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The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge is a residential, hands-on learning experience for the Appalachian region’s middle and high school students and high school teachers in STEM-related fields. For high school students and teachers, the Academy is a two-week summer program that allows participants to interact and work with scientists from ORNL and other STEM experts on inquiry-based, applied projects in science, math, and research-related computer technology. For middle school students, the Academy is a one-week summer program allowing participants to work in collaborative teams with experienced master and assistant teachers to utilize current technologies to answer a research question. The Bridge Program is a new, two-week residential experience for those who have completed the middle school program as an 8th grader but are not yet old enough to apply for the high school program. The participants in the Bridge Program work with a master and assistant teacher to expand upon the project completed in the middle school Academy. In addition to research, many other activities are incorporated into the program to promote teamwork, expose students to college opportunities, and promote pride in the cultural richness and historical importance of the Appalachian region. The ARC Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge culminates with group presentations by students and teachers about their projects and research findings.

Applications are closed for Summer 2022.

  • “I would recommend it. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

    —Student 2018
  • “It was one of the best experiences! I made many new friends and learned a lot of new things!”

    —Student 2018
  • "The program was excellent and I cannot speak highly enough about it."

    —Student 2021
  • “I would highly recommend this program. It was truly eye opening to the amazing world around me.”

    —Student 2018
  • "Yes I would recommend the program. It gave me experiences you can't get anywhere else. It allowed me to meet people and do things I otherwise wouldn't have."

    —Student 2021
  • “This was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life and I am so grateful for everything everyone has done in order for me to get here. Coming here introduced me into the real world. When I left Ohio 2 weeks ago I was super shy and always stuck to myself and had so much trouble finding people with common interests and coming here changed that! Never stop doing this amazing thing for kids all over Appalachia.”

    —Student 2018
  • "It was a great program and I am grateful and honored to have been a part of it."

    —Student 2021
  • "I would recommend this program to friends because you get to meet people all over the country and make new friends and learn about interesting topics you didnt even know about."

    —Student 2020