Summer Learning Academy (SLA)

WiSTEM Virtual Summer Camp

About SLA Virtual Camp

SLA is a 2-month virtual learning experience for rising high school seniors during June and July. The experience is designed for participants to explore STEM professional skills including mindfulness in design, design thinking, presentation skills, and more through:

  • weekly SLA informational newsletters aligned to digital badge content (one per week throughout June and July)
  • weekly “FabFems Fridays” role model webinars (Fridays 12-12:45 pm CT throughout June and July)
  • 4 digital badges that advance STEM skills and add to your STEM resume (see badge information below)
  • end of camp celebration for participants, family members, and teachers with UT Austin admissions presentation

Participants spend 2-4 hours weekly on asynchronous camp activities.

Digital Badges

Week 1 Learning Badge: Explorations into Mindfulness -This badge earner has developed an understanding of mindfulness concepts and techniques and has learned how to apply mindfulness practices for various situations. The individual has an understanding of how to further develop focus and self-awareness. Badge earners can use these skills as a foundation for further study in mindfulness and apply mental and emotional management in any career path they choose. This badge takes about 3 hours to complete.

Week 2 Knowledge Badge: Design Thinking Practitioner Badge -Throughout this 2-hour course, you will learn the theory of Enterprise Design Thinking from experts and see real examples and earn the Design Thinking Practitioner Badge.

Weeks 3 and 4: Data Science Foundations or Emerging Tech Badges (choose at least one) -Data Science Foundations Level 1 badge will help you gain an understanding of the possibilities and opportunities that data science, analytics, and big data bring to new applications in any industry. This is a 3-hour course.


Exploring Emerging Tech Badge (7+ hours) with 13 courses on introductory topics: AI, blockchain, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data science, and Internet of Things (IoT). Curious about tech, but not sure where to focus? You’ve come to the right place. In this Exploring Emerging Tech learning plan, you’ll get an intro to six emerging technologies that power today’s jobs. You’ll learn a little about each—like foundational concepts, terminology, and how it’s used—and then you can decide where you want to go deeper.

Weeks 5 through 9: Working in a Digital World: Professional Skills Learning Badge  (see course alignment to weeks below) -This badge earner has an understanding of key skills for professional success and core soft skills needed in the workforce. This knowledge of skills and behaviors includes: creating and delivering presentations; using agile approaches for working professionally to deliver quality work and experiences to customers; collaborating effectively with teams; communicating with impact; dealing with challenges in a controlled and focused manner, and solving problems and implementing solutions.

  • Week 5: Present with Purpose
  • Week 6: Collaborate Effectively
  • Week 7: Interpersonal Skills
  • Week 8: Deliver Quality Work with Agility
  • Week 9: Solving Problems with Critical and Creative Thinking

These ~8 hours worth of courses will help you with key skills you need to transition successfully from high school to a STEM major in college and then into a STEM career.

Who Should Apply?

SLA is for rising high school seniors (students who will be in their senior year beginning August/September 2022). Students in their junior year of high school at the time of application are eligible to apply.

Registration Fee

$500 Program Fee: Scholarships are available and may be requested as part of the application process.

Application Process & Timeline

100% completed SLA applications will be reviewed holistically. The essays are weighted more heavily than other aspects of the application.

Students should complete the application (not the parent, teacher, or guardian). The application form does not pause and save. You will have to complete this form in one sitting.  View a full PDF copy of the application to see ALL questions in advance of starting the application.

Applications have closed.

Please check back in September for updates on 2023.


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