Summer STEM Program

<p>Hello all,</p>

<p>Just wondering if anyone you know has ever been selected for the USNA Summer STEM program? We know of 1 girl in the area who was selected last year. She does have excellent grades but no sports or extracurricular "STEM" type of activities and is actually planning on a completely different major. My kid applied twice, was rejected twice, and we are a bit confused as to what they are really looking for. I had heard it is a type of minority outreach program. Can anyone confirm or share info you might know. Also, the girl who did attend last year told us some kids had returned for a second year in a row!</p>


<p>My DH’s niece went through the program 7 or 8 years ago. She had stellar grades/test scores and is a math/science geek, but other than a couple of school level things (contacted NASA and arranged to interview astronauts live on school radio station as they passed overhead in the shuttle, Math team,science fair stuff), no STEM extra-curriculars. I don’t know if being a girl who made contacts with her Congressman early and later received a commission to the Air Force Academy (did not go) helped her get into the program.</p>

<p>DD was looking seriously at the program for this summer, but she is a rising senior so she missed her opportunity (too old).</p>

<p>It is important to realize that the STEM program is not intended as a funnel for the Naval Academy. There are many summer camps held at the Academy. While the camps certainly expose students to academy grounds, there is by no means any particular interaction betweena admissions and the camps.</p>

<p>STEM is meant to encourage students to study STEM subjects. Other than eating in Bancroft, attending classes in Academy facilities, and being looked after by mids, there is no reason this program couldn’t be any any facility in the U.S.</p>

<p>My daughter attended STEM.</p>

<p>Sorry, but as is often the case Mr. Bill and I disagree. The complete mark for STEM’s existence is simple, as it is intended for one primary purpose … to interest and eventually attract students with proclivity, talent, interest in science, math, engineering, technology fields to the United States Naval Academy. Especially “priority” groups not traditionally attracted or strong in these fields.</p>

<p>In fact the metaphor Bill uses of the “funnel” is appropriate, as it reflects the appointment process as a broad opening that ends in a very specific and narrow area of study … AND place. And it fits the mandate and the chronic need of USNA. Specifically, USNA has a mandate of educating a majority of its students in these fields. The USNA has no mission, intent, desire, nor funding to whet the STEM appetites of future MIT, Cal Tech, Rennsalaer, GA Tech, or other similar world class engineering programs. </p>

<p>While the intent and recruitment might be a bit more subtle, there is zero doubt as to why USNA invests in this activity. To ID potential candidates for its own STEM programs, and like many other similar programs at engineering schools and programs, it really hits a home run when STEM attendees might qualify as minority/priority targets. Many STEM programs are run almost exclusively for this purpose. </p>

<p>But lest there be any shred of doubt about the purpose, i.e. reason for being of USNA’s STEM, note the very first “tag line” in the 2012 brochure …</p>



<p>Bet your last nickle that the reason USNA offers STEM is clear. Recruiting students. This is a money-loser/investment in the broad end of the funnel, as USNA gets the marketing reality of “Getting 'em here is half the battle.” </p>

<p>And the last tag line on the brochure?

Do you suppose STEMmers might get a USNA tee shirt or 2? </p>


Ridiculous.:wink: There are many reasons, but suffice it to say that the idea of USNA preparing engineering and science students for any place other than USNA is simply silly. ;)</p>

<p>P.S. There is a specific reason that rising seniors (or even graduated seniors) are disallowed, as Meremom notes. HMMMMM! Now why would that be?</p>

<p>The final kicker? Note the contact for the program. <a href=“[/url]”></a> :cool: Nah, it’s not a recruitment program. Just spending time with students outta the goodness of the USNA … “A global force for good.” Not that good though.</p>

<p>It does seem to be a recruiting/attracting type of program for the USNA. I am just confused about some of their choices/selections. I also was not impressed with the online application which had so many bugs. We are computer savvy and my husband could not believe the poor interface the online app had. It might just be sour grapes on my part since my kid apparently did not charm them enough to get selected. Why allow some kids to attend two years in a row? They also sent her a rejection letter last year indicating she was a high school junior and should apply for NASS. She was in the 8th grade? Sent the same rejection letter this year. Not impressed.</p>

<p>@ Bill, I would love to hear your daughter’s impression of the program. Also, was she already involved in Sea Cadets or any other program like that?</p>

<p>A couple of USNA insights here that do surprise many.</p>

<li><p>USNA handles tons of data and details. But they don’t always deal with them accurately, completely, fully. Nothing personal in this. It’s just the reality that in doing so, sometimes 8th graders get promoted at the push of a button.</p></li>
<li><p>They are slowly getting up to speed with the admissions and marketing outreach computer processes. But they are still lagging behind others. Cut them some slack though as the procedures of the candidacy are so vastly more complex than in secular institutions. </p></li>
<li><p>Some of this is exacerbated by the reality that there are many junior officers in relatively brief billets working in the admission office as counselors, data managers, marketers, etc. Not one of these set out to become an admission expert or professional when they joined the Navy, nor do most intend to remain once their time is up. So you have a constant influx of fresh faces with no further commitment than to do a temporary job as well as they can, and for a few, perhaps less than that.</p></li>
<li><p>Not being accepted does not suggest that a particular denied candidate might not be a stellar, competitive candidate for appointment. This is a recruitment strategy. Many, perhaps most of the top appointees at USNA (and other SAs) are never “recruited.” They are fully aware of and on top of the value of an appointment and the process for receiving one. Similarly, NASS by the numbers is more competitive than appointment. </p></li>

<p>So, and this is a complex pill to get and swallow when one’s offspring springs to the top of nearly all he/she does, this is simply that for the broad end of the appointment funneling process, your student did not “fit” so well. But … he/she might be a perfect fit when the funneling’s done! If he/she perceives USNA is “it?” Keep plugging!</p>

<p>Ds impressions are as stated above: except for the fact you are eating/sleeping in Bancroft, utilizing NA classrooms, and being tended to by some mids, there was VERY LITTLE [as in other than “welcom” and “goodby”] exposure to the Academy as a service academy.
The programs were mostly interesting [although there was a LOT of confusion about what to do with the attendees on teh first afternoon. And, the “organized” sports times were not very organized.] but she was disappointed in how little she was exposed to Academy.
In other words, it could have been held anywhere. THERE WAS NO PARTICULAR INTERACTION BETWEEN ADMISSIONS AND ATTENDEES. </p>

<p>The verbosity of WP aside, and there is always plenty to shove aside, these observations are from a kid who attended, not the meandering readings off the website by a far-removed once-upon-a-time parent.</p>

<p>One particular reason for the lack of emphasis on admissions/recruiting is because of FUNDING. Much of the funding for the expanded programs comes from private corporations:</p>

<p>From NA publication on STEM:</p>

<p>The primary goal of the Naval Academy STEM Camp Program is to encourage and motivate middle school students to enroll in additional math and science courses while they are in high school, in order to best prepare them to pursue these subjects at the college level.</p>

<p>A secondary anticipated outcome will be that some STEM Camp attendees will eventually elect to apply for the Naval Academy’s summer seminar program and/or admission to the Naval Academy. STEM Camp students will benefit from direct contact with midshipmen role models and exposure to the Naval Academy’s concepts of duty, honor, ethics, moral awareness and reasoning, and personal character – concepts that should serve them well as they develop into America’s future scientists, engineers, and leaders, regardless of where they attend college.</p>

<p>Note the PRIMARY GOAL.
See entire article:</p>

<p>[Corporations</a> Fund the USNA’s STEM Program (Video)](<a href=“Login -”>US Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation -</p>

<p>So, tell your kid that he was not “rejected” by the STEM program as much as he was not “selected” for the program. Selections are based on a variety of factors that include geographic, educational, and, yes, ethnic background.</p>

<p>STEM selection may add a bit to an eventual NA application but lack of it will by no means be detriment to eventual appointment.</p>

<p>I believe you’ve gotten 2 disparate POVs. You can decide for yourself. </p>

<p>Said simply, were it not for the admission implications, USNA has no mandate nor money for providing this type of program. You’ll figure this out. It’s fully transparent, at least to most.</p>

<p>I won’t enter the argument about the motives of the USNA hosting STEM, but I will chime in to say that my son attended last summer as a rising sophomore. He is a strong STEM student who had been attending a charter school geared toward math and science. And FWIW, he is not a minority. </p>

