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The Cooper Union Summer STEM Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

High school students building and programming electric toys and robots at robotics classroom

The Cooper Union Summer STEM Program

The Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is a special learning opportunity for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Held in New York City, this program allows students to dive deep into subjects like robotics, computer science, and engineering through hands-on projects and classes taught by experienced teachers. It’s designed for teenagers who are eager to explore STEM fields and want to get a taste of college-level studies in these areas.

This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know about the program. We’ll talk about what the program is, where and when it happens, and why you might want to join. We’ll also explain how you can apply, what makes the application stand out, the deadline for applying, and some extra tips to prepare you for this exciting experience. Our goal is to provide clear and direct information to help you understand the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program and why it could be a great summer adventure for you.

What is the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program?

The Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is an amazing opportunity for high school students in grades 9 through 12 who are interested in exploring the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This program provides a unique chance for students to either try engineering for the first time or to deepen their understanding of engineering teamwork.

Close up of school students designing and testing STEM robot vehicle project model in robotics class for the competition.

Each class, lasting either 3 or 6 weeks, dives into college-level topics and activities that Cooper Union undergraduates encounter in their first or second years. It’s an inclusive program that welcomes all curious and college-interested students, regardless of their previous experience with STEM.

The Summer STEM 2024 classes cover a wide range of subjects.

1. Intro to Engineering (For 9th Graders, 3 Weeks, In-Person):

Participantss will learn the basics of engineering design, rapid prototyping (making models quickly), sketching, technical drawing, using computer-aided design (CAD), and how to communicate your ideas effectively.

You will work in teams to find a problem, create a solution, and present your ideas on making the world better.

2. Sustainable Futures (For 10th and 11th Graders, 6 Weeks, In-Person):

You’ll learn the importance of sustainability and renewable energy, using software (openLCA) to study environmental impacts, working together on projects, and developing products that don’t harm the planet.

You will be working on team projects focusing on creating sustainable solutions and presenting your strategies and results.

3. Digital Electronics for the Inventor (For 10th and 11th Graders, 6 Weeks, In-Person):

Students will learn the basics of creating electronic devices, including digital logic design, circuit theory, using programmable devices, and the ethics of engineering.

You will be assessing, designing, building, and testing your own digital electronics project with your team.

4. Design and Drawing for Engineering (For 10th and 11th Graders, 6 Weeks, In-Person):

You’ll learn design skills, problem-solving, sketching, technical drawing, CAD, and how to share your ideas. You’ll also learn from faculty, students, and professionals about current engineering problems and solutions.

You will also be expected to identify a community need, design a solution, and prepare a presentation and portfolio to showcase your project.

5. Linear Algebra for Engineering Research (For 10th, 11th, and 12th Graders, 3 Weeks, Online):

Participants will get to learn introductory linear algebra concepts and their application in engineering, including vectors, matrices, linear transformations, and how these can be applied to solve engineering problems.

You will apply what you’ve learned to a research problem in engineering.

Moreover, the unique aspects of the program include guest lectures, hands-on projects, and the opportunity to work in teams on real-world problems. Students not only gain knowledge in specific STEM fields but also develop critical thinking, teamwork, and presentation skills. These experiences prepare them for future studies and careers in engineering and technology, making the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program an invaluable step towards their academic and professional goals.

Where is the Summer STEM Program Being Held?

The Summer STEM Program is held at The Cooper Union, located in the heart of New York City. This famous school is in a bustling area known for its creativity and innovation, making it the perfect backdrop for a program focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Cooper Union is not just any school; it’s a place where students from all over come to learn and grow in a setting filled with history and a commitment to excellence.

View of a modern building.

The program takes place in Cooper Union’s advanced facilities, which are equipped with the latest technology and equipment. Students will get to work in state-of-the-art labs that are designed to foster creativity and innovation. These labs are where Cooper Union’s own undergraduate students make discoveries and invent new things, and now, they open their doors to high school students for the Summer STEM Program.

