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Science & Technology Enrichment Program (STEP)

Research Experience for High School Students at the University of California, Merced


STEP applications will open in spring 2019


Director of Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve, Dr. Monique Kolster, leads STEP participants on tour of the reserve with CCBM Programs Manager, Nora Cole. STEP Orientation - June 14, 2018 (Photo credit: Veronica Adrover)

On July 25, 2018, STEP participants Anna Gueorguieva, Emily Hernandez, and Gehad Elhanafy were guests on the "Community Conversations" with Roger Wood on KYOS, where they talked about their summer research experience at UC Merced. Listen to radio interview here!


The Science and Technology Enrichment Program also hosted the Science for Humanity Series, which invited the local community to attend engaging sessions relevant to the area and times. 


Application for STEP 2019 will open in spring.

2018 STEP Flyer

2018 Summer Orientation Agenda

CCBM Staff Presentation

CCBM Flyer

CCBM 2017 Overview Presentation


As stated by one 2017 participant: “I’m very happy that I was given the opportunity to join STEP, and am grateful that we are being presented with such wonderful programs in our area.” Another 2017 participant: “I feel like I’m witnessing progress in the making.”​


Program Overview

  • Professional development and research experience for Merced area high school students
  • Access to science and engineering research labs
  • Faculty-led learning & research activities, as well as campus lab tours
  • STEM-related research topics
  • Research & academic guidance and mentoring from faculty, researchers, graduate students, staff & affiliates, with networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to present at CCBM Open House 2018 (October 22, 2018) poster session on UC Merced campus


  • June 11 - June 15, 2018: orientation activities
  • Flexible lab experience in summer (flexible dates and hours)
  • Other professional development (see Science for Humanity dates below)
  • Participation in CCBM Open House (October 22, 2018)
  • Other optional sessions


Science for Humanity (professional development for high school students)

Andy LiWang, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
University of California, Merced
THURSDAY, JULY 19 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | SSB 170
“Biological Clock Reassembled in a Test Tube”
LeRoy Westerling, Professor of Management of Complex Systems
University of California, Merced
TUESDAY, JULY 31 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | SSB 170
“Our Changing Climate and Extreme Wildfires in California and the West”
Armando Quintero, Executive Director, Sierra Nevada Research Institute University of California, Merced
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | SSB 170
“Water in California – Connecting the Drops From Your Home to a Statewide View”
Kara McCloskey, Associate Professor of Bioengineering
University of California, Merced
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | SSB 170
“Regenerative Medicine: Hype or Hope?”
Aleksandr Noy, Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Merced 
Senior Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM | SSB 120
“Carbon Nanofluidics: Can Biomimetic Membranes Help Solve the Water Crisis?”

Program Benefits​

  • Gain experience for your resume and college application
  • Explore hands-on STEM activities/research
  • Participate in professional development workshops targeted towards high school students (including some also focused on parents)
  • $150 stipend for high school students
  • Connect to UC Merced research


Eligibility for High School Students

  • Current or recently graduated high school student
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident (NSF requirement) if you seek stipend
  • Must be 14 years when program begins (per UC Policy of Minors in Labs: read about policy here.)

More details

  • Students from underrepresented groups, women, and students with disabilities highly encouraged to apply
  • A program overview meeting will be held in June for accepted students.
  • Transportation, parking, and room and board are not provided.

Required Application Materials

  • Applicant resume
  • 250-500 word statement of interest in program (should be 1/2 - 3/4 page long)
  • Contact information for one references (non-personal references only)

To Apply:

1. Fill out online application
2. Upload Resume & statement of interest (1/2 - 3/4 page long or 250/500 words in length)
3. Include contact information for one reference (not related to you)


Contact CCBM Programs Manager, Nora M. Cole or (209) 228-3603