Since its inception in 1988, over 1,500 students have participated in the University of Maryland’s Summer Girls physics program for rising 9th through 12th graders. Last summer alone, more than 50 young students came to campus for one or two weeks to explore concepts from classical and modern physics, conduct hands-on laboratory experiments, and learn about careers in physics. The students also met and spoke with physics professors and graduate students, listened to interesting lectures, and toured research laboratory tours.
The program is mostly funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Physics Frontier Center at the Joint Quantum Institute. Students paid only $25 to participate last year. Participants of the program, which is directed by Donna Hammer, have come not only from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., but also from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and all over the world. Graduates have gone on to become engineers, doctors, computer scientists and, of course, physicists.