallory Benkert, Skylar Callis  | Back Row: Zachary Smith and Rob Lambert

As the start of Summer Youth Programs quickly approaches, we are very excited to introduce you to our 2019 SYP Head Staff team. This amazing group of Michigan Tech students take on additional leadership in the summer, including training during orientation, coordinating staff schedules, and problem-solving when the unexpected arises.

During the first few head staff meetings, they shared what they are most looking forward to this year. Here are a few of their thoughts:

I have been a counselor in the past and really enjoyed igniting students’ passion for STEM and asking them questions.  I am looking forward to using my past experiences as an activity and day counselor to solve any issues and develop some new campus activities that are free/low cost for participants to try.

Grace Kluchka, Head Activities Counselor

Returning Head Operations Counselor Robert Lambert shared the value of being a second-year as a Head Counselor and third year member of the SYP staff.

I really enjoyed last summer as a head counselor and grew a lot as a leader and a person. This year I am starting with a better understanding of my role and bringing more experience and attention to details.

Mallory Benkert worked with SYP last year as a Student Coordinator; this year, she will bring those strong organizational skills to the leadership team as as Head Counselors’ Counselor. And, no, you didn’t read that wrong—although it is an odd job title! The HCC is in charge of scheduling, general check-ins, and any concerns from the staff members themselves.

I was motivated to apply to be on the leadership team so I can be more “in” the scenes than “behind” the scenes.

Zachary Smith and Skylar Callis also bring a summer of experience to their roles, and will both be taking on new perspectives within SYP. Zach worked at the front desk last year and will move into the Head Residence Counselor Role. Skylar, meanwhile, is taking on Head Operations with Rob after spending last year as a Residence Counselors.

As June approaches and final plans fall into place, we are very excited to work with this Head Staff and our full SYP team to bring another great summer of programs to you. We come back year after year, too, because as it turns out, we love this opportunity just as much as our students do. It’s so much more than a camp or class—it’s an experience. And for many, it’s life changing.

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Devin’s Story from SYP!

At the end of each summer we ask students to share with us what attending Summer Youth Programs meant to them in the form of a story contest, these stories never disappoint! Our 2018 middle school level winner shares her story below.

“My name is Devin and SYP has taught me so much. I learned how to be a strong and independent person, how to make the world a better place. I got to experience college living firsthand, and have fun while doing it all. In Engineering 101 we learned about so many different things that come into play in everyday lives without people even realizing. Everything was hands on and taught us how to think creatively, like the time we designed prosthetic legs out of recycled materials in the Bio-Medical lesson. SYP was nothing close to a regular summer camp, but that’s what made it so special. It was days packed full of learning, amazing food, new friends, and a few Walmart runs all mixed into one unforgettable experience. Michigan Tech has always been my dream college. It was so inspiring to learn about science and engineering from instructors of this amazing school. I learned so much about future career paths and can’t wait to learn even more. I hope in the future there will be more and more female engineers that I will grow to work with and learn from. My experience at camp was absolutely amazing, and I hope I can come back next year.” – Devin O., 2018 SYP participant

We love reading stories like Devin’s and hearing that students are not only learning about careers, but building confidence and independence in themselves and their ability to succeed in college. We also hope that Devin comes back this summer to learn even more and work on her own path to becoming a successful engineer.

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