From modern computer labs with the latest software to workshops filled with 3D printers and fabrication tools, every space is created to give students the best possible environment to learn and explore the vast world of STEM. This setting not only provides the tools needed for hands-on projects but also inspires students by showing them where their interests in STEM can take them in the future.

When Does the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program Take Place?

The Cooper Union Summer STEM Program offers a variety of sessions tailored to different interests and schedules, ensuring that students have the opportunity to participate in this enriching experience during the summer.

For those interested in “Intro to Engineering,” there are two three-week sessions available. The first session begins on July 8, 2024, and the second session starts on July 29, 2024. This gives students the flexibility to choose the timing that works best for them.

For students looking into “Sustainable Futures,” “Digital Electronics for the Inventor,” and “Design and Drawing for Engineering,” these are six-week programs that all start on Monday, July 8, 2024. Each of these programs offers just one session, providing an intensive and immersive learning experience over the summer.

Lastly, the “Linear Algebra for Engineering Research” program is a three-week course that also begins on July 8, 2024. Like the “Intro to Engineering” program, this offers a shorter duration for students interested in focusing on mathematical concepts applied to engineering.

With multiple sessions for some programs and specific start dates for others, the Summer STEM Program at Cooper Union is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of high school students, offering them a chance to dive deep into the world of STEM during their summer break.

Why Should You Join the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program?

Joining the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is a fantastic opportunity for high school students who are curious about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This program isn’t just another summer camp; it’s a chance to dive deep into the subjects you love and discover new passions in a place known for its excellence in education.

One of the biggest benefits of attending this program is the advanced knowledge you’ll gain. The courses are designed to challenge and inspire you, covering topics and skills that aren’t typically taught in high school. Whether you’re designing and building in the “Intro to Engineering” course, exploring sustainable solutions in “Sustainable Futures,” or getting hands-on with digital electronics, you’re learning at a level that prepares you for college and beyond.

Hands-on experience is another key advantage. In the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program, you don’t just learn from textbooks. You get to work on real projects, use state-of-the-art equipment, and apply what you’re learning in practical ways. This experience is invaluable, giving you a taste of what engineers, scientists, and mathematicians do every day.

teacher explaining to students a cell model

Exposure to college-level coursework is also a significant part of the program. You’ll be learning in an environment that mirrors the rigor and intensity of college classes, helping you adjust to the challenges of higher education. It’s an excellent way to get a head start on your college journey, building confidence and skills that will serve you well in the future.

Participating in the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program can also enhance your college applications and career prospects. Colleges look for students who are passionate about their interests and who have taken the initiative to pursue them outside of the classroom. The experience you gain here, along with the projects you work on, can be highlighted in your college applications, showing admissions officers that you’re committed to your STEM interests.

Furthermore, the skills and knowledge you acquire can open doors to future career opportunities. The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are growing rapidly, and employers are always looking for talented individuals with practical experience and a strong educational background. Participating in this program can be a step towards exciting careers in these areas, setting you apart from the competition.

Overall, the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program offers more than just a way to spend your summer. It provides advanced knowledge, hands-on experience, and a glimpse into college-level coursework, all of which can greatly benefit your educational journey and future career path.

How to Join the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program

Joining the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is a great way for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to spend their summer. If you’re thinking about applying, here’s what you need to know about the eligibility criteria, the application process, and any prerequisites or skills that might be helpful.

Who Can Apply?

The Summer STEM Program for 2024 is open to any student who is in high school during the 2023-2024 school year. This means whether you’re currently in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, you can find a class that fits your interests and your current level of education. When you apply, you’ll choose classes based on the grade you’re in at the time of completing the application.

Eligibility for In-Person Classes

In-person classes are available if you can commute to The Cooper Union campus located at 41 Cooper Square in New York City. However, it’s important to note that the program doesn’t sponsor visas, so international students will need to have the right to stay in the US for the duration of the course.

What Does It Cost?

The cost of participating in the Summer STEM Program varies depending on the length of the class you choose. A six-week class costs $3,950, while a three-week class is $1,950. These fees cover everything you need for the class, including all materials and access to any required software and technology.

How to Apply

Applying for a Summer STEM class is straightforward. You’ll need to:

  1. Complete the Summer STEM Application form, which you can find on The Cooper Union’s website.
  2. Submit your high school transcript, so make sure you have a copy ready.
  3. Write two short essays. These are your chance to show your interest in STEM and what you hope to gain from the program.
  4. Get a letter of recommendation. This should be from someone who knows you well and can speak to your abilities and potential in STEM.

To start your application, visit https://connect.cooper.edu/apply/. It’s a good idea to gather all the required documents and think about what you want to write in your essays before you begin the application process.

Prerequisites and Recommended Skills

While there are no strict prerequisites for joining the Summer STEM Program, it’s beneficial to have a keen interest in STEM subjects and a willingness to learn and engage in hands-on projects. Any previous experience or knowledge in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics will certainly help you make the most of the program, but the key is to be curious and open to exploring new concepts and ideas.

Applying to the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is an opportunity to advance your understanding of STEM, work with like-minded peers, and gain valuable experience that can benefit your future academic and career pursuits.

When is the Deadline to Apply for the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program?

The deadline to apply for the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is set for Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 5 pm EST. This deadline is crucial for anyone interested in participating in this enriching summer program. To ensure you don’t miss out on this opportunity, it’s important to mark this date on your calendar and plan accordingly.

Starting the application process early is highly recommended. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin gathering your materials or thinking about what you want to write in your essays. Starting early gives you plenty of time to carefully complete your application, gather all necessary documents, and seek out a meaningful letter of recommendation. It also allows you to reflect on your essays, ensuring they accurately represent your interests in STEM and what you hope to achieve by participating in the program.

Rushing through your application can lead to mistakes or missed opportunities to showcase your strengths and aspirations. By giving yourself ample time, you can thoughtfully prepare your application and ensure it reflects your best self. Remember, the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program is competitive, and a well-prepared application can make a big difference in your chances of being selected. So, get started as soon as possible and take the first step towards an exciting summer of learning and exploration in STEM.

How Hard is it to Get Into the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program?

Getting into the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program can be challenging due to its popularity and the limited number of spots available. This program is known for its high-quality courses and hands-on learning experiences, making it a sought-after opportunity for high school students passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

View of a students writing in the board.

The selection process for the program considers several factors to ensure that participants are both enthusiastic about STEM and prepared to engage fully with the course content. Applicants are required to submit a high school transcript, two short essays, and a letter of recommendation. These materials help the selection committee understand each applicant’s academic background, interest in STEM, and potential for contributing to and benefiting from the program.

The competitiveness of the program means that a standout application is crucial. Here’s what can make your application shine:

  • Strong Academic Record: While the program is open to all levels of experience, a solid academic foundation in relevant subjects can be beneficial.
  • Passionate Essays: Your essays should clearly convey your enthusiasm for STEM, your curiosity, and how you believe the program will help you grow in these areas.
  • Meaningful Recommendation: A letter of recommendation from someone who can attest to your skills, work ethic, and interest in STEM can significantly impact your application.
  • Demonstrated Interest: Any previous involvement in STEM-related activities, projects, or competitions can highlight your commitment and passion for the field.

Given the program’s selectivity, it’s important to approach your application thoughtfully, taking care to showcase your strengths and genuine interest in STEM. Remember, the goal is to demonstrate not only your academic abilities but also your curiosity, creativity, and eagerness to explore the vast world of STEM at Cooper Union.

Final Thoughts

Throughout this blog post, we’ve explored the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program, highlighting its benefits, the range of courses offered, and the invaluable hands-on experience it provides. We’ve detailed how to apply, what makes the application stand out, and the importance of starting the process early.

Getting into this program can be competitive, but with the right preparation, your application can shine. This is a fantastic opportunity to dive deep into STEM, gain advanced knowledge, and enhance your college applications and future career prospects. If you’re passionate about STEM, don’t hesitate—apply to the Cooper Union Summer STEM Program and take a significant step towards your educational and career goals.

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