North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Undergraduate Admissions

Summer Science Academy

High school juniors and seniors experience science first-hand at North Park’s Summer Science Academy. Seasoned faculty lead the interactive courses, while current North Park science majors serve as mentors. Students advance their skills and passion for science in North Park’s state-of-the-art facilities. The one or two-week courses are designed to introduce students to university-level science programs, providing insight for thriving at the college level.

Photos and Testimonials

“Although this class was only four days I learned a ton! I loved how Dr. Nelson used a variety of teaching strategies like note taking, videos, and hands on learning with dissections and observing the cadavers to help us retain more information. It was an awesome class!”
—2017 anatomy student

“My daughter loved every minute and came home with so many fascinating stories and experiences. What an incredible opportunity you offer these high schoolers!”
—Tracy, 2017 parent

2018 Course Descriptions

June 25–28 9:30am-12:00pm
Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Instructor: Jonathan Rienstra-Kiracofe, PhD

The more you know about food, the better you can eat and enjoy your food!  This course will use state-of-the-art chemistry instrumentation to analyze the content of various foods.  Using North Park’s Chemistry Instrumentation laboratory, students will measure food calories, determine vitamin and mineral content, and explore which natural and artificial additives, such as flavors, colors, and preservatives are in various foods.  Don’t pass up this opportunity to use high-tech instrumentation and to learn more about what you eat!

June 25–28 2:30pm-5:00pm
Dept of Biology
Instructor: Lindsey Alexander, PhD

Students will explore various organ systems of the human body, using human cadavers as well as 3-dimensional models and technology such as iPads.  In our exploration of human anatomy, Nutrition will be the theme that weaves together different topics.  In addition to the amazing opportunity to study the human body and its wonders, we hope to get students excited for a healthcare career.  *This course uses human cadavers.

July 9–12 9:30am-12:00pm
Dept of Physics and Engineering and Div of Health Sciences
Instructors: Stephen Ray, PhD and Bryan Cobb, PhD

Learn hands-on techniques to measure your body’s thermal performance and interaction with its thermal environment in this one-week intensive course.  Not only will you jump start your understanding of cell metabolism and temperature regulation, but you will also learn how to stay more comfortable in Chicago’s frigid winters and sometimes steamy summers.  Body Dynamics and Comfort is a multidisciplinary course co-taught by Exercise Science and Engineering faculty.

July 16-26 9:30am-12:00pm
Dept of Biology
Instructor: Linda Vick, PhD

This course offers an introduction to the field of animal behavior.  We will explore basic maintenance behaviors (feeding and satiation in frogs), social interactions (games theory), time-sensitive learning (imprinting of day-old chicks), spatial use of habitat (wall-seeking in mice), and sign stimuli (releasers of agonistic displays in Siamese fighting fish) as well as other aspects of ethology.  This course uses live animals*.   Hypothesis formulation and testing, experimental design, data collection and analysis will be emphasized.  Students will maintain a protocol notebook in which they will record their laboratory work. At the end of the course, students will showcase their work in a poster session.

*With parental approval and demonstration of ability to properly care for them, animal subjects may be made available for adoption at the conclusion of the course.

July 16-26 2:30pm-5:00pm
Dept of Biology
Instructor: Drew Rholl, PhD

Have you ever seen (and smelled) the North Branch of the Chicago River and wondered, “What’s growing in there?”  For two weeks you will answer that question by using a multitude of traditional microbiological culturing techniques and modern molecular techniques in microbiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics.  We will examine water samples through differential and selective bacterial culturing, quantify bacterial burden, and identify selected bacterial isolates through DNA sequencing and genetic analysis.  By the end of the course you will have accurately identified a species of microbes you personally isolated from the river and researched what it is doing there.  At the end of the course, students will showcase their work in a poster session.

July 30 – August 2 9:30am-11:30am
Dept of Psychology
Instructor: Elizabeth Gray, PhD

Students will explore the basics of psychological assessment as it is used to understand, diagnose, and predict.  The course will include discussion of theory and assessment of major psychological concepts such as personality traits, self-esteem, happiness, and emotion regulation.  This course will encourage critical thinking about psychological concepts in everyday life, and development of self-insight.  In addition to psychological assessment, students will also analyze data on major concepts to learn about how psychologists use assessment data in real-world settings.

Application and Registration

To be considered for the program, students must complete the application and pay the course fee. Read each section below for instructions on how to apply.

Course fee is $180 per course per week. A limited number of scholarships are available. Tuition credit will be provided to student participants who matriculate at North Park. Please note that space is limited, so we may not be able to accept all students who apply. If we’re unable to accept you into the course you choose, your registration fee will be refunded.

In 200–500 words, answer the question, “Why do you want to take this course?” (Compose this answer in a word processing program before you start the registration form, and then copy and paste it into the space provided in the form.)

  • Your name, email address and phone number
  • Parent/guardian name and phone number
  • Emergency contact name and phone number
  • Name and location of your high school
  • The year you will graduate
  • List of the science classes you’ve taken in high school, with the grade earned in each
  • High school guidance counselor name, email and phone number
  • Name and contact information for a high school science teacher who will serve as a reference for you

Priority Registration and Scholarship Application: April 27, 2018
Final Registration: May 25, 2018

Apply for Summer Science Academy

Contact Dr. Yoojin Choi, program coordinator, for more information and scholarship information.