STEM in the City Summer Program Engages Teens | Wheelock College

Greetings! Planning for STEM in the City 2018 —Wheelock College’s fun and innovative summer science program for rising 8th and 9th graders—is well underway!

Participants can register for one- or two-week options, with a special focus on Environmental and Health Sciences (July 16-20) and Marine and Space sciences (July 23-27). The STEM in the City summer day program will provide a rich environment for the students to network with peers, college student mentors, and faculty within a fun learning environment designed to help them build their confidence in their own STEM identities.

Zephyr TripA key component of the program’s design is the hands-on collaborative activities and field trips, during which the students will participate in small peer groups under the mentorship of undergraduate students. STEM in the City utilizing a broad array of technologies and experiences to ignite their interest in STEM, including:

  1. Classroom sessions that engage students in hands-on peer collaborative activities connected to the four broad themes and field sites. For 2018, the themes are Environment, Health, Marine and Space sciences. Students will have opportunities to improve their presentation methods, communication skills (personal and technological), and writing skills (scientific writing and project reports).
  2. Field trips that excite students with unique, immersive, hands-on opportunities at a variety of sites, where they will also meet with STEM professionals in a variety of fields and levels of career, from lab technicians and engineers to medical doctors and PhD researchers. Past field trips have been to a variety of local organizations including: the Waterworks Museum, Blue Hills Observatory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Emergency Department, and the Christa McAuliffe Challenger Learning Center. At each of these sites, students have the opportunity to interact with STEM professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  3. College readiness activities to expose students to the college experience. They will be supervised by mentors who are undergraduate students, learn about college admissions, and be immersed in an active campus environment.
  4. In addition to the experiences included above, this program will also include another component not seen in summer informal learning environments: opportunities for continued engagement once the program has ended. By introducing students to Citizen Science projects and educational activities that allow them to make real contributions to scientific research, this program will allow students to stay engaged in STEM long after the program has ended.

This year, we are collaborating with college faculty and staff and middle and high school teachers with specialties in ELL and Special Education. Through these efforts, we hope to develop curriculum that will promote STEM content, skills, and career awareness that is accessible for all. In addition, thanks to generous donations from Boston Scientific Foundation and MathWorks and our partnership with Boston Public Schools Office of English Language Learners, we are able to provide some tuition assistance.

For more information, or to register for STEM in the City please visit our website, or contact Ellen Faszewski at

We hope to see you in July!

Ellen Faszewski is Co-chair Integrated Liberal Arts and Professor of Biology at Wheelock College. She is a cell and developmental biologist whose primary research interests are amphibian development and sponge immunology. She also has an interest in science education, including work with pre and in-service teachers as well as in curriculum development.