The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in 1984 which created Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics (SVSM). It was conceived as a cost-free enrichment program for academically motivated high school students potentially interested in a career in science or mathematics. SVSM would provide participants resident experiences on university campuses during the summer.
The Summer Ventures program was placed under the administration of NC General Administration with coordinating and supervisory roles delegated to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Four campuses host the Summer Ventures Program with each site having its own director. The Summer Ventures program at East Carolina is administered through the College of Education via the Center for STEM Education.
The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) administers the statewide Summer Ventures in Science and Math Program; however, students cannot attend both NCSSM and Summer Ventures. NCSSM online students may attend Summer Ventures.
Admissions and Costs
Who can apply?
Students presently in the 10th or 11th grade in high school whose custodial parents or guardians established legal residency in North Carolina no later than December 1 of the current year. These students must have high academic ability and motivation and have a keen interest in science and mathematics. The program is not designed to provide incentive for students whose academic performance reflects a lack of self-motivation or discipline. Consideration is given to students whose abilities are not accurately reflected in grades and standardized test scores. NCSSM online students may attend Summer Ventures.
How does a student get an application?
Applications for Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics are available online at https://www.ncssm.edu/summerventures. The guidance counselors and science and mathematics teachers endeavor to make students aware of this opportunity.
Applications are turned in to the guidance counselor who then mails them in to the Durham office postmarked no later than January 15th of the year in which the summer program is run.
How are students selected?
An admissions committee, made up of professionals in education, science and mathematics from across North Carolina, selects the finalists invited to participate in SVSM. Each finalist is assigned to a specific campus based upon availability of the student’s preferred academic program and the appropriate distance away from home. The assignment is final.
So that SVSM may serve as many students as possible, no participant may attend for more than one summer. Students may apply to SVSM and Governor’s School; however, if a student is accepted into both Summer Ventures and Governor’s School, the student must choose one program to attend. Students may apply to SVSM and NCSSM; however, if a student is accepted into both Summer Ventures and NCSSM, the student must choose one program to attend.
How much will it cost?
This program is cost free to students. Summer Ventures is a state-funded program for NC residents with room and board provided.
Disclaimer: The 2023 SVSM program will be delivered virtually during the first week and in-person during weeks 2-4.
Curriculum & Courses at ECU
SVSM supplements high school and university courses, taking students beyond the traditional boundaries of high school science and mathematics. A distinguished faculty of university professors and master high school teachers, working in cooperation with science and mathematics professionals from other institutions, government and industry, guides students through an academic program specially designed to provide experience in scientific inquiry and mathematical problem-solving. Specifically, students learn experimental design, laboratory skills, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, strategies in mathematical problem-solving and exploratory data analysis. Moreover, the students learn these basics while engaged in specific scientific and mathematical topics of interest to them. They also learn about computer applications, careers in science and mathematics, social issues related to science, and communication skills for mathematics and science competitions.
Each university may have areas of special interest due to their location or facilities.
Resident Advisors are there to provide guidance and plan social and cultural activities. Each RA has a certain number of students assigned to them and each group with their RA has individual meetings, friendly competitions, and the groups often coordinate evening activities.
ECU Summer Ventures 2023 Calendar
Each of the four universities has one session of Summer Ventures; however, they may start their session on different dates. The program will run for four weeks at each university.
Sunday, June 25 – Saturday, July 23, 2023
Sunday, June 25 – Saturday, July 1 – Week 1 (virtual)
Sunday, July 2 – Saturday, July 22 – Weeks 2-4 at East Carolina University
Final day of Summer Ventures: Saturday, July 22, 2023
Research Presentations and Certificate Ceremony (Schedule TBD)
What Happens at Summer Ventures?
An important aspect of Summer Ventures is research. Therefore, students take classes while conducting research. Working alone or with a partner, they carry out hands-on research on a particular topic and prepare a paper that is the culminating product of the research. They will then give an oral presentation of their research paper on the final day of Summer Ventures to their fellow students, staff, parents and friends. Presentations are judged by an outside panel of experts and the top presentations become our Catalyst Awards.
On the final day of Summer Ventures, each student gives a 10-minute oral presentation of their research project paper. Sessions are going on simultaneously in 8-10 classrooms, usually in the General Classroom Building. Parents, faculty, staff, and other students may sit in on these presentations. There is a great deal of excitement in the air and many students are nervous at first, but they find that giving their presentation is much easier than they thought it would be. It is a great experience and all the parents are really impressed and very proud. These students go back to their high schools with a higher level of confidence in themselves and are better prepared for their future.
In writing their research paper, each student must write an abstract describing their project. This, again, is helping the student to gain an understanding of what is expected of them by a university professor. The abstracts are published in digital form and each student receives a copy.