College of Letters & Sciences
Upham Hall

STEM Boot Camp

Contact Information
Dr. Anneke Lisberg
203 Upham Hall 
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Dr. Stephen Levas
351 Upham Hall 
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

STEM Boot Camp (SBC) is directed by UW-Whitewater Biology faculty Dr. Anneke Lisberg and Dr. Stephen Levas. Since 2011, SBC has served underrepresented minority students intending to major in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) entering their freshman year at UW-Whitewater. The STEM Boot Camp consists of an intensive two-week summer camp and continued support through the freshman year aimed at improving student performance and creating a support system. The summer camp portion of SBC runs for two weeks every August.

Past participants in SBC have significantly course pass rates and graduation rates, and have made meaningful contributions to the campus community. Alumni have gone on to attend competitive research and graduate programs, and to work in diverse science fields.

Program Eligibility: To be eligible to participate in SBC, students must be:

  • Enrolled (or planning to enroll) as a freshman at UWW in the upcoming Fall semester. If you are applying before the college commitment date, we also welcome applications from students who have been accepted to UWW but have not yet committed to our institution!
  • Of a minority group underrepresented in STEM (African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and/or Native Pacific Islander)
  • Interested in a career in the sciences / a STEM degree path (interested in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Math, or Physics.) We welcome undecided majors too if you are interested in science careers more generally but haven’t picked your path yet!

The Camp: For the 2-week summer portion of the program, students live on campus and attend daily classes, seminars and discussions aimed at increasing preparedness for college STEM courses and discussing common student concerns and challenges. The students are also matched with peer mentors, all successful alumni of the program. During the summer camp, students experience:

  • Sample lectures provided by UWW faculty, pulled from their introductory courses.
  • Face-to-face "office hour" meetings with multiple STEM faculty members.
  • Tips, practice, and feedback on essential student skills, with an emphasis on effective note-taking, studying, and adapting to varied teaching and testing methods.
  • A hands-on lab to explore laboratory course structure.
  • Researching and planning scientific experiments with other students.
  • Discussions with student mentors, program advisors, and other faculty about college experiences, common challenges for freshman STEM students, and how students can avoid and successfully respond to these challenges.
  • An overview of campus programs, including undergraduate research and student support programs.

Freshman Fall: Through the freshman fall, students attend one-on-one meetings with peer mentors and program advisors. Students are also required to meet goals that aid student success, such as attending office hours with course instructors.

All SBC students are also invited to attend weekly lunch-hours through the academic year to connect (or stay connected!) with the SBC Community. Lunches are often attended by program directors, peer mentors, and program alumni, including upperclassmen and UWW graduates.

There are NO costs or fees to attend this program! SBC 2021 is supported through a combination of funds from the Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation, the Marjorie K. Wilson STEM Boot Camp Endowment, the UW System Bridge Expansion grant and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Students participating in SBC are provided full room and board during the 2-week summer program and students who complete program benchmarks will be paid up to $1000 for successful program completion (students receive part of this payment after the summer program is completed, with the remaining portion paid after the freshman fall semester).

SBC 2022:

Program Dates: Monday August 15 - Friday August 26, 2022.

Applications begin to be screened in the spring (April-May), but we welcome applications after this time. Applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis until the program is filled, so earlier applications will have the best odds of acceptance. Eligible students should APPLY BELOW for SBC 2022!