Summer Program Aspiring Research Community (SPARC)

June 2nd - June 28th, 2024

Are you a high school student with a strong desire to learn more about science? Join us for a thrilling, six-week residential experience created just for you, a junior or senior in high school. At SPARC, renowned Missouri S&T faculty and graduate students will mentor you as you immerse yourself in the world of scientific inquiry and cutting-edge research. Advance your knowledge and abilities by taking part in SPARC: ignite your passion, pique your curiosity, bolster your self-esteem, and get ready for an exciting future.

 Ignite Your Passion for STEM at SPARC!

Register now! 

Find Your Future in SPARC

Let your curiosity run wild and explore the realm of STEM! Join the Summer Program Aspiring Research Community (SPARC), where high school juniors and seniors spend up to six weeks researching, while living on campus at Missouri S&T.

Start Your Research

You will carry out in-depth research from beginning to end under the direction of renowned academic professors and graduate students. Investigate cutting-edge ideas, run experiments, and evaluate the outcomes. SPARC gives you the power to choose your own educational journey!

Keep Your Passion Burning

SPARC not only imparts priceless information and abilities, but also piques your interest in STEM. Boost your self-assurance and become ready for a future in the world of technology. Let us assist you in achieving your goals!

Experience the STEM Center

SPARC benefits from the experience of seasoned K-12 professionals, thanks to its location within the acclaimed Kummer Center for STEM Education.

Join a Journey with Benefits

Reserve your research position in SPARC today! To enhance your experience, we are providing room and board, in addition to a stipend of $2000 per student. 

Areas available for summer research include:

Biological Sciences

Faculty: Dr. Andrea Scharf

Description: The student will work in the lab which studies life history traits such as aging in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a widely-used nematode worm model for longevity research. Current projects include investigating how environmental pollutants can accelerate the normal aging process in these worms, as well as examining how various life history traits, such as growth, reproduction, and stress resistance, influence the population dynamics of this model organism. This interdisciplinary research provides valuable insights into the mechanisms of aging and evolution.

Register now!

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Faculty: Dr. Phillip Mulligan

Age requirement: 16 years+ 

Description: The student will assist in research on ballistics and explosives. They will work on their version of an armor for wearable ballistic protection. The student would spend the summer learning about terminal ballistics and additive manufacturing so they can design an armor for increased ballistic protection. Testing will be done in a safe and professional manner. The student will gain experience performing basic research, as well as exposure to instrumentation used in ballistics testing (high-speed camera, chronograph, etc.).

Register now!

  • Registration Details
  • Components and Benefits
  • Campus Cancellation Policy

Registration Details

Duration: 4 weeks residential experience (June 2nd - June 28th).
Eligibility: High school juniors or seniors.
Capacity: Limited to one student for each available area.

Application requirements:
  • Transcript or grade report.
  • ACT or SAT score.
  • Two letters of recommendation (from academic teachers).

Register now!

Components and Benefits

Program Components:
    • Intensive research experience: Conduct each step of the research cycle under mentorship from Missouri S&T faculty and graduate students
    • Student-led approach: Students play a central role in the program, from application to research project placements
    • Students are required to produce a poster about their research to be presented at the STEM conference on July 24th & 25th.
Benefits of SPARC:
    • Access to rigorous research program for high-achieving students
    • Shift from teacher-centered to student-centered learning model

Note: Students are allowed to go home on weekend 

Campus Cancellation Policy

Missouri S&T reserves the right to cancel any program in the event of insufficient registrations, severe weather or natural disaster. In the event of cancellation, registrants will be notified immediately via email and phone, and all fees will be returned in full.