Step Up to STEM Student Life

Step Up to STEM provides students the chance to explore curriculum in ways not typically available to them during the standard school year. During the first summer of the week-long program, students will be engaged in an interdisciplinary science, mathematics, and biomedical engineering curriculum supported by a writing component. The program will also dive into biological systems and associated cellular processes. During the second summer of the week-long program, students will participate in a research-focused course.

Enrichment activities outside of class time further develop students’ social and academic learning through on- and off- campus events and field trips. Past activities have included planetarium shows, hip hop writing workshops, attending baseball games, visits to labs, board game nights, sports, STEM career panels, ice cream socials, and tours of university campuses.

It was wonderful. I was able to learn, go to class, and have fun. That experience is the reason that I am more seriously considering a career that is focused on science and math. The classes provided allowed me to realize my love for math and helped me see how much fun science could be. That is why I want to continue to explore subjects that are related to science.”   

Step Up to STEM participant

A Typical Academic Day

Step Up to STEM participants receive one-on-one attention from instructors and mentors. Session groups are comprised of 16 students or less with several counselors and instructors to provide personal attention to participants. A typical weekday looks like this:

Cohort 1 (Rising 9th Graders)

8:00 a.m.:  Breakfast

9:00 a.m.:   Session 1: Math

10:30 a.m.:  Session 2: Engineering

12:00 p.m.:  Lunch

1:00 pm.:  Session 3: Science

2:30 p.m.: Enrichment activities

5:30 p.m.:  Dinner

6:30 p.m.:  Wellness/free time

7:00 p.m.:  Enrichment and student life activities

9:30 p.m.: On hall check and meeting

10:00 p.m.: In-room curfew

Cohort 2  (Rising 10th Graders)

8:00 a.m.: Breakfast

9:00 a.m.: Research-Focused Course

10:30 a.m.: Research-Focused Course

12:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:00 p.m.: Research-Focused Course

2:30 p.m.: Enrichment activities

5:30 p.m.: Dinner

6:30 p.m.: Wellness/free time

7:00 p.m.: Enrichment and student life activities

9:30 p.m.: On hall check and meeting

10:00 p.m.: In-room curfew

Key Dates for Summer 2024

December 1, 2023: Application portal opens

January 11, 2024: Step Up to STEM at ECSU Virtual Information Session

January 18, 2024: Step Up to STEM at NCSSM-Durham Virtual Information Session

February 8, 2024: Application portal closes

March 13, 2024: Acceptance decisions emailed

March 27, 2024: Deadline for acceptance contracts to be submitted

June 16-21, 2024: Cohort 2 (NCSSM-Durham)

July 7-12, 2024: Cohorts 1 and 2 (ECSU)

July 14-19, 2024: Cohort 1 (NCSSM-Durham)

Step Up to STEM Virtual Office Hours:
The purpose of the Step Up to STEM Virtual Office Hours is to answer any questions that parents, students, and/or educators may have about the Step Up to STEM application process.

December 7, 2024: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
January 25, 2024: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Please note the following:
Cohort 1 = rising 9th grade students
Cohort 2 = rising 10th grade students

Program Director, NCSSM-Durham

Letitia Hubbard

Instructor of Engineering and Mentorship


Program Director, ECSU

Step Up to STEM


Gerri Cole

Associate Director of STEM Outreach, Equity, and Engagement