STEM students can ‘SMASH’ obstacles: applications open now

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) prove to be a significant part of our students’ futures. Illustration by Vivian Le.

By Karen Phan, Staff Writer

The Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) offers underrepresented high school students an opportunity to immerse themselves in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related activities and learning. The program is meant to give these students access to enrichment courses in order to pursue their passion.

Originally founded at the University of Berkeley, SMASH academies have been established at six other university sites. SMASH targets minority, first generation and low income freshmen students. Applicants are not required to fall into these three categories to apply, but they must be freshmen.

Students who are accepted do a five week residency course at a SMASH site for three summers. Students reside at their SMASH site for the duration of their residency, much like living in a dorm and going to college. After the residency is over, students are still immerse in their STEM education through workshops done throughout the year.

The application for SMASH will be open to students if, according to their zip code, they reside within 50 miles of a SMASH site. For Fountain Valley High School (FVHS) students, UCLA is the closest SMASH site.

Other requirements include excellence in math, two teacher recommendations, transcript records and enrollment in a public high school or private high school via financial aid. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.

The SMASH Academy is an opportunity for students who would like to pursue a STEM career. It is free of cost, empowers and prepares students for college. For more information, visit the SMASH website here.

SMASH is run by Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI). Photo provided by LPFI.

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