SVSM supplements high school and university courses, taking students beyond the traditional boundaries of high school science and mathematics. A distinguished faculty of university professors and master high school teachers, working in cooperation with science and mathematics professionals from other institutions, government and industry, guides students through an academic program specially designed to provide experience in scientific inquiry and mathematical problem-solving. Specifically, students learn experimental design, laboratory skills, instrumentation, mathematical modeling, strategies in mathematical problem-solving and exploratory data analysis. Moreover, the students learn these basics while engaged in specific scientific and mathematical topics of interest to them. They also learn about computer applications, careers in science and mathematics, social issues related to science, and communication skills for mathematics and science competitions.
Each university may have areas of special interest due to their location or facilities. At East Carolina University, students that are particularly interested in medicine have the opportunity to attend the School of Medicine. This is highly competitive, of course, and it is an honor to be selected to fill one of the usually not more than sixteen positions available.
Students selected for the research phase of the program will assist Dr. Tran with ongoing experiments in his research lab. These activities include: