College Prep’s STEM program is for students interested in getting hands-on research experience in a broad array of STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The course begins with a spring semester seminar (STEM Research Part I) that provides the foundational scientific knowledge and analytical skills needed for a summer internship. During discussion-based classes, students learn how to read primary scientific literature, analyze and critique raw data, and work as a productive member of a research team. The core of the program takes place during the summer, when students are matched with research mentors for full-time, six-week internships. In the fall, the program concludes with a semester-long seminar (STEM Research Part II) in which students prepare a poster about their summer research and design and deliver a formal scientific talk. Most placements are in labs at either UCSF or UC Berkeley.
Past STEM research topics include:
- The engineering of proteins to enhance pharmaceutical drug discovery
- Analysis of microbial communities to enhance fuel projection from biomass
- Optimization of vaccines against the N. meningitis bacterium
- The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention and treatment
- The design of microfluidic devices to be used in metastatic cancer cell detection
- The investigation of cellular complexity using magnetotactic bacteria
- Effects of COVID-19 on fertility and birth outcomes
- Pathogen tracking, disease modeling, and contact tracing
- The impact of climate change on human health and the development of adaptive health strategies.