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NSF Summer Science Programs

  1. Nov 28, 2007 #1

    D H

    Staff: Mentor

    It turns out Astronuc and I have something in common. We participated in an NSF summer science program (separate by two years) at the Colorado School of Mines between our junior and senior year in high school. The cost to the participants was minimal. The NSF funded these programs extensively. Ours was an eight week long program. They rammed calculus down our throats in two weeks, one week each for differential calculus and integral calculus. During the last six weeks we covered digital electronics and nuclear physics. It was very intense and very intensive.

    So much for nostalgia. The topic of this thread is: What ever happened to these programs? One left in physics in the whole stinking country, and only a two week program. Glorified summer camp. IMHO, those programs were one of the reasons our country leapfogged the rest of the world in science and technology.

    Some discussion topics:
    • Did anyone else here participate in an NSF summer program?
    • Were these kinds of programs victims of post-60s egalitarianism or something else?
    • Am I off-base, that is, are these programs still around?
    • Am I off-base, that is, was eliminating programs like these a good thing to do?
    • Since PF is a place where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average," where can our above-average children go to jumpstart their higher education? (Too late for my kiddos; I have three in college right now.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    You listen to Prairie Home Companion, too!!

    Seems we have several things in common. :rofl:
  4. Nov 28, 2007 #3
    Check out summer research programs for your college kids. Last summer I attended a Math REU summer program (8 weeks) supported by grants from the NSF. Everyone in the program except for one person was about to enter their senior year of college. The one I attended was not very intense, but I hear that some are; in fact, I thought of it as a fun vacation (probably the funnest 8 weeks of my life :smile:).
  5. Nov 28, 2007 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I wrote out a lengthy response to this about currently existing programs (some funded by NSF, some funded by other sources) this morning, but a database error of some sort ate it. :grumpy: There are a lot of summer programs available for both undergraduates and even high school students, as well as other mechanisms for supporting undergraduate research throughout the year as well.
  6. Nov 29, 2007 #5


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    I had a Physics REU last summer for 10 weeks and it was a great time. I would recommend one to anybody interested. The NSF has an REU website, listing all the programs in the various fields. Check it out if your interested:

  7. Nov 29, 2007 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Certainly REU's are a great opportunity for university students, but D H and I were referring to Summer Science Training programs specifically for HS students. Do they still exist.

    My HS was involved in this NSF program, but my previous HS was not (at least not that I was aware). AP/Honor students were encouraged to participate in the NSF program.

    Basically HS students take college level courses in mathematics and science/engineering.
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