The Summer Science & Math Experience
The Summer Science and Math Experience (SSME), founded in 2009, was developed collaboratively by science and education faculty members from Pitt-Greensburg to
inspire middle school students, going into 9th grade, an opportunity to experience the wonder and excitement of the science and math fields.
Students use inquiry-based, hands-on learning techniques to explore biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and other areas related to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Students are divided into cohorts with a mix from each participating school.
Each cohort has the opportunity to participate in all of the experiences offered. By dividing the students into smaller groups, participants have the opportunity to work closely with Pitt-Greensburg faculty members and have an excellent opportunity to participate hands-on. Students participating in the SSME program reside on campus, engage in workshops and research activities, and are mentored by Pitt-Greensburg senior faculty members. In addition, students participate in off-campus activities such as touring a research-grade nuclear reactor.
Students are selected at the recommendation of their school principal, guidance counselor, and/or science and math teachers. SSME is provided to a limited number of students. Those selected should feel privileged and are encouraged to take advantage of all the great activities available.
The average cost for each student’s participate is approximately $950. This includes the experiences, field trip to Penn State, room, and meals. Students are invited to participate at no cost. The program is fully funded by the generous support of local foundations and corporations.
Students will reside in the University’s Academic Village. Two residence halls are allocated to SSME, one for the boys and one for the girls. In addition to the Experience Counselors, two faculty members reside on campus each night in the residence halls. The Academic Village offers privacy with the comforts of home in a full-size, apartment-style accommodation. Village Hall, located in the center of the Academic Village and where the students will gather for evening activities, is home to the Coffeehouse where students can grab a flavored coffee, soft drink, and snack. Each full-size, apartment-style room accommodates four students and includes the following:
- Four private bedrooms each equipped with an extra-long twin bed, desk, chair, dresser, and closet space
- Two full bathrooms
- Full kitchen with oven, stovetop, dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator
- Dining table and chairs
- Furnished living room
- Air conditioning
- Carpeted rooms
- Free local phone service
Students will be required to supply their own toiletries, bath
towels, and linens.
All meals and snacks are provided to the students and are prepared by Chartwells Food Service. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in Wagner Dining Hall located in Chambers Hall. Evening snacks are served in Village Hall. Ample food is provided, yet students may bring additional snacks and drinks to keep in their apartments. Dietary needs and restrictions can be accommodated.
The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg’s Police Department is dedicated to the protection and security of the University and its diverse community. The campus is patrolled 24/7. There are thirty-three (33) emergency call boxes located throughout the campus and dial directly to the officer on duty. Each resident room is equipped with a fire extinguisher. In addition, fourteen (14) Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) are located across the campus.
History of SSME
The visionary and founder of this program is the late Dr. Ted Zaleskiewicz, emeritus professor of physics at Pitt-Greensburg. Dr. Zaleskiewicz wanted to create a program that would get young students excited about science and math. The SSME program is designed to help students, going into the ninth grade, to experience the wonder and excitement of the science and math fields. He felt that by exposing students to the applications of scientific reasoning on a higher level, SSME could break down barriers that impede so many students. This experience could open their eyes and minds to exciting career possibilities in the STEM fields.
What students are saying about SSME
- It was one of the best weeks of my summer
- I had an amazing time. I learned so much about different fields of science.
- This is an amazing program.
- This camp has me thinking about a career in chemistry.
- This program allowed me to think about science beyond the classroom.
- It was fun to have hands-on experiences with science and not just looking at a textbook.
- This was an experience that I will never forget.
- I had so much fun, I don’t even know where to begin!
- Who knew science could be so much fun?
- SSME changed my thoughts about science.
What parents are saying about SSME
- As parents, we are grateful for the wonderful adventure and education that you have provided.
- SSME is a great opportunity and experience for our youth to be introduced to math and science from college professors.
- My son had a wonderful experience. He was hesitant about going, but when we picked him up, he couldn’t stop talking about all the fun he had learning about science.
- My daughter was selected to attend SSME, and the overall experience completely surpassed our expectations. My daughter returned home with a new appreciation of the science field.
- I would encourage any parent who has the opportunity to send their child to do so.
- This experience helped bring out how much fun science and math actually can be.
- It is wonderful to give our children and chance of a lifetime like SSME.
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. A regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt-Greensburg offers 27 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Biochemistry and Spanish Education, as well as 19 minors. More than 18 percent of Pitt-Greensburg’s full-time faculty—the highest percentage of any University of Pittsburgh campus—have received the prestigious Universitywide Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
For more information about the SSME program, contact:
Director, University Relations and Institutional Advancement
and SSME Manager
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
150 Finoli Drive, Lynch Hall 201, Greensburg, PA 15601
Direct Telephone: 724-836-9942 w Fax: 724-836-7178