SScIP - Summer Science immersion program

Applications Must Be Submitted by Wednesday, July 10th, 2018
Admission will be on a rolling basis

Greetings from the Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges (!  I am excited to say that the department will again be hosting a week-long Summer Science Immersion Program (SScIP) this August.  The program (initially funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) will run from Sunday evening, August 19th, through Saturday morning, August 25th, and is intended for incoming students who are:
  • First-generation college students;
  • From groups traditionally underrepresented in science; and/or
  • From under-resourced high schools.

SScIP has been constructed to introduce participants to the expectations and demands of college-level science coursework.  The theme of the program, “The Chemistry of Life,” will be of particular relevance to students who plan on enrolling in introductory biology and/or chemistry during their first semester.  First-year students from all three Keck Science colleges are invited to participate in the program. 

Cutting-edge science will be the focus, as will be building habits critical to academic success in the sciences.  Departmental faculty will serve as instructors for the program, and returning students will serve as peer mentors.  The days will be full, and hands-on laboratory experiments as well as field trips are planned.  We will begin with two chemistry experiments on Monday—by the end of the day, the chemistry lab will feel like a second home!  A number of topics will then be explored, including the structure and function of biomolecules.  We will discuss the search for life on exoplanets and will visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.  We will analyze the genome and proteome of Tetrahymena thermophila, and the students will contribute their research results to an international database.  We will devote a full day to issues faced by underrepresented groups in science, during which we will take the Metrolink light rail to Cal State L.A. to meet with Professor Patrick Sharp, an expert on race and gender in science and science fiction.

Students will also have the opportunity to:

  • Create peer networks;
  • Establish strong relationships with science faculty;
  • Learn about course offerings in science and math; and
  • Explore the resources available across the Claremont Colleges.

For all participants, there will be no charge for room and board.  Participants will be housed on the Scripps campus and will eat meals in one of the dining halls.  Students will move onto the Scripps campus on Sunday, August 19th, and that evening the department will host a welcoming dinner for all participating students and their families.  The science will then begin on Monday morning!  The Immersion Program will conclude on Saturday morning, August 25th.  We will provide housing and meals after the program if students choose to stay on campus and aren’t involved in Pitzer or CMC orientation trips.

To apply for the program, simply answer the questions below and send them in an email to the Director of the program, Marion Preest (  Applications can be submitted at any time, but must be submitted by July, 10th, 2018.  You will be notified regarding your admission to the program within one week of submitting your application. 

If you have any questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

With best wishes for a wonderful summer!
Marion Preest
Pritzker Family Foundation Professor of Biology

Application Information Required (please email to Marion Preest)
  1. Name:
  2. Mailing Address:
  3. Phone Number:
  4. Email Address:
  5. College you are Admitted to:
  6. Please tell us why you are interested in participating in SScIP (max 1 pg response):
  7. Please tell us about your high school math and science background (max 1 pg response):

Testimonials from SScIP Alums

"SScIP helped me branch out of my comfort zone and explore all of the possible opportunities in …, and this program inspired me and other students similar to me.  We can do anything if we know that resources are being provided in advance (approachable professors, REU research opportunities, mentoring, tutoring, books, and more!) before starting college. If it weren't for this very elaborate program, exposing me to the opportunities being provided, I may have missed out on actually giving science a chance. Coming to lab the first day as a freshman with other students from higher backgrounds from me in the science, was not as scary thanks to SScIP.  I still speak to pretty much every single student that was in my incoming SScIP class and our current journey through the colleges and assist each other anyway we can, because SScIP brought us together to collaborate in groups and interact with one other in mentor sessions impacted me for a lifetime! I don't think I would have made it through freshman year without SSIP."

"SSciP was the training wheels that solidified my interest in studying science in college as well as allowing me to adjust to college before it actually started. I'm so appreciative for the experience for it made my transition into college so much easier." 

“SScIP gave me the confidence and support group I needed in my first semester of college. The connections I made over that single week will last me throughout college and beyond.”

“SScIP made me feel far more prepared for lab than I would have been without it, and it empowered me to see that I have a place in science, though my gender is not well-represented in STEM.”

"As a first-year college student and underrepresented minority at a higher institution, opportunities like the one SScIP offers are rare. SSCIP served as a pivotal moment by preparing me for rigorous college level readings and labs, introducing me to caring and encouraging faculty, and fostering a sense of community among my peers and I. Without a doubt, SSCIP has been the most influential program in my undergraduate education and has served as the perfect transition into college."