Program Overview 

For rising 12th graders 

The ESTEEM Research Mentoring Program (Engineering Science and Technology to Energize and Expand Young Minds) and the Summer Engineering Research (SER)-Quest is an intensive 4-week research focused program sponsored by the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. 

The goal of the ESTEEM/SER-Quest Program is to recruit talented students to attend the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

This summer's program is a 4-week, commuter program.

During the ESTEEM/SER-Quest Program, students will:

  • Explore engineering through a research project 
  • Learn about engineering research and engineering concepts 
  • Develop a research proposal,  complete a literature search,  and review for the research project 
  • Learn about the college application process, financial aid processes, and test-taking straetegies
  • Meet undergraduate and graduate students through engineering focused programs and activities

Please note that participation in the ESTEEM/SER-Quest  does not guarantee admission to the University of Maryland.

  • Expose high school seniors to college-level engineering research.
  • Introduce rising high school seniors to the University of Maryland and to the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
  • Help acedmically strong high school seniors become highly competitive candidates for admission to the University of Maryland and to the A. James Clark School of Engineering through a research opportunity 
  • The program is open to all students , however, the targeted groups for this program are from underrepresented ethnic groups: African American, American Indian, Pacific Islander and Latino/Hispanic.
  • Interested students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA with no C's in Math and Science Courses
  • Have a significant and demonstrated interest in and aptitude for a career in engineering
  • Have a serious interest in attending the University of Maryland College Park and majoring in engineering
  • Student must  be ready to  take Pre-Calculus by 12th grade
  • Have completed Chemistry with a grade of B or better
  • Have completed 11th grade by June 2020
  • Demonstration of excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Be available on a full-time basis for the entire duration of the 4-week summer program
  • Complete all components of application by deadline
  • Participate in a formal interview, if chosen as a finalist
  •  Complete the Application  (Application will be available on February 1, 2020)
  • Write a 300-word essay on the topic, "What impact does Engineering have on society and what will be your contribution to the field of Engineering?" Please include in the essay why you are interested in the field of engineering.
  • Please include a copy of your resume. You will be able to upload the essay and your resume via the Online Application portal.
  • Two (2) recommendation are required, (1) from a math teacher and (1)from a science teacher.  Ask your teacher to please tell us in narrative form why they endorse you for the ESTEEM Research Mentoring Program. The teacher is to address what they know about the student's academic performance, participation in school activities as well as their character, reliability, conduct and general qualifications for participation in ESTEEM. (Please provide your teachers with the link located under "Submission of Supporting Documents" to submit their letter.)
  • A copy of the student's high school transcript  (Please provide your high school counselor or registrar staff with link located under "Submission of Supporting Documents" to upload the high school transcript.)
  •  11th grade report card through the last marking period.
  • A copy of the student’s SAT Math/SAT Verbal scores,  copy of ACT score and or PSAT score



Cost: $350.00


Application Opens: February 1, 2020

Aplpication Deadline: March 1, 2020

Program Dates: July 6, 2020 - July 31, 2020


High School Transcript

Transcripts will only be accepted by high school counselors or registrar staff.  Transcripts may be submitted via the Transcript Form.  

Letters of Recommendation

We will only accept letters of recommendation from Math and Science Teachers. Letter may be submitted via the Letter of Recommendation Form.

Review testimonals from past participants below! 

Describe your work dynamic within you team over the course of the program? Do you believe that your research skills have improved? Why or why not? Has this program increased your interest in Engineering or a STEM-related major/career?

"In my group, we had the task of working in chemical biomolecular engineering. In terms of research, we split between three tasks and everybody had different jobs to do in the project. One person would reference all our websites while another person would look for information. One person would summarize the information and the last person would overview and check over the work to turn in. I believe my research skills have improved by a wide range. I didn’t even know what the aspects of an annotated bibliography included. This program has successfully taught me how to conduct thorough and reliable research and use it to support my work. Although some tasks got frustrating, we still pushed through. If some people got bored with their job, we would rotate. This program has increased my interest in engineering for the future more than ever before. I thought that maybe learning more about engineering was going to make me second guess my passion for engineering or having a career in STEM. Learning about engineering through this program has only fueled that passion."

-Somotochi  O. , ESQ' 19 , Charles Herbert Flowers High School


"Over the course of the program, I feel as though the work dynamic within our team was balanced. It never never felt like one person was doing more work than the other and we both were interested in the research and eager to get the work completed in a timely fashion. Our mentor, Mr. Lei Pan, was a great help, assisting us in finalizing each of our milestones and teaching us more about our project. I believe my research skills have improved from this program because coming into this program, I had only done research during science fair. In this program, we were given the opportunity to actually work in a research lab with our mentor. The research skills that I took away from this program can be applied in future research projects that I will have to do in the future. I was already interested in a STEM-related major/career prior to coming into the ESTEEM/Ser-Quest program, but attending this program allowed me to really opened my eyes to many different areas I may be interested in, in the STEM field."

-Herman L. , ESQ'19 , Oxon Hill High School 


How do you feel about the Experience UMD activities? e.g. (Departmental Tours, Information Sessions, Scavenger Hunt, NASA trip, etc.)

 "The information that was given to us was much more personal and in-depth than anything you could find online; which I personally appropriated. I was able to ask questions and obtain answers that were very helpful. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to have the information session for they were en lighting. The Scavenger Hunt was one of the more interactive parts of the program in which I truly enjoyed.  I believe many of us got closer that day as we had to meet new people and work together to complete the mission. I enjoyed the laughter and smiles that the activity bought and I ask that the activity be continued for I enjoyed it very much. Lastly, the privileged opportunity of going to NASA Goddard. I truly enjoyed the exclusive opportunity to get a closer look at the work that NASA is doing so close by. Meeting people who were working on the different projects and getting to ask them about their jobs and lifestyle was very enjoyable. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the activities that the program provided."

-Ariel W., ESQ'19, Oxon Hill High School

"I really enjoyed the planned Experience University of Maryland activities. The departmental tours were very informative, and I especially enjoyed the fire protection engineering tour and the material science engineering tour because of the activities they included. In the fire protection engineering tour, setting the Popsicle sticks on fire and testing different ways to make them less flammable was really really fun and also showed all of us what fire protection engineering is all about. The little examples that were brought in for the tour were very helpful, ad incredibly engaging. Of course, it was even cooler when the pipe ad magnets were passed around because I got to see the results of the experiment firsthand and it made what the presenter was talking about way more interesting to me to be holding in my hands proof of what he was talking about."

-Alison B., ESQ'19, International Academy  









Contact Information

Marissa Massey 
Program Coordinator of Outreach, Recruitment and Special Programs 
Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering
Phone: 301-405-3881