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Elmhurst STEM Academy

Jump-Start Your Academic Career

This summer, give yourself a head start on a dynamic career. Enroll in Elmhurst University’s STEM Academy. Our 2020 edition took place online July 27–Aug. 7, 2020.

This 10-day (Monday–Friday) program provides an exceptional opportunity for high school students entering their junior or senior years to expand their horizons, develop their skills and experience taking courses at one of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked Midwestern colleges.

You’ll participate in classes that will sharpen your math skills, advance your computer skills, and allow you to explore fascinating topics in biology, chemistry and physics—plus, you’ll earn college credit. You’ll also experience the interconnections between the various scientific and mathematical disciplines in studying the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

  • Registration fee: $50 (scholarships available)
  • Fee for optional college credit: $300

All students attending Elmhurst’s STEM Academy will be offered a $2,000 annual scholarship toward an undergraduate degree program at Elmhurst University.

Apply for 2020

Learn More About the Academy

The program is ideal for students in high school who are considering careers in fields like biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and nursing. At a minimum, students should have taken coursework in algebra, geometry, biology and chemistry.

Classes expand on what you’ve already learned during your first two years of high school. You will sharpen your skills in advanced algebra and trigonometry, and discover the real-world applications of STEM.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to use computers and the internet to explore STEM. You’ll become familiar with major software packages used in STEM, including Derive, PCSolve, Mathematica and Maple.

But that’s not all. You’ll gain the skills and confidence to excel, in college and beyond. And you’ll experience a great university with an expanding reputation for excellence. You’ll meet our top-notch faculty, learn to code in the programs mentioned above and other software, and gain confidence in your ability to succeed in college.

The Academy is under the direction of Professor of Mathematics Evans Afenya, Ph.D., and classes are taught by our outstanding STEM faculty. You will work closely with Elmhurst faculty members and form teams to explore issues in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics.

  • Registration fee: $50 (scholarships available)
  • Fee for optional college credit: $300

Click the “apply online” button on this page. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full.

To qualify for the Academy, students must clearly demonstrate their interest in mathematics and the sciences. Specifically, students will be expected to have a good college preparatory background in mathematics, biology and chemistry courses in high school and be recommended by their high school mathematics or science teachers. In certain circumstances, prospective participants may be invited for an interview with the Academy director to determine eligibility.

The 2021 Academy dates will be announced at a later date. Feel free to contact us in the meantime to express your interest (see “What if I have more questions?” below).

We encourage your parents to watch because their participation in the Academy will help them be active partners in your college experience.

Need-based scholarships are available to students who qualify. If you’d like to explore this option, please submit a letter of eligibility from your high school counselor indicating that you qualify for free or reduced lunch.

If you have questions about the STEM Academy, please contact Assistant Director of Admission Tim Ahlberg at (630) 617-3309 or ahlbergt@elmhurst.edu for more information.

Course and Activity Schedule

Week 1

CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Welcome: NOYCE Grant Team
  • Opening Remarks: Dr. Dean Pribbenow, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #1
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
  • Course: Biology I
    Faculty: Dr. Amy Herbert, Assistant Professor of Biology
    TA: Ashley Gabrielson
  • Topic: Meet the Scientist
    Presenter: TBA
  • Activity: Self-Evaluation, Journals, Discussion Board Goal-Setting
    TA: Joshua Zawislak
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Topic: Meet Your Mentor
    Faculty: Dr. Theresa Robinson, Associate Professor of Education
  • Topic: Getting to Know Your TA
    TA Small Group Assignments:
    Jessica Hilario
    Ashley Gabrielson
    Rahul Rajput
    Josie Zielenski
    Joshua Zawislak
  • Topic: What is Problem-Based Learning? Understanding Infectious Disease: Choosing Your Research Topic
    Faculty: Dr. Kelly Mikenas, Lecturer, Biology
  • Topic: Preparing for College
    Presenter: Ms. Christine Grenier, Senior Director of First-Year and International Admission
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #2
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
    TA: Jessica Hilario
  • Course: Chemistry I
    Faculty: Dr. Colleen Munro-Leighton, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    TA: Rahul Rajput
  • Topic: NASA Presentation
    Presenter: Mr. James Kovac, NASA Ambassador
  • Activity: Self-Evaluation, Journals, Discussion Board Goal-Setting
    TA: Joshua Zawislak
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Activity: Homework Review and Team Building Activities
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
  • Activity: Homework Review and Team Building Activities
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
  • Topic: SAT Prep
    Presenter: Dr. Allen Rogers, Professor of Mathematics
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #3
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
    TA: Jessica Hilario
  • Course: Computer Science I
    Faculty: Dr. David Brown and Dean Jensen, Assistant Professors of  Computer Science
    TA: Josie Zielenski
  • Topic: Social Issues
    Presenter: Mr. James McGrew, Social Poet
  • Activity: Self-Evaluation, Journals, Discussion Board Goal-Setting
    TA: Joshua Zawislak

Week 2

CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #4
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
    TA: Rahul Rajput
  • Course: Computer Science II
    Faculty: Dr. David Brown and Dean Jensen, Assistant Professors of Computer Science
    TA: Josie Zielenski
  • Topic: Career Exploration
    Presenter: Dr. Jeanne White, Professor of Education
  • Activity: Self-Evaluation, Journals, Discussion Board Goal-Setting
    TA: Joshua Zawislak
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Activity: Homework Review and Team Building Activities
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
  • Topic: Project Sharing Research Experiences with PUMA-STEM Students
    Elmhurst University
  • Topic: Homework Support
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
  • Topic: Issues in Literacy: Infectious Diseases
    Faculty: Dr. Ayanna Brown, Professor of Education
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #5
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
    TA: Josie Zielenski
  • Course: Chemistry II
    Faculty: Dr. Colleen Munro-Leighton, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    TA: Rahul Rajput
  • Topic: STEM Teaching at the Secondary Level
    Faculty: Dr. Theresa Robinson, Associate Professor of Education
  • Activity: Self-Evaluation, Journals, Discussion Board Goal-Setting
    TA: Joshua Zawislak
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Topic: Research Presentation Dress Rehearsal
    Faculty: Jennifer Paliatka, Library Research, Associate Professor of Library Science
  • Topic: Homework Support
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
  • Workshop: Biology II
    Faculty: Dr. Amy Herbert, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Topic: Research Presentation Prep
    Facilitators: Teacher Assistants
CORE Session 1
9:00–10:30 a.m.
  • Course: Math Algebra/Trig Session #6
    Faculty: Dr. Evans Afenya, Professor of Mathematics
    TA: Ashley Gabrielson
  • Course: Issues in Literacy: Infectious Diseases
    Faculty: Dr. Ayanna Brown, Professor of Education
    Dr. Debbie Cosgrove, Assistant Professor of Education
    TA: Ashley Gabrielson
  • Topic: Student Presentations and Questions
  • Closing Remarks: Dr. Troy VanAken, President

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