The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

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

The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is a special opportunity for students like you to dive deep into the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Held at the United States Naval Academy, this program brings together high school students from all over to learn, explore, and create under the guidance of experts. STEM is more important than ever in today’s world. It’s behind the gadgets we use, the games we play, and the technologies that keep us safe. By understanding STEM, you’re not just preparing for your future career; you’re also learning how to solve problems and make a difference in the world.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program. We’ll talk about what the program is, where and when it happens, and why you should consider joining. We’ll guide you through how to join and apply, and discuss how tough the competition is to get in. Also, we’ll let you know the application deadline so you won’t miss out. Our goal is to give you all the information you need in a simple and straightforward way. So, whether you’re already set on applying or just curious about what the program offers, keep reading to find out more.

What is the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program?

The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is an exciting chance for students who dream about careers in coding, game development, design, or robotics engineering to get a head start. Imagine a place where your love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can grow, where you can push the limits of what you know and dive into the unknown with curiosity and excitement. That place is the Summer STEM Program at the Naval Academy.

The entrance to the US Naval Academy

At its core, STEM is about exploring new ideas, creating innovative solutions, building amazing things, and making the world a better place. The Naval Academy’s Summer STEM Program embodies these principles by offering a range of activities and learning experiences designed to challenge and inspire you. You’ll join students from across the country, forming a unique community of young scholars eager to test their problem-solving skills, unleash their creativity, and learn the value of teamwork.

Activities and Learning Experiences

The program is hands-on, immersive, and intensely fun. You’ll engage in a variety of academic modules that will push you to think differently and work collaboratively. Here are some of the unique opportunities you might encounter:

  • Reverse Engineering: Get up close and personal with the inner workings of machinery by taking apart and reassembling a lawn mower engine. This module isn’t just about using tools; it’s a deep dive into the theory and practice behind small motor engines, offering a practical application of engineering concepts.
  • Searching for Unobtanium: Ever wondered about the materials that make up the world around you? In this adventure, you’ll explore the stories behind different materials, understand why some fail, and get hands-on experience with materials characterization methods in the USNA Electrical Engineering labs.
  • Storm Chasing: Test your architectural and engineering prowess by designing a structure capable of withstanding 150 mph winds. Then, bring your design to life and see how it holds up in the USNA Hydro Lab’s wind tunnel.
  • Coding Challenges: For those interested in developing their programming skills, the program presents challenges that require writing your own code. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, you’ll find opportunities to grow and test your abilities.

Subjects Covered

The Summer STEM Program covers a wide range of subjects, ensuring that every participant finds something that sparks their interest. You’ll delve into engineering, both from a theoretical perspective and through practical, hands-on projects. Math and science principles will come to life as you apply them in real-world scenarios. Technology, especially in the realms of coding and digital design, will be a significant focus, providing you with valuable skills that are highly sought after in today’s job market.

In summary, the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is not just a camp; it’s a launching pad for your future in STEM. It’s an opportunity to explore your passions, meet like-minded peers, and get a taste of what a career in STEM could look like. By participating, you’re not just preparing for college; you’re stepping into the role of an innovator, ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Where is the Summer STEM Program Being Held?

The Summer STEM Program takes place at the United States Naval Academy, an iconic institution known for its rich history and stunning campus. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Naval Academy sits by the beautiful waters of the Chesapeake Bay, offering a picturesque setting for learning and exploration. This prestigious academy isn’t just a place where future naval officers train; it’s also a vibrant educational community dedicated to advancing knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

During the Summer STEM Program, participants get to experience life on this historic campus. The academy boasts advanced facilities that cater to the diverse needs of the STEM curriculum. From state-of-the-art laboratories to specialized classrooms equipped with the latest technology, the campus is designed to foster an environment of innovation and discovery.

Robotics engineer students teamwork on project

Program activities take place in various locations across the campus, including the cutting-edge engineering labs, the electrical engineering departments with their high-tech equipment, and the hydro lab where students test their designs against the forces of nature.

Being at the Naval Academy for the STEM program is not just about learning; it’s about experiencing a unique environment that combines tradition with modernity, where every corner of the campus is geared towards inspiring and challenging the next generation of STEM leaders.

When Does the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program Take Place?

The Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is held during the month of June and is organized into three sessions, each designed for students in different grades. Here’s when the program takes place in 2024:

  • For rising 9th graders, the program runs from Monday, June 3, to Saturday, June 8. This six-day adventure at the Naval Academy is your first peek into the world of STEM.
  • Rising 10th graders have sessions from Monday, June 10, to Saturday, June 15. During this week, you’ll dive deeper into STEM subjects and get hands-on experience.
  • Lastly, rising 11th graders will attend the program from Monday, June 17, to Friday, June 21. This five-day session is tailored for older students, offering more advanced projects and learning opportunities.

Each session is carefully planned to ensure you get the most out of your time at the Naval Academy. You’ll be busy from morning till evening, engaging in various STEM activities, workshops, and projects. Remember, this is a unique chance to explore, learn, and challenge yourself in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, all while experiencing life on a prestigious military academy campus.

Why Should You Join the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program?

Joining the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is like unlocking a treasure chest of opportunities and experiences that could shape your future. Here are five reasons why this program is an unmissable opportunity for any high school student passionate about STEM:

1. Interact with USNA Midshipmen

At the heart of the program, you’ll get to meet and learn from the USNA Midshipmen. These are students just a few years ahead of you, deeply immersed in their naval and STEM education. Interacting with them gives you a real insight into life at a top military academy, along with firsthand accounts of pursuing STEM at a higher level. It’s a unique chance to ask questions, get advice, and see what your future in STEM could look like.

2. Design and Build Exciting STEM Projects

Forget about passive learning; the Summer STEM Program is all about getting your hands on real projects. You’ll design, build, and test your own creations, from robots to software, and engineering challenges. This hands-on approach not only makes learning fun but also deeply enriches your understanding of STEM principles. It’s learning by doing, which is proven to be one of the most effective ways to grasp complex concepts.

3. Learn from USNA Faculty

The faculty at the USNA are experts in their fields, and during the program, they’re your teachers. Learning from them is a privilege, offering insights into the latest STEM research and applications. These are the minds shaping the future of technology and science, and they’re here to guide you through your STEM journey. Their mentorship is invaluable, offering a glimpse into the cutting edge of STEM education and careers.

4. Meet New Friends

One of the most lasting benefits of the Summer STEM Program is the friendships you’ll form. Meeting new friends who share your passion for STEM can be life-changing. These peers understand your interests and challenges, and they can become your support network, study partners, and possibly even future colleagues. The connections you make here can last a lifetime, providing you with a community of like-minded individuals who are as passionate about STEM as you are.

5. Experience STEM with the #1 Top Public College in the Country

The US Naval Academy isn’t just any college; it’s the #1 top public college in the country, with the #4 “Best Undergraduate Engineering Program” and ranking #6 among National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report College Ranking Report. Participating in their Summer STEM Program means you’re learning from the best, in an environment that’s recognized nationally for excellence. This is an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in STEM, experiencing the best education the country has to offer.

Why It Matters

Beyond these reasons, attending the Summer STEM Program at the Naval Academy can have a significant impact on your college applications and future career opportunities. Colleges look favorably on students who take initiative in their education, especially in competitive fields like STEM.

Research Laboratory

As the demand for skilled STEM professionals continues to grow, the experiences and knowledge you gain from this program can set you on the path to a rewarding career. So, if you’re passionate about STEM and ready to take your skills to the next level, the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is the place to be.

How to Join the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

Joining the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is a fantastic opportunity for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). If you’re eager to dive into a world of innovation and learning, here’s how to become part of this exciting experience.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the program, you need to be a student entering 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. The program is looking for participants who have shown strong accomplishments both inside and outside the classroom. Here’s what you need to have:

  • Strong Academic Performance: Your grades and school records should reflect your dedication and excellence in academic pursuits.
  • Standardized Test Scores: If you’ve taken the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, strong scores will support your application. While not mandatory for all grade levels, these scores can showcase your academic abilities.
  • A Passion for STEM: A demonstrated interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is crucial. Whether through school projects, clubs, or personal hobbies, your application should highlight your enthusiasm for STEM fields.

Selection Process

The selection process is competitive, with the program looking for students who not only excel academically but also show a genuine interest in STEM. Your application will need to include evidence of your achievements and your potential as a future STEM leader. The committee will review your grades, test scores (where applicable), and any other materials that demonstrate your skills and interests.

