Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is open by application to all rising high school juniors and seniors in North Carolina who are talented in mathematics and science and want to have a comprehensive summer experience in one of these areas. The program, free to participants, provides accomplished high school students an opportunity to undertake investigative studies for four weeks in the summer.
During each summer, SVSM students live on one of five university campuses while they receive instruction and “hands-on” experiences. While in a rigorous academic setting, students learn experimental design, laboratory skills, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, strategies in mathematical problem solving and exploratory data analysis. Moreover, the students learn these skills while engaged in specific scientific and mathematical topics of interest to them. Each student undertakes and reports the results from a research project of their design. These projects are directly supervised and sponsored by university faculty and/or master secondary teachers.
Summer Ventures has been in existence since 1985 and has served over 13,000 students. Pre- and post-survey data collected before and after the Summer Ventures experience has revealed that there are significant gains in students’ self-perceived skills in mathematical applications and scientific research skills—including research methods, data collection, findings, interpretation, and display of data. These valuable skills have led many students to enroll in a North Carolina institution of higher education, many with majors in science, mathematics, or technology. In addition to the rigorous academic experiences that Summer Ventures provides, students develop and sustain long-term social relationships with their peers.