Month: February 2019

Early Application Deadline for Engineering Summer Programs

February is coming to an end, which means it is time for a first round of acceptances to three of our flagship programs: Women in Engineering (WIE), Engineering Scholars Program (ESP), and Women in Computer Science (WICS). Our “early accept” deadline is tomorrow, which also reminds us of how quickly summer is approaching!

Applicants to WIE, ESP, and WICS who submit a complete set of materials by 5:00 p.m. EST, March 1, will be considered for early acceptance. We do honor postmark, if you can get everything together and in the mail on that date.

Why do we do two rounds of selection for some of these programs? For many years, we held one deadline for all programs, ready to tackle a huge round of decisions. But, people started letting us know that they need to know sooner—with family vacations, band camps, the start of sports season, coordinating travel arrangements, and other summer obligations, it became increasingly important to know whether or not a student was accepted to one of our programs.

Being based at a university, we know all about early application deadlines in a college context, and decided to implement something similar for a few of our programs.

There is no specific advantage or preference for this group; the benefit is primarily for families who need to plan ahead. It’s also very helpful for our international applicants, who might need extra lead time to secure a visa, book a flight, or make other arrangements.

All of the details about the scholarship programs, including required application materials, can be found on our website. If you have any questions, you can always reach us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.


Building A Successful Summer Youth Programs Team

SYP SnowmanWith summer just around the corner (or should I say somewhere around the snowbank!), the time has come for us to hold interviews and begin filling the 65+ roles that it takes to make SYP a great experience. Each year, we hire a large seasonal staff for a wide variety of roles from live-in counselor to bus chaperones. This team, many of whom are current Michigan Tech students, always bring their own life experiences, fresh perspectives, and what we call a #BeAwesome attitude to the program—each summer is unique!

So, how do we build a successful team?  
With over 1,000 participants attending our summer programs, we rely on the staff in many ways and they need to be prepared for anything! The good news is, a lot of our staff already know so much before they even apply. With over 700 SYP alumni now attending Michigan Tech, it’s no surprise when many of them want to come back to the program to work as a counselor. They looked up to past SYP counselors for guidance and saw them as positive role models—now they want to give back. These program alumni, along with our dedicated returning staff, are excited to recreate the positive and inviting environment they experienced with SYP and become leaders for new staff members.

Training, Training, Training!
Once our team is selected, the real fun begins! Before any participants arrive on campus, our full team goes through extensive training both in-person, online, and through independent reading. We utilize Expert Online Training sessions that include educational videos and quizzes to prepare staff about problem solving, bullies, becoming a youth development professional, cultivating patience, listening, safe talk and safe touch, helping students fit in, supervising, and more.

All staff then attend a week-long training the week before programs begin that covers: CPR/First Aid training, van certification, background checks, building security, fire drills, mandated reporter training, Title IX training, case studies, student/staff rules and expectations, inclusion conversations, and much more. Even after this week is over, the training never really ends. The best counselors know that they are always learning and growing as they meet new participants each week. Some even say they don’t want it to end.

“THE BEST JOB EVER. The best hours, the best coworkers, and the best professional staff. Everything about this job is great. We heard about the student who wrote for the story contest and she stated, ‘My only regret is not being able to do it again next summer,’ and that is so applicable to me as an employee. I had so much fun with the students and hearing about all of their projects, that the only sad part would be if I am only able to get this opportunity once. Hopefully I can be back at it next summer!”
– Sarah, 2018 SYP staff 

It doesn’t get much better.
As a professional staff, we are so grateful to the incredible student staff who are the heart and soul of SYP—especially to our returners and head staff, some of whom have dedicated three, four, or even more summers to inspiring young people. 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. Watching it all unfold; the friendships, the lessons learned, and the discovery of a career path they are passionate about, is what makes each year of planning all worth it.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking at Summer Camp

Have you ever wondered what it takes to start your own business? Got an idea for a product or innovation that you want to get going on? Love problem-solving?

