Abstract

Authentic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences allow students to think and act in a manner similar to STEM professionals. However, opportunities to engage fully with STEM may be limited at the high school level, prompting motivated students to seek offerings at colleges and universities during the summer. The purpose of this study is to identify potential barriers that limit access to collegiate STEM summer programs. We searched programs’ websites to categorize program offerings as either exploratory, inquiry, or authentic. Fully authentic programs are limited in number and field of study. Students also face geographic, temporal, and financial constraints. These findings have implications for high school teachers and counselors who wish to guide students to a summer experience as well as for collegiate faculty who develop high school STEM opportunities. Addressing the barriers can increase access to summer STEM programs and help to recruit and retain students in the STEM pipeline.

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