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Investigative Summer STEM Program

Our summer science camp designed for 10th-12th graders to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through interactive hands-on experiences!

The Program

For 31 years, the Investigative Summer STEM Program (ISSP) has been increasing enthusiasm and interest of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors (10th-12th graders) in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. During ISSP students will:

  • Earn one hour of college credit with a pass/fail grade upon satisfactory completion of the program
  • Spend 5 days performing hands-on research in small groups led by highly qualified NU faculty
  • Out of state students have the option to stay on NU’s campus in the residence halls
  • Expand team-building and communication skills
  • Engage with guest speakers from a variety of STEM-related fields to discuss the career opportunities possible with a STEM education
  • Form friendships with high school students that share similar interests!
  • COVID-19 safety measures and procedures will be in place. (More Info)

The program is offered in response to a national concern about the diminishing number of young people pursuing careers in the STEM fields.

ISSP Application

“When I applied for this camp, I wanted to gain a better understanding of college life, work with different professors, and further my interest in the STEM field. Approaching the end, I can assuredly say that all of my expectations have been met and exceeded.”

- Cory, ‘19 ISSP student
“ISSP has made my summer worthwhile, and I am honored to have been selected to participate in this fruitful experience”

- My, ‘19 ISSP student
“ISSP summer camp is perfect for anyone who thinks they may have any interest in a STEM career.”

- Marrissa, ‘19 ISSP student.

Project Descriptions

1. CRISPR-Cas Gene Editing (Dr. Jenna Persons)
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Inside all living organisms is a chemical instruction manual: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Whether you are a single-celled bacterium or a trillion-celled human, DNA provides the instructions- in the form of genes- for all the little molecules that make cells work. Thus, DNA is universal (at least, on Earth…). Modern technologies like CRISPR-Cas gene editing leverage this universality to change the way DNA, and ultimately almost any organism, looks and functions. As ISSP research students, you will use CRISPR-Cas gene editing to change the appearance of both bacteria and fruit flies. Through careful experimentation, you will learn about the tools required to edit genes successfully and assess the effectivity of gene editing in living organisms. Finally, we will discuss the applications and ethics of this technology for our society.

 2. Effectiveness of Disinfectants - Microbiology (Dr. Stacy Jones)

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This past year, it is likely that you used a multitude of disinfectants. In this project, you will experimentally determine how effective each disinfectant is at killing a variety of different bacteria. 

 3. Drug Synthesis (Dr. David Shubert) 

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Every wonder how legal medication is made in the lab? In this experiment you will (1) learn organic chemistry techniques to synthesize acetaminophen (active ingredient in Tylenol), and (2) use modern chemistry instrumentation to compare the drug you made to over the counter Tylenol. 

 4. Renewable Energy Design Project (Dr. Ryan Huschka)

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Solar and wind energy is the energy of the future. Ever wonder, what would it take to run your entire house from Renewable Energy sources? In this engineering project, you will (1) collect solar energy and wind energy data using photovoltaic cells and wind turbines, and (2) design a renewable energy plan to power a house.

 5. Forensic Identification (Alan Oberley)

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 In this project you will put your forensic science skills to the test as you explore the myriad of ways to identify unknown white powders as well as explore different forensic science techniques. 

 Details

ISSP Dates/Times:

Dates for ISSP Summer 2021: June 14-18 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Students have the option to stay overnight in the residence halls for a cost of $20 per night. This cost includes dinner.

Since participants are minors, they are expected to remain on campus at all times unless accompanied by faculty members, program assistants or parents.

Location:

ISSP meets on Newman University’s campus located in Wichita, KS. Students will work with faculty in the state-of-the-art Bishop Gerber Science Center and lodge in Beata Residence Hall.

Cost:

The program fee is $125*. Includes tuition for one hour of college credit, and lunch for 5 days.

*A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Scholarship application is below.

Format

Each participant will select one interdisciplinary research topic from biology, chemistry and math. Then working within a small group, the student will conduct a literature search on the selected topics, set up laboratory/field experiments, collect data, analyze the results, draw conclusions from the findings, and finally present the research to faculty and students. Supervision and project background information is provided by the program faculty in a one-to-one and small group discussion format rather than traditional lectures. Guest speakers will be scheduled during the program to provide participants with real-life applications of science and math.

Who can apply?

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Current high school sophomores, juniors or seniors with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and who have completed at least one high school science course. Consideration may be given to freshmen.

You do not have to be committed to a STEM-related career to attend ISSP.  

How to Apply:

  1. Complete the online ISSP Application for Admission: ISSP Application
  2. Email a copy of your high school transcript to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Completed applications will be reviewed as they are received and spots will be filled on a first-come-first serve basis. Limited spots available! Upon acceptance into the program, students will be asked to pay the $125 program fee* to guarantee a spot.

Applications must be submitted by June 7, 2021 for guaranteed consideration. Selected participants will be notified at the time of application processing.

*A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Scholarship application is part of the ISSP Application. There is not a separate application. Simply indicate "Yes" when you get to the "Do you need to be considered for one of our limited scholarships?" question. 

ISSP Scholarships

ISSP scholarships are available for applicants who need extra assistance to pay the program fee for ISSP. We are grateful for the ISSP scholarship donors who help make these scholarships available to our applicants! Please note that the ISSP scholarships applications must be turned in by May 31st so please apply now! If you apply after the deadline, there is a chance that all funds will have been allocated already. Scholarship application is part of the ISSP Application. There is not a separate application. Simply indicate "Yes" when you get to the "Do you need to be considered for one of our limited scholarships?" question. 

 

Questions? Contact:

Ryan Huschka, ISSP Director
Associate Professor of Chemistry
3100 McCormick - BGSC 207
Wichita, KS 67213
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 316-942-4291 ext. 2428

ISSP Participating Faculty

Stacy Jones, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Ryan Huschka, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Michael Bradley, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

David Shubert, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry

Alan Oberley, M.S.
Assistant professor of Chemistry

Jenna Persons
Assistant professor of Chemistry

Objectives of ISSP:

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  • To make science a fun and exciting opportunity through an investigative laboratory approach.
  • To broaden students' STEM interests and inform them of opportunities and challenges in science and medicine.
  • To strengthen pre-college science education and address the needs of students during the critical years when concepts and attitudes are developed.
  • To foster independent scholarship, originality and competence in physical, biological and health sciences.
  • To rebuild our human resource for basic sciences and provide a basis for future technological exploration in science and medicine.
  • To increase the number of high school STEM teachers by motivating participants to learn more about science through hands-on discovery