Many students begin thinking of their next summer break the day they start school. If they’re juniors, they look forward to a well-deserved break, an opportunity to begin college applications, or a chance to participate in an internship or summer program. It may only be winter right now, but the deadlines for two especially rigorous programs are fast approaching.
The Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP) is a six-week long summer seminar program for rising seniors who would like to receive challenges that schools do not necessarily give them. It is based at both the University of Michigan and Cornell University, and offers four choices for seminars (two at each university) and a community that the students engage in. While traditionally thought of as a humanities-focused program, however, TASP takes an interdisciplinary approach. This year, for example, it offers a seminar on “Science Fiction, Technology, and the Human Horizon” alongside seminars on Jerusalem, Enlightenment philosophy, and transitions in American identity. TASP draws intelligent and motivated students from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, stressing a close-knit community. The students attend their seminar every weekday for three hours. Afterwards, their days may include listening to lectures from guest speakers or organizing their own activities. “TASP is an amazing experience, bringing together curious, young, quirky intellectuals from around the world to learn, bond, and contemplate the nature of our surroundings,” commented one former “TASPer” from Montgomery County.
TASP is free for all current juniors or rising seniors to apply. The application process for TASP is fairly simple. Once at the site, create an account and complete the online application, or download the pdf version of the application and mail it in. Students are expected to write a series of essays as a part of the process. The deadline is January 20. TASP selects 130 to 140 students for an interview, out of which 64 students are ultimately placed in the program. If selected, the cost to attend is free, but students must pay for their transportation.
The Research Science Institute (RSI) is for rising seniors who aspire to work in science and technology research. It is a five-week program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The first week deals strictly with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) classes with professors and mentors. For the remaining five weeks, RSI students work on individual projects with the help of scientists and researchers as a part of the research internship. After completing their research, students write a report and prepare presentations on their findings. For the entire duration of the program, students have access to the resources that MIT has to offer. They also have the opportunity to meet prominent figures in STEM, and take field trips around Boston.
“I worked on a programming project at RSI that has implications for disaster relief management,” said Jon Xia, a graduate of Richard Montgomery High School who was selected for the 2013 RSI program.
Prospective RSI students should fill out an application and send it in before January 16. While there is an application fee, the cost of the program is free for accepted students. The application is found on the RSI website and can be downloaded. Only 80 students are accepted to RSI each year.
Article by the MoCo Student Staff Writer Syllia Newstead of Richard Montgomery High School
Area near the Telluride House at Cornell University