Programs for K-12 students

BEST: Building Excellent Scientists for Tomorrow Internships for High School Students

This Building Excellent Scientists for Tomorrow (BEST) program is for high school students interested in pursuing careers in science and technology-based areas. This is not a residential program. The program is run by Continuing Education in conjunction with the Center for STEM Education. Interns research in labs throughout the Peoria area for a required total of 150-300 hours for the duration of the program. They work side-by-side with top researchers and their teams to learn first-hand about the research process. Interns will also receive additional training in scientific methods, research ethics safety and related topics in a three-day-long orientation at Bradley University. Students must be at least 15 years of age to apply. If you have questions, contact Dean Campbell, Ph.D., at

STEM Career Exploration Camp

Explore exciting engineering and scientific fields through daily field trips, hands-on activities and group projects at this STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camp for students entering sixth, seventh and eighth grades. This weeklong camp provides job shadowing, workshops and teambuilding exercises. Imagine the possibilities of future careers in this exciting field! The camp is partnered with Bradley University Center for STEM Education, Greater Peoria EDC Workforce Alliance, University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Illinois Informatics Institute and University of Illinois Extension.

University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, Bradley University and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council sponsor this camp.

Registration fee is $175, a limited number of scholarships are available. For scholarship information, contact the University of Illinois Extension, Peoria County Office at (309) 685-3140.

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World Of Wonder

World of Wonder (WOW) is a series of one-week summer programs at Bradley University designed to provide a variety of challenging, hands-on courses for gifted and talented students entering first through ninth grades.

Students may take up to three classes that are one-to-two grade levels above each student's current school grade. Our curriculum features courses in multiple disciplines that promote collaboration and experiential learning, including language arts, social sciences, literature, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and art.

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High School Chemistry Contest

As a means of encouraging students to pursue further studies in science, Chem Contest is an annual event during which 300-500 high school students compete by taking a written test of chemical knowledge. Their high school teachers have the opportunity to interact with Bradley faculty and facilitate discussions on the subject of teaching chemistry. Following the test, students view an educational chemical demonstration show. This event is co-sponsored by the local section of the American Chemical Society.

STEM Resources for High School Students: Institute for Broadening Participation Pathways to Science

Are you a high school student looking for more STEM opportunities? The Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) works with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA to recruit eligible high school students for research and professional development opportunities. Simply fill out an application, and they will help find and send you information on programs that are compatible with your interests. IBP also has opportunities available for undergraduates, graduates and post-doctoral students.

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Bradley University DAPCEP Program

The Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) was founded in 1976 in order to increase the number of historically underrepresented students who are motivated and academically prepared to pursue degrees leading to STEM careers. Currently the DAPCEP programs reach more than 11,000 youth annually through school district, college/university and numerous corporations. Students in grades 4th to 12th can pursue advanced STEM educational pathways at Bradley. Each course meets once per week for five weekends in a row, and covers important STEM inspired topics such as robotics, aerodynamics, coding, chemistry, biology, actuarial science, mathematics, environmental science and engineering. More information can be found at