Author: eafujita

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.


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


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  


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!


Application Deadlines for Scholarship Programs!

As April gets underway, we are fast approaching the application deadline for many of our competitive scholarship programs! The following programs are included in this pool:

  • Women in Engineering (WIE)
  • Engineering Scholars Program (ESP)
  • Junior Women in Engineering (JWIE)
  • Women in Computer Science (WICS)
  • Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE)

Applicants to WIE, ESP, JWIE, WICS, and WIAE who submit a complete set of materials by 5:00 p.m. EDT, April 10, will be considered for acceptance. We do honor postmark, so get everything together and in the mail on that date!

Why apply for one of these intensive STEM programs? The opportunities students will have are so vast: work in teams to test bridge models; solder circuit boards; find out about the human factors in automotive design; explore cybersecurity and virtual reality. In addition, a week on campus has so many experiences to offer, from living with a roommate to eating in the dining hall, managing your own time in the evening to seeing the beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

My experience in the Engineering Scholars Program has been a mix of both meaningful and enjoyable. This unforgettable week has taught me about various fields in engineering and has provided me with the hands-on experience to think and solve crucial problems like an engineer. One of my favorite parts was the first-hand feel for what it is like to live on campus and stepping into the shoes of a college student.

Aarush G., 2018 ESP Participant

More 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.


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.


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.


Stay the Weekend: It’s More Than Just Engineering Camp!

If you’ve looked at our course catalog and wondered how to choose a program, we have good news for you: you don’t have to pick just one! If you wish to stay for more than one program in a row, we can save you the trip home and back, simply sign up to stay the weekend. Making the most of SYP involves both the classroom activities and getting to see more of the beautiful place Michigan Technological University calls home.  

Students who stay at SYP over the weekend (“stayovers”) get a unique chance to explore the wider Keweenaw and Upper Peninsula. Our Weekend Counselors chaperone excursions to places like: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore; Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Mountains State Park; Adventure Mine; and the northern terminus of US-41, the town of Copper Harbor.

When not on these types of UP adventures, stayover students have a chance to relax and unwind in Houghton by going bowling, hanging out on campus, seeing a movie, visiting a local event or museum, or visiting downtown for dinner.

If you do choose to stay with us over the weekend, a stayover fee of $125 per weekend will cover room and board, supervision, meals (both in the dining hall and during away trips), and any applicable excursion expenses.

If you’re like us and are already excited for SYP 2019, visit the online course listing 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.


Automotive Engineering Program Offered for High School Women

Exciting news from Summer Youth Programs—we have another scholarship opportunity for you!

Our friends in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department will be partnering with Dana Incorporated to bring back the Women in Automotive Engineering program this summer!

Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE) is a competitive scholarship program and is essentially an investigation of careers in automotive engineering. WIAE provides an opportunity for academically talented young women to explore the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering within the automotive industry. Through projects and classroom investigations, the participants will build a better understanding of the importance of automotive engineering. Plan to explore real engineering labs; meet and interact with female leaders and role models; and take trips throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula—all while investigating career opportunities and meeting other talented students with similar interests.

Not only did I gain knowledge about majors and career choices, but I learned in a hands on environment, giving me an exciting learning experience. We even raced a go kart to test electric power vs. gas power. I got to work in a lab and was introduced to a variety of careers, showing me how many options my future holds.

Sanam P. from Columbus, OH, WIAE Participant

All selected participants will receive a scholarship made possible by Dana.

For more information and to download the application, visit the Competitive Scholarship Programs page of our website. We are thrilled to have this program back in the rotation for 2019!

If you’re like us and are already excited for SYP 2019, you can go ahead and request a catalog. That way, you will be among the first to receive the 2019 listings when they print. If you have any questions, you can always find us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.