Congratulations to the region’s high-school students, including our son, who this week learned they were accepted to the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science [COSMOS] at UC campuses, a competitive program meant to “prepare the next generation of STEM leaders.”
It’s a good example of our statewide efforts to foster STEM education and careers in California, home to Silicon Valley and San Diego’s tech and life sciences cluster, among others, as well as top-notch universities.
COSMOS is an intensive four-week summer residential program for “high achievers” who have demonstrated an aptitude for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
It is a popular and longrunning program. Our son will join the cluster “Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine” at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego — a field that interests him. Other clusters include “Quantum Physics and Applications to Nanotechnology” (UC Davis); “Sustainable Civil Engineering Infrastructure” (UC Irvine) and “Mammals and Oceanography” or “Number Theory” (UC Santa Cruz).
The students have the opportunity to work with renowned faculty, researchers and scientists in state-of-the-art facilities, while exploring advanced STEM topics well beyond the courses offered in California high schools.
The California Legislature established the program in 1998 (Assembly Bill 2536), with the goal of “engaging talented and motivated high-school students in an intensive program of study, experimentation, and activities to further their interests and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” The curricula is both hands-on and lab intensive.
High-school students apply to one of the four University of California’s COSMOS campuses — UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz. The curriculum of each program builds on the unique teaching and research expertise of its faculty and host campus. Each campus can only accommodate about 160-200 participants, so selection is competitive.
The average unweighted GPA for 2018 applicants was 3.9. The following factors are taken into consideration: grades in math and science; math/science teacher recommendations; participation in math/science activities; short-answer quetion responses and a personal statement.