Summer Bridge is one component of a STEP (STEM Talent Expansion Program) funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the program is to retain students in STEM disciplines so that they successfully complete degrees in these fields.
As part of Summer Bridge, faculty and/or STEM graduate students will conduct academic reviews and skill development sessions. The sessions will include a variety of teaching methods and authentic applications of concepts and skills as well as connections to careers in STEM fields. As a special emphasis, Summer Bridge courses will be taught utilizing the principles of collaborative learning, whereby students work together daily in small groups in both class and homework sessions. As a result, Summer Bridge students should develop strong teamwork and problem-solving skills. We hope that the relationships they form during the Summer Bridge Program will form the basis of a support network once they begin classes
Students will live in university housing. In addition to a RA, they will have a dorm-based mentor living with them. This person will help them with their assignments, and monitor their progress to ensure they are engaged with the program. During the week, students will participate in team-based recreational activities (such as volley ball or basketball), and on the weekend a whale watch and trip to the New England Aquarium is planned. They will also have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science and familiarize themselves with the Boston environment and also help them to foster connections with each other.
On the last day of the program, we will a host a program jointly for parents and students, and have each student give a short powerpoint presentation about his/her Summer Bridge experiences, including their goals and career aspirations, and how they plan to achieve them.