McDonald Institute’s Summer of Science

McDonald Institute's Summer of Science 2023 - All Positions Taken

While recognizing the difficulty at this current time, the McDonald Institute will again be running its Summer of Science during summer 2023. 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 available virtually, and we will also try to have an in-person cohort for those in the Kingston area. Over 12 afternoon sessions, this program focuses on physics and the process of doing science. The Summer of Science program is led by undergraduates and joined by scientists at the McDonald Institute. Participating students explore through hands-on activities a variety of content and practices that are part of the every-day job of the astronomers and particle physicists at the McDonald Institute. 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 physics content such as:

  • Fundamentals of Astronomy: Galaxy, Structure, Cosmology, Dark Matter
  • The standard model of particle physics: particles and how they interact
  • Neutrinos and DM 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 11th until Aug 17th 2023, 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 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 has officially closed. We thank all those that applied and showed interest, and apologies to those we were unable to admit to the program.

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

2023 McDonald Institute Summer of Science Poster. Apply by May 19th.

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