<p>My son’s experience was very positive. Although I agree that there was not a lot of interaction between admissions and attendees during the week, my son thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of the mids (and has kept I touch via Facebook) and also enjoyed interaction with the I instructors during instructional activities. Since attending, he has received periodic information from USNA admissions and even recently received at least 4 personal invitations to an admissions information session. I won’t kid myself to think that this is because he made a stellar impression, but they must be using data on attendees to promote admissions activities.</p>

<p>The Academy itself, people he interacted with there, and the program made enough of an impression that my son is seriously considering seeking admission and has begun speaking with the local Blue and Gold representative.</p>

<p>Thanks for sharing your experience. Best wishes to your gifted son, wherever they will take him. I’m strangely suspicious USNA might be seeing him in a most positive, bright and shining light! :cool:</p>

<p>GO NAVY! ;)</p>

<p>It WAS said very simply: A SECONDARY outcome is that SOME attendees will seek admission to USNA. There is no dispute about that.</p>

<p>I am very interested in this program for my now 12 year old son. Ever since he was exposed to The Academy when he was only 4 years old, he has loved it. He plans his classes, courses of study and summer camps based on his goal of working for NASA in a support, engineering role. His teacher used to smile politely when he would tell her his plans in 4th grade, but now works one on one with him to guide him to those goals. So, when he read about this, it is now his short term goal. (yes, he’s kind of a geeky kid, but a heck of a swimmer). Thanks to Bill and Granite mom for the insights.</p>

<p>Well, a funny thing happened. We received a phone call two nights ago from the USNA asking if we would consider having our daughter placed on the waiting list? Apparently they felt she did not have a strong enough application but on second glance, they wanted to place her on a list in the case they had a cancellation but they wanted permission first because we don’t live near Maryland and they wondered if we would even consider it if we only had a week’s notice.</p>

<p>Daughter was emailed on May 30 to attend June 11 STEM session and she was absolutely thrilled. We had to hustle to get all required paperwork in order but she made it safely to BWI and attended the program. Nothing but smiles and a huge thumbs up from her upon returning with the only minor complaint being she wished some of the material were a bit more advanced but loved it. i was very happy to know she had several female professors including computer programming and materials science.</p>

<p>What are thoughts of the group about whether other colleges perceive STEM camp to be prestigious and selective for their admissions processes? My son has applied and is hoping mainly for it to be a resume builder for other schools.</p>

<p>Also, another question - does anyone have a feel for whether recommendations from naval officers or congressional reps would carry weight for getting a student accepted to STEM camp?</p>

<p>Recommendations have nothing to do with it, they aren’t asked for. It’s just a summer camp, they just look at grades, ECA’s, sports, and leadership, as well as a true “want” to go to the camp. Only in the actual USNA process are recommendations needed. </p>

<p>I think STEM will look good on a college application, it’s not too easy to get into, and especially if he’s applying as a STEM major it won’t hurt, can only help.</p>

<p>STEM clearly seems to be luck of the draw. In terms of it being a recruiting tool, especially for URM that may be true but we know a URM who is a very strong student who did not get in and a non URM who did. The non URM was from a small town in the midwest so perhaps is was a geographic recruiting (and he too was qualified…for sure).</p>

<p>USNA STEM and USNA Summer Seminar both seem hard to peg in terms of who gets in. Have your son look into the High School summer engineering programs at NC State and Purdue. Those are two that come to mind.</p>

<p>In general, we have been told that by acceptance only (meaning you don’t just sign up and send in $…there is actually a selection process) programs are nice to have on a resume.

<p>there was discussion a couple of years ago about the primary purpose of STEM; if you are this far into it, you have read the info for yourself.</p>

<p>If his “main purpose” is to build his resume . . . will, I guess it might work for that.<br>
I would not propose that the NA STEM program is any more prestigious than another program, e.g. Duke TIPS or something similar. Attendance demonstrates an interest in STEM and that, alone, is probably worth somehting.</p>

<p>STEM objectives are different from Summer Seminar objectives.<br>
Realize that STEM is funded, in large part, from private/corporate sources. It just so happens to be at the NA.
Summer Seminar is intended to expose those who are likely to have had limited exposure to the Academy, i.e. those who do not live close by, to the Academy. It is also used to target individuals, e.g. URMs who may not know much about the Academy, who maynot know what a Navy Officer does.</p>

<p>STEM is nice if your child wants a STEM education, regardless of school.
SS is great if your child is interested in a NA education and a possible career in the Navy/Marines.</p>