If any of these questions sound like you or someone you know, consider a new exploration that Summer Youth Programs (SYP) is offering this year: From Idea to Market.

Created as a hybrid of two previous explorations (Be Your Own Boss and The World of Design), From Idea to Market is hosted jointly by Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics and the Pavlis Honors College. To get a first-hand account of how fun a course like this can be, we talked to current Michigan Tech student Sarah Smyth, who attended Be Your Own Boss when she was a high school student.

“I decided to try the business exploration because I wanted to see a bit of what business is like,” Smyth says. She notes that she enjoyed business-related courses in high school and wanted to explore the field further by coming to SYP.

From Idea to Market will cover many aspects of business as well as design thinking: a human-centered process for developing innovative solutions to life’s messy problems. Students will identify a problem they’d like to address and apply the design thinking process to create an innovative solution.

Students explore design thinking at The Alley, Michigan Tech's MakerSpace.
Students explore design thinking at The Alley, Michigan Tech’s MakerSpace.

The course will then dive into the basics of what it takes to start a business by applying the Lean Start-up process to develop a business model. Get ready to pitch your idea to a panel of judges—and you’ll have an opportunity to market your ideas right here on campus.

Don’t worry: no prior experience or knowledge is necessary to become a Michigan Tech SYP innovator and entrepreneur! Smyth’s experience highlights the fun of exploring a new potential major, noting that her favorite part was “the ability to try out my ideas, and talk to professors about their subjects of expertise.” It’s personal, too, and set her up for a great first-year experience as an undergraduate student at Michigan Tech: “I was given the opportunity to meet my future teachers and they still remembered me when I started [here] the following year.”

Students meet with a local business owner at KC Bonker’s toys and coffee.

What else does Sarah remember from her time at SYP outside of class? The experience of being on campus during the summer, making friends, and finding out what being a Husky is all about.

SYP has some of the best people you will ever meet. Everyone is so open and friendly. When going to the beach trip I forgot my swimsuit but a girl I never talked to before offered me her extra one and we got to hang out in the water together. The people here really do care about you and that’s what makes Michigan Tech such an amazing place to go.

We can’t wait to see some of you this June at From Idea to Market. If you’re like us and are already excited for SYP 2019, visit the online course listing to sign up today or request a mailed catalog. If you have any questions, you can always find us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.


Hemlock Semiconductor Scholarships for Engineering Scholars Program

We are pleased to announce that Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation (HSC) will once again be sponsoring 30 scholarships aimed at Michigan high schoolers from Midland, Saginaw, and Bay counties who have expressed an interest in STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) or have demonstrated scholastic success in those subjects.

2018 recipients of the award during a reception at HSC.
2018 recipients of the award during a reception at HSC.

Students must apply and be selected competitively; selected students will receive a scholarship valued at $1000 to cover the tuition, boarding, and transportation to attend the Engineering Scholars Program at Michigan Technological University. ESP is hosted every year by Michigan Tech Summer Youth Programs; this year, it will be offered during the week of July 21–27, 2019. Throughout the week, students are exposed to 10+ types of engineering through group projects, engineering sessions, creative problem-solving activities, and special topic sessions.

Interested applicants should consider the following:

  • This award is for students who attend a school located in Midland, Bay, or Saginaw counties.
  • Eleventh grade students will be given first priority; high-performing ninth and tenth graders may also be considered.
  • All students should have an interest in STEM education or careers, and have demonstrated scholastic success in these subjects.
  • Michigan Technological University will review applications and select scholarship recipients based on merit.
  • At least one award will be guaranteed per school with applicants; more than one from a given school will be considered if additional spots remain.

Sound like you or someone you know? The overview and application contain many more details. You can also get more information about ESP by visiting the Competitive Scholarship Programs page of the SYP website and clicking on “Engineering Scholars Program.”

Questions about this award are welcome at the Summer Youth Programs office at 906-487-2219 or esp@mtu.edu.