Teen Research and Education in Environmental Science (TREES)
The Teen Research and Education in Environmental Science (TREES) program is a unique summer research and mentorship program offering hands-on environmental research opportunities to motivated high school students. Each summer, approximately eight high-school students work one-on-one with mentors on projects that they choose and design.
In addition, the TREES scholars attend two weekly academic activities with STEER students. The first is a Cutting-Edge research seminar from a Penn professor on topics in environmental health and toxicology. The other is a weekly field trip to a site of environmental interest, such as a superfund site, or a community meeting on environmental justice. Other activities include workshops on college admissions, science and engineering career exploration, and writing and presentation skills. In addition, participants participate in a variety of social and cultural activities, including viewing and discussing environmentally-themed movies.
The TREES program is a community service of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET).
- Students must have completed grade 9, 10, or 11 by the summer.
- There is no tuition or fees for the program.
- GPA at least 3.0/4.0.
- Parental consent required
- Students must live in Philadelphia or the surrounding area.
- TREES is a day program, not residential; housing is not provided by the program and students must arrange transportation to campus daily.
- Candidates from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Develop a research project based in your area of interest.
- Work with a diverse group of researchers from high school, college and professional schools.
- Be mentored by professional scientists, students and faculty from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
- Classroom lectures
- Attend seminars from experts in many fields of environmental science, such as epidemiology, toxicology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and education.
- Learn and apply the process of scientific research.
- Communicate science findings in presentations and written reports.
- Explore careers in science, medicine, and engineering.
- Field trips to sites of environmental interest.
Typical daily schedule for the first two weeks:
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Classroom
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Structured laboratory exercise
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Independent library research
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Group Projects, lab maintenance
Fridays: Field trips take up most of the day.
Tuesday mornings: Cutting-Edge seminars and discussion
After the first two weeks, structured laboratory exercises and library research will be replaced by independent research on individual projects.