The Program

STEM Scholars (formerly Bates Science Fellows) are selected in the summer before their first year,   and carry this distinction throughout their Bates career. Students may also apply to join the program beginning in their sophomore year.

Bates Science Fellows working on a project
First-year students selected as STEM Scholars enroll in EXDS 115 (STEM Scholars I) during the fall semester. EXDS 115 is a W1 course that is the equivalent of a first-year seminar and carries one course credit. The course instructor serves as the STEM Scholars’ first-year and sophomore advisor. During the winter semester they continue in EXDS 116 (STEM Scholars I), a half-credit course that meets once a week. Sophomore STEM Scholars take a half-credit course in the fall (EXDS 215, STEM Scholars II) and winter semsters (EXDS 216, STEM Scholars II). These courses include discussion and exercises as well as homework.

In these courses STEM Scholars:

  • Explore current and enduring questions and quandaries in the sciences, including equity and inclusion in STEM
  • Make connections to ongoing course work in STEM courses
  • Talk about challenges in courses and strategize solutions
  • Experiment with online resources to build laboratory skills
  • Discuss ethics in scientific research
  • Explore science careers with scientists from the Bates faculty and alumni
  • Meet with campus experts in writing, quantitative reasoning, grantwriting, career development, and medical studies
  • Develop skills for success in the sciences at Bates

STEM Scholars program instructors provide individualized advising throughout the year and beyond.

Unique Opportunities:

STEM Scholars have the opportunity to participate in summer research early in their career through the STEM Scholars Faculty-Student Summer Grants, in which a STEM Scholar joins a student-faculty STEM research group for an 8 to 10 week paid research assistantship.

STEM Scholars also are encouraged to become teaching assistants, Peer Assisted Learning (PALS) leaders in STEM courses, math tutors, mentors to younger students and assume other leadership roles.

Benefits of the program:

As a STEM Scholar, you will:

  • Have the opportunity to kindle your passion for scientific exploration and discovery
  • Work with a small cohort of like-minded, talented students interested in science
  • Gain experience in group work, a major component of science courses at Bates
  • Enhance your quantitative reasoning, time management, and study skills
  • Strengthen your ability to reason from evidence
  • Increase your proficiency at lab work
  • Learn strategies to master key content in scientific literature
  • Receive guidance throughout the year from a science faculty mentor