Orange Alert

Creating a Pipeline into Physics: Syracuse University Research in Physics (SURPh) Summer Internship for High School Students

Physics SURPh summer internship

Posted on: Dec. 15, 2023

Summer High School Program - Part Deux.

SURPh students group picture

SURPh 2023 student graduates and mentors

Syracuse University Physics is on a roll! In collaboration with the Syracuse City School District, we bring in high school students for six-week paid internships through our Syracuse University Research in Physics (SURPh) program.Last summer, we were able to bring 12 high school students to campus to learn about labs, work directly with faculty members and graduate students, and conduct their own research. Our goal this year is to bring 24 students to campus through SURPh - doubling our impact!

The SURPh program helps local students meet our world-class faculty and be exposed to the cutting-edge research we do in areas such as biophysics, computational physics, and astrophysics. These students have the chance to determine if a career in physics might be for them, and our faculty serve as mentors to the next generation of physicists.

How can you help?

We can’t continue to expand this program without your help! If you’re interested, here are some ways you can make a difference:

  • Make a gift to the Physics Department Fund. Offering paid internships, even for local students, gets pricey. We need financial support for expenses such as transportation and meals for our high school participants.
  • Volunteer to mentor. Email to let us know if you are interested. By volunteering a little bit of your time to meet with SURPh participants via Zoom or phone, you would be making a world of difference in their career growth. By sharing your own journey with a physics degree, you can help these students see how physics can be a lifelong, sustaining career.
  • Have another way you’d like to help? Let us know at! We are open to any other ideas or opportunities you may be willing to offer.

Syracuse City School District High School Physics Visit Day

On Tuesday, May 23, Syracuse Physics hosted over 90 physics students from Syracuse City Schools and their teachers to come to campus to learn about Syracuse University, watch a demo show, and have a tour. Students were from all years – freshman to senior, and all taking a physics class this year. We decided to launch this event this year because last summer, when we hosted the SURPh students, most had never visited campus. This is surprising and a missed opportunity to make the students feel welcome and more comfortable on a college campus. We were fortunate to get presentations from Admissions, Financial Aid, Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), and the Pre-Health Advising office. Sam Sampere gave a wonderful demonstration that wowed the audience. After the demo show, students did a one-hour tour of campus led by student admissions tour guides, including undergraduate physics alumna Ava Breitbeck with the help of one of our PhD candidate Tianna McBroom. We hope in the future, the students can stay with us longer to be able to get more physics information from current faculty and students. Overall, it was a great day, and we hope to continue this event annually to ensure that our local physics students are seeing the opportunities at Syracuse University.

SCSD visit

Syracuse City School District Physics Classes visit Syracuse University Physics on May 23!