McDonald Institute’s Summer of Science

McDonald Institute's Summer of Science 2024 - Application Period Closed

The McDonald Institute, now in partnership with the Carbon to Metal Coating Institute (C2MCI), will again be running its Summer of Science during summer 2024. The Summer of Science is a free afternoon enrichment program for a small group of high school and middle school students (including students graduating this June). The program will be in-person for those in the Kingston and surrounding area, and we will also have a virtually cohort based on interest. Over 12 afternoon sessions (twice a week for 6 weeks), this program focuses on the physical sciences and the process of doing science. The Summer of Science program is led by undergraduates and joined by scientists at the McDonald Institute and the C2MCI. Participating students explore through hands-on activities a variety of content and practices that are part of the every-day job of our scientists. This program’s goal is to supplement the focus on scientific content in the classroom with the tools of the trade that are at the heart of actually doing science. Activities will as much as possible involve students recreating and exploring these demonstrations at home before sharing with their cohort.

An example of skills and practices that may be touched on:

  • Inquiry,
  • Hypothesis forming
  • Experimentation
  • Data Analysis
  • Searching past research publications
  • Computer Programming
  • Presenting results

These skills will be covered through their application to science content, which could include topics such as:

  • Fundamentals of Astronomy: Galaxy, Structure, Cosmology, Dark Matter
  • The standard model of particle physics: particles and how they interact
  • Neutrinos and Dark Matter from a particle astrophysics perspective
  • The Nobel-prize winning SNO Experiment
  • Evidence of dark matter
  • The nature of neutrinos
  • The hunt to detect these elusive particles

Students may also get involved with their instructor’s research projects. This involvement will contribute to the research being done here at Queen’s and will be recognized appropriately.

NOTE: The program is entirely free for all participants. 

Program Afternoons: Students will meet with their instructors over approximately six weeks, scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (1:30 – 4:30 PM EDT) starting on July 9th until Aug 15th 2024, both in person or online depending on the group. Note: in your application email, please indicate any dates that may not work for you. We will try to accommodate you. Please also confirm if you would be available to participate on campus as an in-person group.

Program Conclusion: The summer program will end with a presentation by the students on their involvement in research projects over the summer. These presentations will be open for all to join, including friends and family.

The application period is now closed. We are still finalizing the final placements from the current application pool.

For more information, don’t hesitate to email and make sure to reference “Summer of Science”.

Summer of Science 2024 poster: July 9 - Aug 15: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

If you would like to sign up to be notified about other opportunities from the McDonald Institute, you can do so here: