VU aiming to ignite interest and diversify STEM fields with free programs for high school and junior high students

VU aiming to ignite interest and diversify STEM fields with free programs for high school and junior high students

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February 11, 2022

VINCENNES, Ind. - Vincennes University is launching free summer STEM academies at its Vincennes and Jasper campuses as part of initiatives to provide opportunities for Indiana high school and junior high school students from all backgrounds to explore careers and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The academies will encourage STEM as a career path by introducing them to engaging real-world project-based learning experiences showcasing STEM’s role in various fields, including filmmaking, building houses, hydroponic food production, landing rovers on Mars, nursing, welding, and more. 

Students will interact with esteemed VU faculty and industry experts. VU alumni working in STEM fields will share their experiences. Students will also see STEM in action by visiting local employers.

According to STEM Academy Coordinator and Adjunct Biology & Chemistry Professor Nicole Hagemeier-McVay, “The goal of Vincennes University is to empower students’ learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We want to give them the knowledge and confidence they need to seek their desired field. By expanding their horizons and exposing them to a world of opportunities, we are putting them on a path to success in their future careers. Not only will students get to experience STEM in a college setting while at camp, but they will also be provided with the tools they need to prepare for a successful transition to college and the workforce.”

Jobs in STEM provide tremendous career opportunities and play a powerful role in driving our economy. STEM occupations are projected to grow over two times faster than the total for all occupations in the next decade, according to a 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics article. The BLS 2019–29 employment projections show that occupations in the STEM field are expected to grow 8 percent by 2029, compared with 3.7 percent for all occupations. The median annual wage of STEM occupations in 2020 was $89,780 as reported by the BLS.

Created to help diversify the pipeline of students heading into STEM fields and ensure all Hoosiers have an on-ramp to STEM education and careers, VU will host academies at both the Vincennes Campus and Jasper Campus.

The University's $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. helps support the academies.

The STEM Academy on the Vincennes Campus is a weeklong overnight camp for rising Indiana high school juniors and seniors from Sunday, June 26 through Friday, July 1. Students are eligible to earn college credit.

VU Jasper will host a pair of day camps at its campus. A STEM Academy on Tuesday, June 21 is for Indiana students going into the seventh and eighth grades. On the Jasper Campus, a STEM Academy for Indiana students going into the ninth and 10th grades will take place Wednesday, June 22, and Thursday, June 23.

Registration is open through Feb. 28. Registration and additional information are available for the Vincennes Campus at or the Jasper Campus at