Rooted in STEM

Group photo of Rooted in STEM participants

Diversity in STEM mentorship community 

Are you interested in learning more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and the student experience at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities?

The College of Science and Engineering's (CSE) Rooted in STEM brings together high school students in grades 10-12 from historically excluded identities in STEM to learn about STEM academics and community support at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and relate to Undergraduate Mentors and peers with shared identities and interests in STEM.

One Saturday per month

Students in Rooted in STEM program looking through a telescope

Participants will network with peers, learn about current topics in research and academic programs, and explore potential careers. There will be presentations, laboratory tours, science and technology demonstrations, and Q&A sessions. Presenters will include CSE faculty and graduate researchers, student organizations, recent alumni in industry, and current undergraduate students. Our presenters hold historically underrepresented identities in STEM  and together we aim to explore how diversity contributes and builds a stronger STEM community on campus.

$40,000 scholarship opportunity

Participants who attend continuously through the fall of their 12th-grade year and are admitted into the College of Science and Engineering in their 12th-grade year will receive a $40,000 ($10,000 for four years) 3M scholarship to the CSE!

Two-year commitment

Participants commit to the program through December of their 12th-grade year (spanning multiple academic years). Program elements include four Saturday sessions (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) per fall/spring semester and additional enrichment opportunities over each summer (e.g. camps, conferences, research assistantships).

Planned Fall 2023 semester dates are:

  • Saturday, Jan.  27, 2024
  • Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024
  • Saturday, March 16, 2024
  • Saturday, April 13, 2024

Future dates will be announced at least one semester in advance.

No cost

Participation in Rooted in STEM is offered free of charge, and includes lunch each month and a program gift, such as a T-shirt.  Participants must arrange their own transportation to and from the University of Minnesota campus, however, transportation scholarships are available upon request to participants demonstrating financial need.

Application information

Rooted in STEM students at a computer

Everyone is welcome to apply to our program. Rooted in STEM will be limited to a small group cohort, and admission, therefore, is expected to be competitive. Admission will be based on the number of applications received and the qualifications of each applicant. Because enrolling an academically rigorous, diverse student body is essential to Rooted in STEM, applicants from historically underrepresented identities are especially encouraged to apply.

Examples of historically underrepresented groups may include, but are not limited to, the following identities:

  • Low socioeconomic status (qualify for free/reduced lunch)
  • Black, Indigenous, or person of color (BIPOC), including Somali, Hmong, and/or Hispanic/Latinx/Chicanx
  • Immigrant or first-generation American
  • Potential first-generation college students (neither parent earned a Bachelor's degree)
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, two-spirit (LGBTQIA+)
  • Differently abled (physically or mentally; for example deaf or autistic)

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be current 10th- or 11th-grade students
  • Demonstrate both an interest and aptitude in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics
  • Be interested in attending a four-year, post-secondary institution like the University of Minnesota
  • Commit to the program one Saturday per month through December of their 12th-grade year (spanning multiple academic years)

Application submission

The 2024 application deadline has passed. Please check back in September for 2025 application details and deadlines.

The online application includes submission of:

  • The email address of a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics teacher or high school counselor willing to provide a recommendation on behalf of the applicant
  • Personal statement essay responses
  • Self-reported academic details (e.g. GPA, coursework)

Admission timeline

Applications open the first week in November and close the first week of December. Following the submission deadline, decisions will be made within two weeks. Successful candidates can anticipate the program to start in mid-January.

Admission decisions

Admission decisions are based on the holistic assessment of each applicant’s academics and individual circumstances (listed below). The strongest consideration in the decision is given to academics, but no single factor is the deciding factor in the decision. 

In addition to academics, individual factors listed below are also considered as part of the overall assessment of each application, and should be highlighted in the applicant’s essay responses and recommendation:

  • Outstanding talent, achievement, or aptitude in a particular area
  • Strong commitment to community service and leadership
  • Contribution to the cultural, gender, age, economic, racial, or geographic diversity of the student body
  • Experience of having overcome social, economic, or physical barriers to educational achievement
  • First-generation college student
  • Significant responsibility in a family, community, job, or activity
  • Extenuating circumstances

For more information, send an email to

Rooted in STEM is sponsored by Polaris Inc and 3M.