High School STEM Research Program


AEOP High School Internship STEM Research Program

The Center for STEM Education will host its AEOP High School Internship STEM Research Program Summer 2024. High school rising juniors and rising seniors will have the opportunity to be paired with a faculty mentor for an intensive summer six to eight week STEM research experience. Students will have the opportunity to engage in multiple events that will showcase their research experience and findings.

Online Application

  • We have received funding from the AEOP program and will run the High School Internship STEM Research Program Summer 2024.
  • We will use the AEOP central application only. The AEOP Internships central application is hosted by RIT on the Ideal-Logic platform. 
  • Applicants must meet the AEOP Definition of Underserved.
    AEOP’s goal is to broaden participation of underserved populations in STEM and have diverse participation in AEOP’s programs to reflect the nation’s demographics. Participants in AEOP High School Internships funded through this solicitation must self-identify with two or more of the following:
    •attends a rural, urban, Title I, or frontier/tribal school
    •is a female and pursuing research in physical science, computer science, mathematics, or engineering
    •is as a racial/ethnic minority in STEM (Alaska Native, Native American, Black or African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander)
    •is low-income (eligible for free- and reduced- lunch in school, FARMS)
    •speaks English as a second language (ELL)
    •will be a first generation college student
    •has or previously had a disability (physical or mental impairment, medical condition, or learning disability)
    •is a military-affiliated child (dependents of members of the active-duty Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves, or a Veteran) or attends a military connected school (where a minimum of 15% of the student population is military-connected)
  • Selected students must register to participate in the 2025 Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS) held at UNC Charlotte tentatively scheduled for February 23-24, 2025.
  • A virtual Program Orientation will be held June 14, 2024.
  • All selected students are expected to be on campus from 8:30 to 4 pm daily. The schedule for the summer 2024 program will be weekdays June 17-18, June 20 -28, July 1-3, July 8-26, 2024, and July 13 (8 to noon only). Do not plan to take vacation or time off during the scheduled program dates. There may be up to 12 hours pre and post-work required by the faculty mentor to prepare for or complete the internship.


  • The AEOP Central Application Site for UNC Charlotte will close May 3, 2024.
  • Selected applicants will be notified by May 17, 2024 and will be required to complete additional UNC Charlotte contractual paperwork to confirm participation in the program.

For more information contact Alisa Wickliff at abwickli@charlotte.edu.

AEOP High School Internship Program Objectives
In support of AEOP priorities, AEOP High School Internships aim to expose, spark interest, enrich, and support high school students from underserved populations to encourage their pursuit of education and careers in STEM. Measured through post-program survey of interns and their mentors, the initiative seeks to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Grow participant interest and engagement in STEM
    Enable students to work collaboratively as part of a team, analyze data or information and draw conclusions, design a research or investigation based on their own question(s), design and carry out an investigation, solve real-world problems, interact with STEM researchers, present their STEM research to a panel of experts, work with a STEM professional on a real-world STEM research project and/or an assigned project, and use laboratory procedures and tools.
  2. Increase STEM competencies among participants
    Gain knowledge of STEM topics and how scientists and engineers work on real-world problems. Grow awareness of research processes, ethics, and rules for conduct in STEM. Increase understanding of what everyday research is like in STEM. Improve skills related to planning and carrying out investigations (defining a problem, creating a hypothesis, creating procedures, carrying out an experiment, recording data accurately, analyzing and interpreting data, and presenting an argument that uses data from the investigation to make a point).
  3. Increase participant interest in STEM education and careers
    Spark and further interest in pursuing postsecondary education in STEM fields and working in a STEM careers through exposure to various STEM education/career pathways.
  4. Increase participant awareness and interest in Army and DoD STEM research and careers
    Discuss the breadth and importance of Army and DoD STEM research (it advances science and engineering fields, it develops new cutting-edge technologies) and the value this research has to society. Increase awareness of STEM workforce needs and career pathways within the Army and DoD.
  5. Increase participant interest in pursuing future STEM activities
    Spark and further interest in STEM-related activities such as: working on a future STEM project, participating in a STEM camp, club, or competition, mentoring other students about STEM, helping with a community service project connected to STEM, talking with friends and family about STEM, and doing STEM during leisure time (tinkering, computer programming, reading/watching nonfiction STEM materials, etc.).
  6. Increase participant awareness and interest in future AEOP opportunities
    Provide information about future AEOP opportunities and resources including: the Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS), undergraduate internships, graduate and postdoctoral Fellowships, the SMART Scholarship Program, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, the AEOP travel award, AEOP alumni council, AEOP Near Peer Mentor Roles, and volunteer opportunities with eCYBERMISSION.
  7. Impact participants through mentorship from professional scientists and engineers
    Utilize a mentorship model and mentorship strategies to impact development in STEM including supervising the practice of STEM research skills; providing constructive feedback to improve their STEM competencies; and encouraging collaborative learning (team meetings, journal club, etc.). Help interns understand how STEM can improve their own community and the role it plays in their everyday lives. Encourage interns to exchange ideas with others who have different viewpoints or backgrounds. Utilize mentorship to support the diverse needs of interns as learners, establishing the relevance of learning activities, fostering development of communication and interpersonal skills, and supporting STEM activities and educational pathways.