Program Fee

The program fee is $700 per student, which covers a weeklong residential experience. This fee includes transportation to and from the Baltimore Washington Airport and the Naval Academy, all meals and lodging, leadership and guidance from Midshipmen, faculty-led STEM academic modules, access to world-class labs and classrooms, and a variety of additional activities like a Technology/Majors Fair, USNA apparel, a program picnic, and shaved ice night. It’s an all-inclusive package designed to provide an immersive and enriching STEM experience.

Becoming part of the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is not just about learning; it’s about embarking on an adventure that could shape your future in STEM. If you meet the eligibility criteria and are ready to challenge yourself, consider applying to join this extraordinary community of young innovators.

How to Apply for the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

Applying for the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is your first step towards an exciting summer filled with learning and exploration. Here’s a simple guide to help you through the application process:

Step-by-Step Application Process

  1. Check Eligibility: Make sure you’re entering 9th, 10th, or 11th grade and have a strong interest in STEM.
  2. Gather Information: Before you start the application, collect all necessary documents and information. This includes your latest school transcript, standardized test scores (PSAT, SAT, or ACT, if available), and a list of your STEM-related activities.
  3. Write a Personal Statement: Prepare a short essay explaining why you’re interested in the program and how you believe it will benefit your future in STEM.
  4. Apply Online: Visit the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program website to find the application form. Fill it out carefully, making sure to include all required information.
  5. Submit Documents: Attach your transcript, test scores, personal statement, and any other required documents to your application.
  6. Review and Submit: Double-check your application for any errors or missing information. Once you’re sure everything is complete, submit your application before the deadline.

Required Documents and Information

  • Latest school transcript
  • Standardized test scores (if available)
  • Personal statement/essay
  • List of STEM activities or achievements

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Start Early: Give yourself plenty of time to gather documents and write your personal statement.
  • Be Honest: Showcase your true passion for STEM and your achievements. Authenticity makes your application stand out.
  • Proofread: Check your application and essay for spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Highlight Your Interest in STEM: Use your personal statement to detail your experiences and interest in STEM fields.

Remember, the application is your chance to show why you’re a perfect fit for the Summer STEM Program. Take your time, be thorough, and let your passion for STEM shine through.

When is the Deadline to Apply for the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program?

The deadline to apply for the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is April 15, 2024. It’s important to mark this date on your calendar and start planning your application well in advance. To avoid any last-minute rush, begin gathering your documents, writing your personal statement, and filling out the application form a few months before the deadline. This will give you ample time to review your application, make any necessary revisions, and ensure that everything is complete. Remember, a well-thought-out application takes time, so start early to make your application stand out and meet the deadline with confidence.

How Hard is it to Get Into the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program?

Getting into the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program is competitive, as it attracts students from all over the country who are passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The program looks for participants who not only excel academically but also show a strong interest in STEM fields. Selection criteria include your grades, standardized test scores (like the PSAT, SAT, or ACT, if you have them), your involvement in STEM-related activities, and a personal statement that reflects your passion and curiosity for STEM.

Male And Female Secondary Or High School Students Outdoors At School Looking At Mobile Phone

Because of the high interest and limited spots, it’s important to make your application as strong as possible. Highlight your achievements both inside and outside of the classroom, especially those related to STEM. Share your experiences, projects, or competitions that showcase your skills and interest in these areas. Your personal statement is your chance to tell your story, why you’re interested in the program, and what you hope to gain from the experience.

While it’s challenging to secure a spot due to the program’s popularity and the high caliber of applicants, don’t let this discourage you. Focus on presenting yourself in the best light and showcasing your genuine interest in STEM.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered much about the Naval Academy Summer STEM Program, from what it is, where and when it happens, to how you can join and why it’s such a fantastic opportunity. This program is your chance to dive into the exciting world of STEM, learn from experts, and meet friends who share your interests.

Even though getting in can be competitive, the experience is incredibly rewarding, offering hands-on projects, exposure to naval technology, and a boost to your future college applications and career in STEM. If you’re passionate about science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, we encourage you to apply. This program could be the start of an amazing journey in STEM.


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