Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Summer Programs

As an engineering student, I put a lot of thought into how I spend my summers. Summer is an awesome opportunity to take extra classes, learn about companies, gain work experience in industry or research, travel, and experience other cultures. This summer, I am going on the International Corporate Tour of Europe, and last summer I studied Music, Art, and Language in Bregenz, Austria. The summer of 2012, after my senior year of high school, I participated in Beacon, one of the summer programs offered by MSU College of Engineering's Office for Recruitment and K12 Outreach. There are programs for people of all ages, and if you are interested in more information about them, please follow the link below:


Beacon is a residential program at the Kellogg Biological Station that is funded by the NSF and focuses on biology, evolution, and engineering. This program is by invitation only, but there are other great programs that are open to all eligible students, such as the High School Engineering Institute (HSEI). Some of the people that I met at Beacon had participated in HSEI before and had so much fun that they wanted to participate in another engineering summer program.

During the summer program, I spent a couple days learning about engineering and science in a classroom and out in the field. This program reminded me of a mix between summer classes without the homework and summer camp. In our free time, we played card games, hung out by the lake, played sports, and had a bonfire. I still am friends with some of the people from my summer program, and I see some other participants around campus sometimes because a lot of us ended up attending MSU for engineering. I thought that participating in a summer program was a fun way to meet other people interested in engineering and learn more about engineering before actually starting college.

Looking through a microscope at D. melanogaster larvae, July 2012
Measuring the sizes of damselflies in a population, July 2012
There are some more awesome pictures like these from our summer programs posted on our Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/msuengineeringk12/sets/

Among my other friends studying engineering, the most popular ways they are spending their summers are studying abroad, working at internships or other jobs, and taking classes. If you are wondering what to to this summer that will prepare you for studying, here are some tips:
  • Attend a MSU engineering summer program! Learn about engineering and make new friends
  • Take some time to prepare for college. 
    • Sophomores and juniors (as of fall 2014): study for the ACT or other standardized tests and take practice tests. I spent a couple hours of my summer studying for the ACT because good scores can help you get into college and get scholarships.
    • Seniors (as of fall 2014): work on college applications. Some become available at the end of the summer and you are NOT going to want to work on them once the school year starts. Trust me on that one... 
  •  Maybe earn some extra money by working a summer job
  • Taking summer classes is also an option. At transfer.msu.edu you can see what classes transfer from a community college to MSU. I took a psychology class at home the summer before my senior year at Washtenaw Community College that was able to transfer here.
  • Have fun! Enjoy the weather while it is nice. 
I hope that everyone has a great summer, I know I will! It is the last week of class and next week I have my final exams, so summer break begins next week for me. I am also looking forward to starting a great junior year in the fall. We just had our E-board elections for AIChE, and I am going to be the Vice President next year. Well, I better start studying for my exams...
 All opinions expressed in this blog are my own personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University

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